Arriving in Bangkok for some holiday time, I was intrigued by the Maeklong Railway Market. Described as the crazy umbrella pull down market, I had no idea what to expect but it sounded like a lot of fun! A few days later we set off to Maeklong to see what the Railway market was all about and get the husband his video! Check it out below!
If you’re planning a trip to Maeklong using public transport check out our How To Get There Guide here!).
For an alternative day trip from Bangkok check out our Ayutthaya adventure here!
Maeklong Railway Market
A 90 minute and US $2 bus ride from Bangkok we arrived at Maeklong as the market was in full swing. Stalls filled with flowers, fish, vegetables, meat, herbs and spices line the narrow stretch of train track as locals weave their way through the market picking up supplies. It’s a case of mind your step on the train tracks and mind your head on the umbrellas as the traders and produce are shaded by low hanging awnings to protect from the harsh sun.
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
Walking around Maeklong is a fascinating glimpse into Thai life outside of the sprawling cities and tropical islands. I loved wandering around the market watching local life in action and testing my taste buds and bravery with the food on offer. It tasted good even if I only had a vague idea of what I was eating!
The bright and the beautiful! Flower stalls
Here comes the train!
As the train’s arrival time approached the number of camera wielding tourists increased noticeably and the stallholders pointed us to good viewing spots to catch the train passing. A warning siren sounded to indicate the arrival of the train was imminent and there was an instant rush by the stallholders to raise their awnings and make some room for the passing train! The market instantly transformed to an open air market and came to a standstill as everyone waited for the train to arrive.
The train passed in almost slow motion, its horn constantly honking at some overly eager tourists who persisted in standing in its path. As soon as it passed the umbrellas were pulled down and it was back to business as usual until the next departure! It’s a pretty surreal experience
No room to move! There’s just enough space for the train to pass!
So close I could almost touch it!The train passes over the goods lining the track!
Watching the train pass through Maeklong was a fantastic experience and totally worth the trip from Bangkok. It was really funny to watch the market transform in a 5 minute period and then, as soon as the train had passed through, the umbrellas came back down instantly as if it had never happened!
If you’re planning on visiting Maeklong and Amphawa check out our how to guide here!
Maeklong Railway Market
Maeklong Railway market is located 80km outside of Bangkok. It runs for 67km being Bangkok and Central Thailand and passes through the tiny market at Maeklong.
We took the minibus from Victory Monument BTS in Bangkok and combined it with a trip to Amphawa floating market which is 10 minutes away. The full day trip cost around $7 US per person and we had a lot of fun! If you’re planning a trip to the Railway market or Amphawa check out our guide on getting there using the minibus here.
30 thoughts on “Maeklong Railway Market, Bangkok: visiting the crazy umbrella pulldown market!”
That video is hilarious! What a crazy thing!
It was very funny Alisa! It was crazy to watch. There were some crazy people who stood right in front of the train taking pics until the very last minute!
I have seen heaps of videos of these markets and they never cease to amaze me how the stallholders just get on with their lives, pack up their stalls and then start again so quickly.
I know Michele! They have to do it 6 times a day but I guess it just becomes part of the routine. I’m sure they have it down to a fine art at this point!
What a great memories, seeing and reading this 🙂 This Maeklong railway market as actually my favourite market on my whole Thailand trip 🙂 Isn’t it just crazy how they move everything so quickly and putting it back 🙂
Glad you liked it Nina! It’s definitely one of my favourite markets!
This is incredible. I really enjoyed the video especially. -Alexandra
Thanks Alexandra! I thought it was awesome, glad you enjoyed it!
Wow! I was just in Bangkok and I unfortunately didnt even know about this! Looks so cool, and super unsanitary.. but hey, when in Thailand right?
It was very cool Jen, hope you get to check it out next time!
Definitely the MOST bizarre thing i’ve come across this week. Too bad we missed this when we were in Bangkok. Hopefully we’ll check it out when we go at the end of next year!
Love that it’s the most bizarre thing you’ve come across this week Revati! It seemed so strange to us but the locals are obviously very used to it now and didn’t bat an eyelid!
I love exploring unique markets like this – definitely worth the long bus ride. It would be fascinating to see how this market has developed over the years and hear about some of the stories in its history, as I’m sure there are a lot of great ones.
It was really interesting Dave. As far as I know the market came before the train line and the locals refused to leave a market that had been passed through the generations. Hopefully they see some benefit from all the tourism as they really do look out for the safety of the tourists.
I went to Maeklong to see the Floating market and I expected something different after driving all the way from Bangkok. It was so disappointing. The train was on the other side. I got to see only the floating marketing since I didnt know where the hell the train was.Moreover, All shops were shut.
Ah no Shilpa! It took us a while to figure out the logistics, hopefully this post helps! https://www.thewholeworldisaplayground.com/how-to-get-bangkok-maeklong-railway-market-amphawa-minivan/
oh my God… so close!! Your post and pic are really amazing and it’s incredible how strange and different the world is!!
This is so awesome! I love quickly things open up for the train and then come back over the tracks. I actually live in Bangkok, and I think this would be a perfect day trip for me in the next couple weeks! So glad I got to read this! 🙂
What an awesome city to live in Casey, love Bangkok! Hope you make it to the markets!
OMG, how fun! I loved the added touch of the video. What cool markets to visit and I especially enjoyed the photo of the man selling shoes sitting on the pile. Great price for the ride, too. BTW, are you on pinterest? some of these photos are definitely pin worthy but I didn’t see a link.
Thanks Melody! Yep we’re on Pinterest, will have to add a link!
Awesome! I’d heard about this market and saw a video of the umbrellas being pulled down but never knew where it was! Can’t wait to check it out when we’re in Thailand! Thanks for linking to your instructions on how to get there by public transport, super useful.
Thanks Christine, hope you get to use them in Thailand 🙂 The market is such a quirky little place!
Sound like a real local experience, Elaine! I’m pretty bummed I have never heard of this market when I was in Thailand, but it reminds me of the floating market I went to. Great photos also!
Thanks Susan, the floating markets were great also!
Just amazing to see.would love to see it
Would love to see that train going through the market
Thanks for sharing your wonderful experience! I’m planning a trip to Siem Reap and Bangkok next year and will definitely visit this interesting market! BTW, is there a fixed schedule for the train to pass? Thanks!
Hope you make it to the market! Check out this post we made with all the details: Tripadvisor is usually a good place to check for an up to date version closer to your travels.