The Maeklong Railway Market in Bangkok is one of the most extraordinary markets in Thailand. Here, you will find all the tips and information you need for your visit.
In this article, we take you on a fascinating journey through one of the most unusual markets in the world: the Maeklong Railway Market in Thailand.
Known as the “rail market” or “railroad market,” this unique place offers an experience you will never forget.
Come with us on a discovery tour through the bustling stalls on the railroad tracks.
You will be amazed at how the traders clear their stalls and goods in a matter of seconds as soon as the train passes through the market several times a day.
Be curious to gain an insight into the heart of Thai life and experience with us how tradition and everyday life come together spectacularly.
What you should know about the Maeklong Railway Market
How to get there: By train from Wongwian Yai station in Bangkok, by bus from Sai Tai Mai bus station, by cab, or as part of an organized tour.
Opening hours: Daily from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
The Maeklong Railway Market in Thailand is definitely one of the most unusual markets in the world.
Imagine a lively market stretching along railroad tracks and trains passing right through the market stalls several times a day.
This unique phenomenon makes the Maeklong Railway Market an absolute must for every visitor to Thailand.
A market with a unique challenge
The Maeklong Railway Market, also known as the “Umbrella Pull-Down Market,” is located in the province of Samut Songkhram, about an hour southwest of Bangkok.
The market has existed since around 1905 and has adapted to the tracks of the Maeklong Railway.
Here, traders sell traditional Thai goods, fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, seafood, and much more.
On the side streets, you will also find plenty of street food and restaurants to satisfy your hunger.
Tip: This half-day tour starts at 8:00 am at River City Bangkok and takes you to Maeklong Railway Market in 1.5 hours.
You will have enough time to explore the market before you are taken back to Bangkok (MBK Mall) at around 1 pm.
The ballet of the traders at Maeklong Market
The most fascinating thing about Maeklong Market is how the traders react to the train traffic.
When the signal sounds announcing the arrival of the train, a well-choreographed ballet begins:
Awnings are folded down, goods are pulled back, and small stalls are pushed aside in a flash.
The train then travels slowly through the market, just a few centimeters away from the goods and stalls.
As soon as the train is over, life returns to the market as if nothing had happened. Everything is cleared away, and the hustle and bustle continues.
The Maeklong Railway Market offers a unique experience
This market provides a unique experience that stimulates the senses and the imagination.
The lively atmosphere, the colors and smells of the fresh produce, and the friendly traders make the visit an unforgettable experience.
The Maeklong Railway Market is a place to shop and a living example of the adaptability and traditional life in Thailand.
Visiting there lets you experience everyday life in Thailand from an entirely new perspective.
The current train timetable for Maeklong Market (as of 2024)
Trains arrive at Mae Klong station at the following times:
08:30, 11:10, 14:30, 17:40
The train departs from Mae Klong station at these times:
06:20, 09:00, 11:30, 15:30
Tip: Fancy a day trip? On this tour, you can experience the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market and the Maeklong Railway Market.
At sunset, you can enjoy the spectacular view from the Mahanakhon Skywalk in the center of Bangkok.
Tips for visiting the Maeklong Railway Market
Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your visit to the Maeklong Railway Market:
- Arrive early: Visiting the market early in the morning is best. It’s less crowded then, and you can enjoy the unique atmosphere better.
- Check the train timetable: Find out in advance when the train passes through the market so as not to miss this spectacular event.
- Safety first: Always stay at a safe distance from the tracks and pay attention to the train announcements.
- Clothing and shoes: Wear comfortable clothing and sturdy shoes, as you will be traveling on uneven surfaces and near tracks.
- Take photos with respect: Enjoy taking photos, but respect the privacy of the traders and locals.
- Try local specialties: Take the opportunity to try local Thai dishes and snacks offered at the market.
- Buy little things: Support local traders by buying souvenirs or fresh produce.
- Water and sun protection: Bring water and sun protection, as it can get very hot, especially at midday.
- Cash: Most merchants only accept cash, so be prepared.
- Patience and kindness: The market can be crowded, so be patient and polite to other visitors and the vendors.
How to get to the Maeklong Railway Market
Are you planning a trip to Maeklong Railway Market from Bangkok? Here are some options on how you can easily get to the market:
- With a guided tour: Various tour operators in Bangkok offer day trips to the Maeklong Railway Market(compare the best offers here!), often in combination with a visit to the Damnoen Saduak floating market.
- By train: One of the most authentic ways to reach the market is by train. You can take a train from Wongwian Yai Station in Bangkok to Mahachai Station. From there, you cross the Tha Chin River to Ban Laem to catch the connecting train to Maeklong.
- By minivan: There are minivan services from various points in Bangkok, such as the Victory Monument or the Mo Chit Bus Terminal, which go directly to Maeklong.
- By bus: Take a bus from the Southern Bus Terminal (Sai Tai Mai) in Bangkok to Samut Songkhram and change to a local songthaew or tuk-tuk to Maeklong Railway Market.
- By cab or private driver: A more comfortable but more expensive option is to travel by cab or private driver. These can be booked for the whole day, offering flexibility and comfort.
- By rental car: For those who like to drive themselves, renting a car is another option. The journey from Bangkok to Maeklong takes around 1.5 to 2 hours.
Our tip for a train market day trip from Bangkok
This tour has several highlights in store for you: First, you will explore the Maeklong Railway Market at length.
The tour continues to Wat Bang Kung and then to the Amphawa floating market.
The last item of the program is a relaxing riverboat trip, where you can observe lots of fireflies.
FAQs about the Maeklong Railway Market
Finally, we will answer a few frequently asked questions about the Maeklong Railway Market.
What is special about the Maeklong Railway Market?
The market is known for being located directly on the railroad tracks, and trains pass through it several times a day.
How often do trains pass through Maeklong Market?
Trains usually run through the market six times a day – three times there and three times back.
What can you buy at the Maeklong Railway Market?
The market offers a variety of products, including fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, seafood, spices and traditional Thai snacks.
Is Maeklong Market open every day?
Yes, the Maeklong Railway Market is open daily, usually from early in the morning until late in the afternoon.
Do I have to pay an entrance fee to visit the Maeklong Railway Market?
No, a visit to the Maeklong Railway Market is free of charge.
Is Maeklong Market safe for visitors?
Yes, but it’s important to pay attention to train arrival announcements and stay safely away from the tracks.