Updated for 2019 minivan departure location
Maeklong Railway market and the Amphawa floating market were high on our must see Bangkok list and it was just a matter of figuring out how to get there! The organised tours were coming in around US $60 per person but we reckoned we could do it ourselves for a little less. We were right!
We managed to travel from our hotel in Bangkok to Maeklong and Amphawa and back for less than $7 per person through a combination of the BTS (Bangkok Transit System), a minivan and a songthaew (a pick up truck used as a shared taxi). What’s more we had an amazing day and here’s how you can do the same!
Be sure to check out our experiences at Maeklong and our video of the train passing through here!
For an alternative day trip from Bangkok check out our Ayutthaya adventure here!
Tours to Maeklong
if you prefer to take a tour make sure to check out the options on the Klook App. We use it all over Asia and it’s prices are great – check Maeklong tours here
Click here for the best tour prices
Where to stay in Bangkok
We’ve spent over two months in Bangkok and have had the opportunity to sample some amazing hotels across the city. Our favourites include:
- Riva Surya: great value and the river views are superb – Check prices here
- Cubic Hostel: is an awesome choice and the perfect option for travelers who love the social side of travel – Check prices here
- Aldephi forty nine: is fab value and perfectly located to hop on off the BTS Skytrain – Check prices here
Click here for the best Bangkok hotel prices
1 | Get to Mo Chit or Southern Bus Terminal
Note: as of November 2016 minivans to Maeklong leave from Sai Tai Mai terminal, Bangkok’s Southern bus terminal and Mo Chit Bus Station.
- Southern Bus Terminal (Sai Tai Mai Bus station): buses depart approximately every 40 minutes from 6am to 8pm. The cost is 70 baht and the journey takes around 90 minutes
- Mo Chit Bus Station: buses depart approximately every hour. The cost is 90THB and the journey takes around 90 minutes
Getting to Mo Chit Bus Station
- BTS: Take the BTS Skytrain to Mochit BTS. The bus and BTS station are around a 20 minute walk apart so either get a taxi (less than 50 bhat) or a local bus: buses 26, 77, 96, 104, 136, 145, 509 go to the bus terminal
- Bus: buses depart from different places in Bangkok. Buses 3,16, 26,49, 77,96, 104, 134, 136, 138, 145, 170, 509, 517, 529, 536 all go to Mo Chit.
- Finding the minivan: ask around for directions or head to one of the counters and ask where to wait.
Getting to the Southern Bus Terminal
- BTS: Take the BTS Skytrain to Mochit BTS. The bus and BTS station are around a 20 minute walk apart so either get a taxi (less than 50 bhat) or a local bus (136 and 145) to the bus terminal
- Bus: buses depart from all over in Bangkok. Buses 19, 28, 25, 30, 40, 57, 79, 123, 124, 149, 159, 164, 170, 507, 511 all go to the Southern Bus Terminal
2 | Arrive in Maeklong
The minivan drop off is on the main street which runs alongside the market. The driver pointed us in the direction of the market.
3| Check the Train Times at Maeklong Station
If you want to see the train pass through the market the timetable is displayed at Maeklong Railway station which is just up the street from the bus drop off. The timetable is subject to change (be sure to check a site like TripAdvisor for the latest timetable) but there are 6 scheduled trains per day between Ban Laem and Maeklong. We wanted to catch the train twice so we opted for the 13:45 train arriving in Maeklong and the 14:30 train leaving for Ban Laem.
2017 train timetable: The train departs Maeklong at 6:20am, 9:00am, 11:30am, 3:30pm and the train arrives at 8:30am, 11:10am, 2:30pm, 5:40 pm. Again be sure to check for the latest timetable.
The trains can be delayed and the times of the next arrivals and departures are displayed in the station.
4 | Take a songthaew to Amphawa Floating Market
Amphawa is only a ten minute ride from Maeklong and we decided to check out the floating market on our day trip. The songthaews (local taxi-trucks) are located at the main junction in Maeklong and the journey costs 8 baht each way. They leave frequently and a songthaew ride is a fun experience! Grab a songthaew back to Maeklong after you’ve explored the floating market or look for a minivan going back to Bangkok directly from Amphawa. We hailed a passing Songthaew and it stopped for us to hop on!
Cost: 8 baht each way
6| Take the minivan back to Bangkok
The minivans back to Bangkok are located in a parking garage off the main street. We checked with the minivan drivers parked on the main street and they pointed us in the right direction. Three buses left when we were there in the parking garage and we only waited around 10 minutes for our seat.
Cost: 70 baht per person each way
We arrived back in Bangkok after an incredibly fun day at Maeklong and Amphawa where we managed to see the train pass through the market twice and hang out at the floating market. The total cost was 156 baht and our BTS fares to Victory monument so around US $7 in total. Not bad for a day’s work!
Be sure to check out what we got up to at Maeklong and our video of the train passing through here!
53 thoughts on “How to get from Bangkok to Maeklong Railway Market and Amphawa floating market for $7!”
Wow. Only if I had come across this detailed post before I went on the trip to see Maeklong:D Love it!
Would love to see train ging through the market
Glad you liked it!
Great information! Sounds as though you can be a bit more flexible as well without having to be on a ‘tour.’ What time did you plan to get to the Victory Monument to make it to the Railway Market in time for the times as noted?
Also, what time did you leave Maeklong to get back to Bangkok? Can’t tell from the photo if there is a cutoff time for the return minivans.
It’s a fab way to travel down and so flexible! We left Bangkok at 9am, checked out the train times in Maeklong and then jumped on a songthaew to Amphawa to explore the market. Our bus back to Bangkok was around 3pm, we left right after we saw the 2:30 train in Maeklong. The buses continue later than that but they become less frequent in the evening.
Thank you for the great tips! We did this exact Trip today. Everything went fine. Definitively a must See. Also the combination with the train market in maeklong is nice.
Two things I might add:
1. The Bus Station at victory monument now also had an english sign making it easier to find.
2. On the way back from Amphawa we did not have to take a songthaew, there was a Bus Station with direkt connection to Bangkok for 180 Bath. It was right at the Main Street where the songthaew had dropped us off on our way to the market. The people at the station were very friendly and waved at us, so it was also easy to find.
The trip back thus was also even easier and faster.
Thanks for the update Tim, the English sign is a big help! Hope you enjoyed the day!
Thanks Elaine for a very brief explanation, I’ve been looking for this guidance, since I thought that taking tours is somehow expensive.
Hi, just want to know if you take any boat ride at the floating market and i’m wondering if you know the cost.
The mini van and the local taxi only per way and not per person ? cause i’ve 4 person and i’m thinking if the inbound tour would be better
Hi, we didn’t take the boat ride as we didn’t have time unfortunately! The prices are per person. I’ve rented a taxi for a full day trip in Bangkok for around US $30.
Hope that helps!
Thanks for the useful information. I´m a bit worried because we would like to go on next Sunday to Maeklong Railway Market, but I don´t understand so much what you mean with the note:
Please note: the State Railways of Thailand have announced that the route will be shut for maintenance from 13 May 2015 to 8 November 2015. The SRT have said that they will deploy a train at Maeklong for tourists but we have not read any reports on this since the closure.
Could you give me any more information? I don´t know if it´s not possible to get to Maeklong, or the famous railway doesn´t cross the market or something like that..
Thanks in advance.
Hi Mario – the train has stopped running as they are repairing the tracks. You can still see the market but you won’t be able to see the train coming through and the traders packing up the stalls. I had read there was supposed to be a tourist train that would do a loop between the market and the station but I didn’t see any reports of that yet.
Hope that helps
Hi Elaine, I am arriving at Don Mueang airport at 3.30pm and I thought of going straight to the Maeklong Railway Market followed by the Amphawa Floating Market. Do you think I have time to cover both venues?
The market is open Friday to Sunday as far as I know and to 7pm on those days. I think it would take over 90 minutes from the airport to the floating market in a taxi. The Maeklong train only passes at certain times so it depends if you want to see that as well – they are doing track work at the moment so no trains are running until November 2015.
Hi Elaine, thanks for the info! My trip to Bangkok is next year and hopefully the trains will be running again at Maeklong. I heard that the market opens and closes real early in the morning so I decided to give it a miss on my last trip. But it seems that you’re saying that it opens all morning and afternoon?
In your last reply above, you mentioned the market opens Friday to Sunday (only?)? Which market were you referring to? Do you mean that if I go on a Monday to Thursday I’ll miss the Amphora Floating Market or Maeklong Market?
I think the train is due back in the next few weeks so fingers crossed! The market was still in action when the 2:30pm came through although it was quieter than when we’d stopped by earlier in the day. Amphawa is open from Friday to Sunday as far as I know – it seemed to be a spot where the locals came to have food and hang out so I guess that’s why it’s only open at weekends.
Have a great trip!
Thank you Elaine for the very helpful info! Just came here today and surprised to see that the trains were not running as expected – they posted up a notice to say that the track repair works are extended till next year, with no specific date. Cheers!
Thanks for the update Mengren, that’s a pity that the trains were not running. I’ll update the intro so people know to double check.
excellent description. Any idea how to get from Samut Sakhon to Samut Songkhram? This line is supposed to be under “renovation”and therefor closed?
Hey Chris! It’s not one that we’ve done, hope you figure out a way!
Hello Elaine, I did my first solo trip to Bangkok 2 weeks ago and managed to get to Amphawa Floating Market based on your step by step guide. The bus I took went straight to Amphawa Floating market. I just want to say a big Thank You! 🙂
Thanks so much Anniesse, it’s so nice to hear that you found the post useful! I hope you had an amazing day!
Jesus! I didn’t know that the train is temporarily not running due to maintenance, I went there today (17/01/2016) by myself and of course didn’t see any train passing through the market, but the round trip from Khaosan rd to Maeklong and back to Khaosan Rd cost me less than US$2 – super cheap. Here is a break down of the costs: From Khaosan rd to Wong Wien Yai Train station by bus no.82 cost 7B, from Wong Wien Yai Train station to Mahachai by train cost 10B, ferry crossing the river cost 3B and then a songteow from Ban Laem to Maeklong cost 10B, that is 30B each way.
Same I plan to do. Can you confirm that the train from Ban Laem to Mae Klong is not operating, as this is supposed to be the “famous” train through Mae Klong Market, isnt it?
The latest I have is from StdBckPkr who commented below – they visited on Jan 17th and the train was not running. That’s the train that passes through the market. Keep an eye on some of the travel forums as they’ll have the latest.
Hey StdBckPkr! Thanks for the update. Love how you managed it for $2, great itinerary for anyone else going from Khaosan Rd.
We recently did the trip (beginning of march 2016) and as already discussed the train was not running from Ban Laem to Mae Klong. Instead we took a minibus which was a convenient 1 hour drive.
Thanks for the update Christian. Interesting that the train hasn’t started up again, I wonder if it will happen soon?
Just got the info that the train started yesterday again 🙂
Thanks so much for the update Christian, have updated the intro to reflect your latest info! Cheers!
Yep it looks like the train is now running again as I have seen a few reports of other people taking that train from Ban Laem to Maeklong last month (June 2016). See link here: https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Attraction_Review-g1967206-d2049176-Reviews-Maeklong_Railway_Market_Talad_Rom_Hub-Samut_Songkhram_Samut_Songkhram_Province.html
Thank you so much. I was able to follow this instruction to save me money.
Just wanted to add a few new convenience. Once you get off victory monument station, head over along the skybridge to the top right corner of the monument. Once you go down the stairs, talk to the nearest bus counter (a bunch of bus attendant with stands showing diff prices) that u want to go to Mae klong. They will have a person show u the way to the correct bus counter which is over the bridge beneath the highway. The person gets commission of 10baht per person. Does not affect the cost of the ride.
2ndly, when returning to bangkok from the drop off point, simply talk to any incoming min van from bangkok that u want to return to bangkok. They will give ppl a free ride to their office as identified in this blog with the red sign. Its way better to get here than finding it through walking.
Thanks for the update Joseph! Sounds like they’re getting organsied with the buses, finding the right one in Bangkok is the most difficult part! Glad you were able to get there ok, hope you enjoyed the experience!
Hi Joseph, thanks for sharing the above information. We plan go to the Maeklong Railway Station this coming November on Friday. I have some question that are not so clear about, would appreciate if you can advise on below:-
1) Do we need to purchase the van ticket in advance 1 day? Or just get there on Friday morning?
2) The victory monument station that you mentioned above means BTS victory monument station?
3) What is the departure time of the van? Do they have the schedule? As I plan to reach Maeklong Railway Station before 11am (as the train will reach there 11am). So that we go can go to Amphawa Floating Market after this. And hopefully can back to Bangkok and reach around 6pm or 7pm.
Thanks and awaiting for your response.
Joseph’s updates were from last year, the vans no longer leave from Victory Monument – you need to get one from Mo Chit bus or the Southern Bus terminal. You should be able to take a tuk tuk from Maeklong to Amphawa and there were buses directly from Amphawa to Bangkok when we visited.
Thanks for the tips.
I just got back from Bangkok and Pattaya last month. Along the way, I visit Maeklong Rsilway Market and Amphawa Floating Market. Took a minivan in Sai Ma Tai (Southern Bus Terminal). Spend only around $17 overall on my day trip.
Thanks so much for the instructions, they were extremely helpful. When I arrived to the bus terminal at Maeklong station, I learned that there is a bus directly from Asok and Ekkamai BTS stations. So I ended up saving a few bhat on my return back to bkk. 🙂
Thanks again for your article I’ll add some updates on my site and will mention your site.
Thank you soooo much- heading to BKK in January and was hoping to go to Amphawa Market on my own since I don’t have much time to spare and need to be on my own schedule. So happy I found your site!
We will be in BKK late Jan. Thursday to Sunday Arriving Noon on Thursday.
We have booked the tuk-tuk night tour for Thusday night. Any opinion? (about $60)
We hope to go to Amphawa by using public transporatation as per you suggestion. Should we go Friday or Saturday? Need to be at the aiport Sunday late evening so do no want to take a chance.
Would appreciate your advice.
I’m not familiar with the tuk tuk tour. The market is generally busy on Saturday as it’s popular from Bangkok so depends which you prefer! Friday might be calmer but the atmosphere is great when it’s busy too!
Really appreciates your sharing of these useful information. We follow your guildlines today we have an easy and very interesting trip to Maeklong Railway Station as well Amphawa Floating Market. Great stuff and thank you.
Thanks for letting us know Alvin, it’s fab to hear that the article is useful.
Glad you enjoyed your trip
May I know if the parking garage is easy to find? Do you have any landmarks I may be able to use to find the parking garage?
Thank you and this guide is really useful!
The garage in Maeklong is quite easy to find and we were pointed in the right direction when we were unsure!
I’m sorry I didn’t reply earlier. I just returned from Bangkok.
This guide was really helpful and thank you so much for your help.
Apparently, now they drop you off at a small bus station about a minute or so from Maeklong Railway station. Tourists can just walk back to the small bus station when they want to return to Bangkok.
Thanks for the update Charmaine, glad you had a great trip!
Thank you for sharing Sir! Appreciate it.
Thanks so much for this info Elaine. I am typing this as we wait for the the minivan to leave for Maeklong from the Mo Chit bus station! We will be doing the Ayuthayya trip as per your suggestions as well!
Hi Raj, hope you had a great day and Ayutthaya as well!
Well Done Elaine, your post gave us to be a good information.
Take BTS to mo chit. From there take bus 138 , 145 to Mo Chit bus station for only 12 baht. At Mo Chit bus station look for mini van station, go to counter 212 and paid 90 baht per person to Maeklong