(Last updated on 30 August 2022)
Located in the province of Samut Songkhram, the Maeklong Railway Market has been around since 1905. This authentic market draws thousands of visitors to witness the excitement to watch the train passing through the narrow railway.
If you are traveling to Bangkok, take a day trip to explore Maeklong Railway Station with the nearby Amphawa Floating Market and discover the daily routine life of the villagers in the province.
The villagers in Maeklong rely upon fishing as their main source of income and the market is a way to sell their daily catch. Later, officials decided to build a railway to build to easily distribute their catch to other provinces throughout Thailand, but the market still remains despite the tracks cutting straight through it.
Budget Day Trip to Maeklong Railway Market
Maeklong Railway Market is situated about 80 kilometers outside of the city of Bangkok. Depending on the traffic condition, the journey takes roughly more than an hour to reach. First, you can take the BTS Skytrain to Victoria Monument Station and catch Bus No. 28 at the bus station. It will take around 15 minutes to reach Southern Bus Terminal (Sai Tai Mai). Then, look out for the minivan that goes to the Maeklong Railway Station and buy the ticket at the booth.
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 and the food and vegetables they sell from the sun.
Once you arrive at the market, the first thing to do is check out the time schedule when the trains depart and arrive just so you could not miss this excitement. . They usually come and leave 8 times daily and the timing is available at the counter of the train station.
- 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.
Explore the railway market
While I was at the market at about 12.30 pm, 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, Thai sweets, flowers, and desserts.
Having Thai food for lunch
There are some food stalls set up at Maeklong Station. They have Pad Thai, curry tom yam, seafood, and fresh fruits. The price is really cheap here. I had mango sticky rice and coconut water. It has great taste and cost only 90 Baht!
Waiting for the train arrival
As the train approached the station, the railway officer rings the bell and vendors will warn visitors to stay off the tracks. I was surprised how swiftly the vendors and merchants can collectively close up their canopies, fold down the umbrellas, and move their racks of goods away from the racks.
The train honks on its horn every now and then to tell people of its approach. The passengers on board the train felt like they are the VIPs or celebrities who waves at the crowds that are busy photographing or filming the scenes of the train’s arrival.
Once the train passes the stalls, the owners reset their stalls once again. (Watch video on Facebook).
Visit Anphawa Floating Market
With a few hours of free time, I decided to go to Anphawa Floating Market by songthaew, which takes only a 10-minute ride and costs 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 various 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 to the floating market. We explore the market together and took a 40-minute boat ride to admire the 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?
The total amount of money 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.
- 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
- Starting from the end of 2016, minivans will leave from Southern Bus Terminal instead of Victoria Monument to avoid traffic congestion. Catch Bus No. 28 (18 Baht) or a taxi to Southern Bus Terminal to take the minivan.
- Most minivan drivers will avoid traffic congestion and do not drop passengers at Victoria Monument. Instead, they stop at the nearest bus terminal and you take the BTS to your final destination.
- 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 to take photos or video.
- If you are planning to visit Amphawa Floating Market, do remember that the market opens only on Fridays from 3 pm to 12 am, and weekends from 12 pm to 12 am.
Going Elsewhere in Thailand?
If you are planning for a long adventure in Thailand, you can check out some of my other posts: