Thailand’s Famous Train Market

Talat Rom Hup

While travelling all around South East Asia, I’ve seen my fair share of markets, but the Maeklong Train Market is one that takes (the most interesting) cake.

This famous Thai market literally sits on train tracks through Maeklong and is the largest fresh seafood market in Thailand with the train passing through several times a day. The actual name is Talat Rom Hup which means the “umbrella pull down market”.


This traditional market has everything from stalls displaying fruits, veggies, meats, seafood, as well as packaged sweet snacks, clothing, and flowers.

The/My Experience

We hired a private car to drive us around through the Hotel we were staying at. I believe there are cheaper ways to get there, but this way we had the car for the entire day. The drive to Maeklong Market in the Muang Samut Songkhram District was just over an hour drive first thing in the morning (depending on Bangkok traffic). You can even ride the train and see the experience without having to shove people out of your way. A warning bell blown the train personnel announces the arrival of the slow-moving train. From this announcement, vendors pull back their merchandise (well most of it) and take down the awnings that provide shade. Hence the name!

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Side note: look at all the produce still on the ground

The train’s horn is much louder as it makes its way around the corner and pulling into the station. As it passes through, it is literally a snug fit with minimum room on both sides for visitors and vendors to stand and wait for the train to go by. It was a little too close for comfort.

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When the train comes through, vendors pull in their tables and take down their canopies/awnings. Some food and merchandise are even left on the ground while the train passes over top. I questioned the sanity of the product when I saw the train roll by and emitting a mist of only God (and train engineers) know what.

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As it passed, the vendors quite gracefully once again got back to work. In the blink of an eye, everything went back to normal. The awnings were up to provide shade from the intense heat of the sun, while consumers made bargains with vendors, and the tourists took selfies to document the unique experience.

Check out my experience below.

 

Listed below are some tips and warnings that I suggest about the attraction and what to expect while you visit.

Tips

Tip#1: Go early! The earlier you go, the less people you have to fight through.
Tip #2: Walk the Market. If you want the best pictures without having to body check people out of the way, walk along the tracks. The farther you go, fewer tourists you have to fight through.
Tip #3: Very crowded. If you or someone your travelling with has difficulty walking, beware. It is really cramped and has limited space to move around.

Warnings

Warning #1: It can become very crowded so beware and mindful of the product low to the ground. you will get yelled at if you’re not careful.
Warning #2: Even though its a slow moving train, it is still a train! Don’t be stupid in trying to get the perfect shot. The train won’t stop for you or your big head!
So if you’re in the mood for shopping for some fruits, veggies, meats, seafood, as well as sweet snacks, clothing, and flowers, then this is the place for you. This one of a kind experience is easy enough to access from Bangkok and will provide you with fantastic pictures and one hell of a story.

To survive full day excursions in Thailand, read my upcoming post on Surviving South East Asia for information, along with tips and tricks to prepare you for the unexpected.If you want something with a little less walking and without the fear of being smushed, the floating market is close by.

If you’ve been there or are planning to go, let me know in the comments below. I would love to hear about your adventures.

 

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