by Yim Yam Volunteer Camila from Colombia
If you are trying to find unusual things to see while you are in Bangkok, then we have the best plan for you. Located in Samut Songkhram Province, just one hour and a half away from Bangkok (depending on traffic) you are going to find one of the most incredible markets in Thailand, the Maeklong Railway Market. Full of authenticity , local people, fruits, veggies , meat, sweets, restaurants and even clothes, this market is going to give you one of the most amazing experiences in your life because it has an actual train that goes straight through the market itself!
Getting there is easier than it seems. Depending of your location , get the BTS to Mo Chit station and walk through Chatuchak Park (FYI, around this park you can find the weekend Chatuchak Market on Friday, Saturday and Sundays). If you go during the morning you can appreciate the peace of the park, walking through the gardens, watching different birds, and being surrounded by nature and people exercising , meditating or practicing yoga.
Keep walking until you get to Mo Chit Bus Terminal where you are going to find a ticket office that sells the minivan seats to go to the market. It costs around 130 Baht one way and leaves you just couple blocks away from the Maeklong Market. You can also get a taxi from your location to go directly to the bus station, it’s up to you!. On the way back it’s the same process.
On the van ride, you will definitely notice the differences between the city and the towns around which are full of street food, little stores , farms and a couple temples that make it interesting and exciting ride.
Plan to go the earliest you can to avoid the hit of the sun and all the crowd of tourists. We suggest you to leave Bangkok around 7:00 am. At the market, walk around, try the food, talk with locals, and don’t forget to ask people what time is the train coming because it just goes by a few times during the day and of course you don’t want to miss it. However, the warning bell will let you know when the train is close; be ready because most of the time the bell sounds just a few seconds before the train passes by and you’ll definitely want to find a good place to take pictures!
In that moment, when the bell rings all the vendors must move all their products to the side off the railway tracks. They are super fast! Some of them even leave the fruits and vegetables on the middle of the train tracks but the trains don’t touch them when they pass over. You are going to be shocked when you see how big the train is and how narrow the space is, nevertheless it fits perfectly!
After the train passes by, the market is on again in just a few seconds and the people get back to the normal routine as if nothing had happened. Simply incredible, this is one of those amazing experiences in Thailand that you definitely can’t miss!!