Maeklong Railway Market Bangkok, Thailand
I love exploring the markets around Bangkok, there are so many to choose from. There are floating markets, street markets, night markets and, railway markets. The Maeklog Railway Market is perhaps one of the most unique attractions in Thailand and is a must-do if you are visiting Bangkok.
In this article, I’ll give you the essential information on:
- What to buy at the train market
- What time the train arrives & departs
- The market opening hours
- How to get to the Maeklong Railway market
- An awesome guesthouse nearby (and why you should definitely have a night away from Bangkok)
The crazy thing about the Maeklong Railway Market is that one minute there are umbrellas and stalls scattered everywhere. Hundreds of people go about their shopping. Suddenly a train appears in the distance, the market quickly packs away, just before the train passes right through the middle. Then, in a matter of seconds, it turns back into a market.
Now that’s something to write home about.
Here’s a photo of me sitting under those umbrellas in the market. A couple of minutes later there was a train here.
The Maeklong Railway Market is a small market on the railway tracks next to Maeklong Railway Station. When there are no trains around, you can easily forget this is actually an operating railway line. When the train sounds its horn, it turns straight back into a railway line.
The market is cramped under the small tent roofs, and there is a lot of activity going on. The local shoppers walk slowly and all over the place while eyeing out the fresh food. Be patient as you walk through here, otherwise, you will just get frustrated.
As you walk around you will probably notice half the stall owners are asleep. Even better, there is no one pushing cheap souvenirs in your face. It is definitely an authentic little local market still.
Visit this authentic Bangkok market: Ban Nam Pheung in Bang Krachao
What Can I Buy at the Bangkok Train Market?
The Maeklong Railway market has lots of fresh food. For most foreign travelers with nowhere to cook, the fresh seafood probably isn’t of much interest. However try a bit of the dried fish or squid, it’s a local favorite.
There are also loads of fresh fruits available, be sure to try out the crunchy pink Rose-apples and the huge juicy Pomelos. They really taste as good as they look. If you’re brave enough you can even try some fresh Durian!
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There’s also a wide selection of Thai desserts available at the Maeklong Railway Market. I’m not familiar with the names but they’re definitely worth trying. Some desserts are good, and some are interesting. It’s like a lucky dip so just take your chances.
Around the market, you will also find some small restaurants and cafes. A meal is about 100 THB which is a fairly standard price. Look out for the guy on the corner who sells homemade ice cream, it’s definitely worth a taste too!
You will not find many souvenirs or electronics at the Maeklong Railway Market. For these, your best bet is back in Bangkok.
Where is the Maeklong Railway Market?
The Maeklong Railway Market is located in Samut Songkhram Province. This is about 1 hour south-west of Bangkok, just beyond Samut Sakhon.
The area is surrounded by small canals and the Mae Klong River which flows out to the ocean in the Gulf of Thailand.
The market is only a short distance from the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, and the busier but more authentic Amphawa Floating Market. They’re both worth checking out if you are visiting the area.
Getting to the Maeklong Train Market
There are a few different ways to get to the train market from Bangkok. The option you take depends on time, budget, and your adventurous spirit.
- Minivan: departs Bangkok Southern Bus Terminal (Sai Tai Mai) and the Northern Bus Terminal (near to Mo Chit BTS) for 70thb per person. Minivans depart from the Southern Bus Terminal every 40 minutes or so. The trip takes 90 minutes and drops you off right by the market. Do not go to Victory Monument, services ended in 2016.
- Taxi: a driver for the whole day costs about 2,000thb which is economical with a group of 4. The driver can also take you to the Damnoen Saduak or Amphawa Floating Markets for the same fare.
- Train: takes about 3 hours in total, one way. Catch a train from Wongwian Yai Station to Mahachai Station. Cross the river to Tha Chalom Pier. Catch another train from Ban Laem Station to the Maeklong Railway market. Warning: Thai trains are notorious for running late, therefore, this 3-hour journey can easily take much longer. Trains also have no air conditioning so only choose this option if you are up for the Bangkok heat.
- Tour: if all of the above seems a bit too challenging then you can also take an easy day trip to the Maeklong Railway Market from Bangkok. Check out this option with TakeMeTour, one of their most popular day trips. The tours include all transport, hotel pickup, drop off and lunch! It’s not a bad way to get around.
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Maeklong Railway Market Train Schedule 2018
Trains arrive at Maeklong Station 7 days a week. You can visit any day.
The Maeklong Railway Market train Schedule in 2018 is:
- 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.
Tip: get down to the railway tracks 10 to 15 minutes before the train arrives or departs. You don’t want to wait another hour if you miss the train by just a few minutes!
Maeklong Railway Market Opening Hours
The train market is open 7 days a week from 6.20am to 5.40pm.
The Maeklong Railway Market opening hours follow the first and last train arrivals at Maeklong Station.
It is best to visit the market in the early morning as the afternoon is hot and uncomfortable, especially in the summer. Then you can continue on the to the nearby Amphawa and Damnoen Sadauk Floating Markets in the afternoon.
Tip: if you want to discover loads more markets with details of opening hours, days and locations, then consider getting my Bangkok travel guide. There are over 50 destinations in and around Bangkok. That’s way more than you can see even with a full week in Bangkok!
Accommodation near the Train Market
Should you spend a night out of Bangkok near the Maeklong Railway market? Hell yes! It is a great way to experience part of ‘outer Bangkok’ that many other travelers just don’t get to see, a true insight into what the non-touristy Thai culture looks like.
The lifestyle out here is slower than in Bangkok. You can forget about the endless traffic jams, annoying Tuk Tuk drivers and the Khao Sarn Road party scene. Replace that with a laid back village atmosphere where people live by the canals and still get around by boat instead of car.
For an authentic experience, I suggest the Bann Reuan Penn Homestay. This small guesthouse is located right next to the canal (klong in Thai), where you can watch the boats go by in the morning and afternoon. It is also within walking distance of the Amphawa Floating Market, perfect for enjoying the bars and restaurants at night without needing to rush back to Bangkok on the last bus of the afternoon.
From just $40 per night for a double room (including free breakfast for two), it is as good a deal as you will find in Bangkok!
Other FAQ about the Train Market
Is the Maeklong Railway Market closed? The market was temporarily closed in 2015 for track repair works. However, the market has since re-opened for visitors every day of the week!
Which other markets can I visit nearby? The closest market is the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market in Samut Songkhram. You can get there easily by taxi which should cost less than 100 THB.
Note: this post contains affiliate links. If you click them and make a booking, you will not be charged any extra, however, I will receive a small commission.
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