Budget Day Trip to Maeklong Railway Market
Go on a day trip to this market and enjoy one of the unique experience like no others around the world. Locally known as Rom Hup Market that literally means ‘Folding Umbrella’ Market. Local sellers set their stores right next to the railway tracks near Maeklong Station, with umbrellas to protect themselves, the food and vegetables they sell from the sun.
Take the Skytrain to Victoria Monument and catch Bus No. 28 at the bus station. It will take around 15 minutes to reach Southern Bus Terminal (Sai Tai Mai). Purchase a ticket from the booth for the minivan ride to Maeklong Railway Station and the journey takes around one and the half hour.
There is a time schedule showing the trains depart and arrive 8 times daily at Maeklong Station. So, you will need to check again on the timetable just so that could not miss this excitement.
- Time Arrival 8.30 a.m., 11.10 a.m., 2.30 p.m. and 5.40 p.m.
- Time Departure 6.20 a.m., 9.00 a.m., 11.30 a.m. and 3.30 p.m.
While I was there at 12.30 p.m., there is plenty of time to wait before the next train arrives at 2.30 p.m. I saw the vendors selling fresh seafood, meats, vegetables, dried tea leaves, flowers and desserts. There are some food stalls at Maeklong Station, so had mango sticky rice and coconut water. It has great taste and cost only 90 baht!
As the train approached the station, railway crossing bell and vendors will warn visitors that it is arriving. I was surprised how fast the vendors will close up their canopies, fold down the umbrellas, move their goods away from the racks and set up their stalls once the train passes through. (Watch video on Facebook)
With a few hours of free time, I decided to go to Anphawa Floating Market by songthaew, which takes only 10 minutes ride and cost 8 baht. One thing I like about the market is less crowded than Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. The pick-up point is located outside 7-Eleven.
This is a canal-side market with boats paddling along the water selling different food and beverages. Those wooden houses are used as stores to sell all sorts of souvenirs, handicrafts and accessories.
I was accompanied by two Taiwanese ladies who also heading the same place. We explore the market together and took the 40-minutes boat ride to look at the view of temples and food stores along the banks of the canals.
This ends another day trip at the outskirt of Bangkok city. The three of us manage to take the 6 p.m. minivan back to the city after 7 o’clock. Love to discover and look at how and what the locals do in their daily life that draws tourists from around the world.
How Much Spend on Maeklong Railway Market Trip?
- Train Ticket (return) : 98 baht* (depend on individual)
- Bus ticket (Victoria Monument to Sai Tai Mai) : 17 baht
- Minivan (return) : 120 baht
- Meals (Breakfast and Lunch : 230 baht* (depend on individual)
- Songthaew ride : 8 baht
- Amphawa boat tour : 50 baht
- Bus ticket (bus terminal to Victoria Monument) : 13 baht
Total amount spent on this trip is 536 baht (USD$17). It is so much cheaper compared to some websites that I look into, starting from USD$ 50 per person.
Overall Rating: 5.0
- Affordability (5.0): Transportation cost, food and beverages in both markets are cheap.
- Convenience (5.0): Minivans to and back from both markets come every 30- 40 minutes. So if you miss the first ride, you do not need to wait long for the next ride. Songthaews also frequently run between both markets.
- Friendliness: (5.0): The locals are very helpful and willing to show directions, especially the time when I want to take the songthaew to the floating market.
- Cleanliness (5.0): The markets are clean and don’t see people littering (Hope you do the same too)
- Safety (5.0): The place is considered safe. Still, make sure do not bring too much cash and avoid too crowded areas.
- Starting from end of 2016, minivans will leave from Southern Bus Terminal instead of Victoria Monument to avoid traffic congestion. Catch a bus (18 baht) or taxi to Southern Bus Terminal to take the minivan.
- You might want to check again the train timetable in case there is a delay and the next departure or arrival of the train from Maeklong Station. Remember to be there 10-15 minutes earlier before the train comes so you can get a great spot for photo or video shoot.
- If you are planning to visit Amphawa Floating Market, do remember that it only open from Fridays (3 p.m.- 12 a.m.) and weekends (12 p.m. to 12 a.m.).
- Minivans are available in both tourist spots back to Bangkok, so you can choose either way that is easy for you.
- Most minivan drivers will avoid traffic congestion and do not drop passengers at Victoria Monument. Instead, they stop at the nearest bus terminal.
- There are plenty of buses going to the monument, cost less than 20 baht instead of getting a cab which cost 70 baht per head. Take MRT or BTS from there to your final destination.