Maeklong Railway Market is a unique market located directly on the railway just down the track from the train station of Maeklong, small town in Samut Songkhram province, about 70 kilometers south of Bangkok.
In Thailand the market is well-known as Talad Rom Hub (ตลาดร่มหุบ). The name of the market in Thai language literally means “Market of Closing Umbrellas”. “Talad” literally means “Market”, “Rom” means “Umbrella” and “Hub” means "to Close or Pull Down".
You will be amazed to see how the vendors pull their umbrellas and move some of their goods further back off the train tracks when the train approaches. It is an experience not to be missed when you are in Bangkok.
What to expect at Maeklong Railway Market (Talad Rom Hub)
The train passes through the market every day, 8 times a day. Maeklong Railway Market Train schedule 2018 is as follows:
- Train arrivals: 8.30, 11.10, 14.30, 17.40 (last train)
- Train departures: 6.20, 9.00, 11.30, 15.30
It is recommended to come to the Maeklong Railway Market 10-15 minutes before the arrival and departure time. When the train is passing the section of “Talad Rom Hub”, there is a loud siren. The vendors simply close the umbrellas just in time for the train and open up them right away after the train passes. It’s not as chaotic as we expected.
The train moves very slowly when passing through the market. You will see some of the fruits and vegetables are even left on the edges of the track and the train just goes above them. The whole process takes less than 10 minutes so it’s quite a short time for taking photos of the passing train and the action happening around the market.
When the train stops at the Maeklong Railway Station, you are allowed to get on the train for taking some photos if you wish to.
As Maeklong Railway Market has become a truly popular tourist attraction in Thailand, don’t expect to be one of a few tourists here. As we were on the train passing though the market, we were overwhelmed by the crowd standing on both sides of the railway track.
The crowd of tourists was getting bigger around train arrival and departure times. Many people with cameras stand on both sides of the railway track waiting to see the train and capture photos of the train passing by. The train passes very close. It is quite dangerous as some people stay on the track until the last second for taking their perfect photos.
We would suggest finding a good position for photos before the train arrives/departs because when the train comes, all the tourists gather at the same place and block each other trying to get photos of the passing train. Get into the crowd like this and you will easily miss a good shot.
Maeklong Railway Market itself is just a traditional market like everywhere in Thailand. Until the train passes it, of course.
Within the Maeklong Railway Market, there are more than 300 shops along the 500-meter long railway line. Here you can see a wide variety of meat, seafood, vegetables, Thai desserts, Thai fruits and even some clothes being sold at a good price.
Most of the customers who come to Maeklong Railway Market for shopping are locals as they just come here to satisfy their daily groceries need. That makes Maeklong Railway Market a great place to visit if you're looking for an authentic local shopping experience that can’t be found in other popular markets.
Pla Tuu (Mackerel Fish)
"Pla Tuu Mae Klong" from Samut Songkhram Province is the best known trademark for mackerel fish in Thailand. It is recognized as the best and the most delicious mackerel fish in all the country. Pla Tuu commonly is sold in round bamboo containers with their faces pointing down and necks broken. The neck of the fish is broken due to need to fit it in the size and shape of bamboo containers.
If you will be visiting Maeklong Railway Market or Amphawa Floating Market, don’t be surprised that you will see a lot of vendors selling fresh mackerel and various food products made from mackerel. They even organize the festival called "Pla Tuu Mae Klong" every December in front of Samut Songkhram Town Hall.
If you think that coming here just for seeing the train is not worth it, you can visit a nearby floating market as well. Visiting Maeklong Railway Market and Amphawa Floating Market on the same day is a perfect day trip from Bangkok.
You can visit these two famous markets on a tour that can be booked online (Maeklong Railway Market and Amphawa Floating Market tour) or do it by yourself with the help of our trip itinerary: One Day Trip: Maeklong Railway Market (Talad Rom Hub) and Amphawa Floating Market.
How to get there
1. Van, Bus
As there’s no longer van station at Victory Monument, you can take a bus or van to Maeklong Railway Station from Bangkok Southern (Sai Tai Mai) Bus Terminal. It costs about 100 baht per person and the duration of the trip is about 1 hour and 30 mins. Minivans to Samut Songkhram also leave from Mochit Van Terminal.
2. Private or Shared Tour
Going to Maeklong Railway Market on a tour is the easiest way to get there. There are many tour agencies offering half day tours that include the visit to the market. If you want to make it easy, book Maeklong Railway Market and Amphawa Floating Market tour online.
The trip to Maeklong Railway Market by train consists of 3 main steps:
- Taking the train from Wongwien Yai Railway Station (not Hua Lamphong Railway Station) to Maha Chai Railway Station (10 baht, 1 hr).
- Taking the ferry crossing between Maha Chai Pier and Tha Chalom Pier (3 baht, few minutes).
- Taking the train from Ban Laem Railway Station to Mae Klong Railway Station (final destination) (10 baht, 1 hr).
Detailed information about this kind of travel can be found here: How to Get to Maeklong Railway Market (Talad Rom Hub) by Train.
4. Private car
From Bangkok, take Highway No. 35 Rama 2 Road (Thon Buri - Pak Tho Road) to Km 63. Take the left turn and drive to Samut Songkhram town. Go straight to Somdej Phra Phutthaloetla Hospital intersection, turn right and drive straight across the railway to Mae Klong Railway Market.