Have you heard about the train market that has a railway track running across it? There is one railway market like this, the Maeklong Railway Market (Thailand), in the proximity of Bangkok. The first time we’ve read about this off-the-beaten-path place, we immediately added it to our bucket list and the number one must-see place during our Thailand trip. Check your options for paid and self-guided tours below to visit the market on railway tracks!
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Table of Contents
- How to get to Maeklong Market from Bangkok?
- Maeklong Railway Market Opening Hours
- Maeklong Railway Market Train Schedule
- Traveling by trains and ferry
- The Maeklong Train Market Bangkok
- Do you also wonder why the railway market is placed on the train tracks?
- Maeklong Railway Market Tour
How to get to Maeklong Market from Bangkok?
The Maeklong train market is in the suburbs of Bangkok, and it is also spelled as Mae Klong Market or called as Railway Market Bangkok. There are several ways how to get to the train market.
Guided Tours to the Train Market – Bangkok
The marketplace gained popularity throughout the years, even tour groups visit it. Obviously, that is the most pricey, but the fastest way.
Minibus from Victory Monument station
As an individual traveler, you can take a minibus from Victory Monument station (Bangkok). It is cheap and straightforward (1 hour driving time), but you miss out on the train journey.
Following the railway lines
For us, it was not a question to approach it by train(s). This option is highly recommended to all train fans, visitors who have a whole day for the adventure or would like to see more of the countryside and less touristy places in Thailand.
You can read about it in more details below!
Maeklong Railway Market Opening Hours
The market is open from the early morning hours through the day, from the arrival of the first train until the departure of the last train.
In practice the opening hours of the train market is the following: 6.20am to 5.40pm. It can slightly change due to the changes in the train schedules.
The Maeklong railway station is not closed as such during the rest of the day, but obviously, no attraction to observe outside of those hours.
Maeklong Railway Market Train Schedule
The trains depart and arrive at Maeklong between 6.20am and 5.40pm (2019).
Train Arrival times: 8.30 a.m., 11.10 a.m., 2.30 p.m. and 5.40 p.m.
Train Departure times: 6.20 a.m., 9.00 a.m., 11.30 a.m. and 3.30 p.m.
Traveling by trains and ferry
Wong Wian Yai Station
First of all, you have to get to the Wong Wian Yai station in Bangkok. The train ride is long as the trains are slow, and we weren’t able to find out exact timetables online, so we decided to get to the station as early as possible.
Mahachai Railway Station
The train station was lively already around 8 am when we arrived there. People were on their way to work or just selling their products and food near the tracks. At the station, we bought our huge paper tickets and boarded the correct train to Mahachai railway station. The first challenge is done.
The ticket said Ban Leam as an end stop, the time for arrival showed 9:28 (and 8:35 as departure). The train was surprisingly clean and nice. We expected something way worse. After departure, the conductor came and checked our tickets. On the way, we have seen temples, towns, markets, and farmlands as well.
At Mahachai the railway line ends and you need to take the ferry for few bahts across the river to Ban Leam where you can continue your way. Ban Leam was very empty. Probably most of the people were at work at the nearby harbor or in Bangkok.
First, we headed to the railway station to figure out the next connection. We had a lot of time to spend there, as there are only 3 trains a day and the next one was only at 12:05. We walked around the town, visited the market, bought some food that was extremely cheap and they didn’t even try to overcharge us, unlike in Bangkok…
Finally, the departure time came and we were on the way to Maeklong! The view from the train was similar to earlier. One more hour and we arrived at THE MARKET!
The Maeklong Train Market Bangkok
Maeklong without any doubt is one of the best things to do in Thailand for train lovers. Let me tell you why. From the train, we have only seen that the sellers’ stalls are very close to the train as we pass through. We quickly got off the train and checked when will it go back to make sure we don’t miss any photo opportunity. Later, we also waited for the next (the day’s third and last) train’s arrival, to have the full experience. In case you visit the market yourself, in between the trains you should walk along the alleys and explore the market. You’ll find a lot of yummy and a lot of unknown food.
So how does the railway market work in reality? Imagine a marketplace. A lively one. When the train is approaching, the sellers slowly, without any rush (because the train is slow as we already mentioned) close their sun blocks and move their stalls backward on the little rails. I had an imagination that it will be chaotic, but it is a routine task. They have to move their stalls about a meter backward only, on both sides of the alley that has the railway tracks in the middle. After the train has passed, the sellers move everything back to the original place and continue their day as nothing has happened. It is not a big deal as there are only a few train pairs a day and I’m sure they got well used to doing it every day. I think their biggest concern is to warn tourists if they are too close to the tracks or the train.
Do you also wonder why the railway market is placed on the train tracks?
I did for a long time, but after the visit it was obvious. It saves a lot of space by utilizing the railway tracks when the trains are not running… which is basically the whole day except a few minutes.
After we have seen the last train, decided to look for the minibusses back to Bangkok. It was a straight, one hour journey. I felt like a kid after the market. Finally, a big bucket list item was crossed out from my list!
Maeklong Railway Market Tour
If you don’t want to navigate yourself alone, make sure you book a guided trip to the Maeklong Railway Market now!