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Maeklong Railway Market; Everything You Need to Know!

UPDATE SEPTEMBER 2021. The Maeklong Railway Market. I know the one you mean, don’t worry. The one you’ve seen on Instagram. You know, where the market vendors have to quickly draw up their stalls so the train can come through, right?! Yup. Pretty cool! I’ve lived in Bangkok for 7 years, on and off, and from my Bangkok Staycation to trips to Kanchanaburi, I had never made it there, until now. You could easily add this to your Bangkok itinerary when you visit. 

Multiple times per day, the vendors have to quickly pull back their shutters and their goods. They let the train pass, then instantly return their stall to full working order. It’s a big tourist attraction now, but it’s understandable why it’s pretty cool. Also, the market itself is great, so if the early start was a bit too much, grab a coffee and some fresh Thai food for a dollar or two before moving on.

TOO-LONG DIDN’T READ? If you just wanna know how to get from Bangkok to Maeklong Railway market for cheap, as a tourist, save your time and money and book with these guys ($30 or so).

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Where is the Maeklong Railway Market?

The Maeklong train market is about a 2-hour drive west of Bangkok City Centre. Check out the google map i did below. It’s 78km (about 50 miles) from Terminal 21 Shopping Mall right in the heart of Bangkok. 


First stop, KHAO NGU:

After nearly getting killed by the train (!), we were off to a little-known escape from Bangkok called Khao Ngu. If you speak any time, you’ll know that means ‘Snake Park’, eeeek. But don’t worry, chances of seeing any snakes are very slim. Bangkok is my favourite big city in the world, but to have this gorgeous, Thai-style park just over an hour away was an awesome surprise. It’s quite small, but as you can see from the pics below, it’s really beautiful. Worth an hour or 2 of anyone’s time. They have some small street vendors selling food etc, and you can take boats on the water too if you have the time. This was a great surprise, to be honest. I had never even heard of it. Shame on me!

Maeklong Railway Market
Maeklong Railway Market tour

Next stop, COCONUT FARM:

It was now around 10.30am or so, and we were off to a Coconut Farm. Here we’d learn all the ways coconuts are used in local economies, from coconut milk, to skin products, to coconut sugar. It’s really interesting, and for people quite new to Thailand, you get to visit a traditional house on stilts.

One thing I would say though, speak with Tommy (or your guide) and ask to go to a farm with no animals kept in a cage, there were 2 monkeys in cages here which I think is awful :'(

Coconut farm bangkok
Getting to work at the Coconut Farm

3rd stop, MONKEY STREET:

Woooooowzer! On the way back from either Khao Ngu or the Coconut Farm, your guide will stop to see ‘a few monkeys’. Now I live in Thailand, so I was expecting some tourist rubbish with a couple of monkeys chasing us. NOPE.

We drove down a random street into a jungle-esque setting, and we were surrounded by Monkeys, hundreds and hundreds of the things, everywhere.  You have a chance to buy some bananas for the little guys, just be ready to be engulfed by the monkeys within 1 minute of arriving. They’re actually pretty tame, but that doesn’t mean they don’t hop all over you searching for more bananas once you run out!

Maeklong Railway Market
Maeklong Railway Market Tour

4th stop, NOODLE LUNCH:

Finally, it’s lunchtime. Ratchaburi has some famous local noodle stops, and your guide may insist on taking you to ‘real’ foodie spots rather than tourist places. This local noodle eatery had great veggie options (and meat) and the food was included in the price.

Veggie noodle soup!

Finally, POTTERY TOUR:

Finally comes the main draw for the tour. Ratchaburi province is super famous for its pottery traditions, and this was our chance to delve a little deeper into their traditions. The whole tour in the pottery factory can take anything from 1 to 2 hours, including a short video, a walking tour, and then 2 opportunities for arts and crafts (this would be great if you had kids with you, painting, making the pots etc).

Considering I’m possibly the least artistic person Thailand has ever seen, I’ll show you photos of Josh and Jaa hard at work instead! After you finish up, you give the factory your address etc and they send your creation to your home address, or to the rubbish bin in my case.

Final Thoughts on The MaeKlong Railway Market Tour

We left my condo at 7am, and we were back around 4pm (should have been around 2.30/3pm but that Bangkok traffic on a Friday afternoon is a killer). If you’ve experienced Bangkok, and most of the things on offer there, then a tour to Ratchaburi is a great option. Not only do you get to escape the Bangkok chaos, but you get to explore regional cultures, walk around some beautiful parks, eat legit local food and even end up with a home-made ornament for your home. Highlight recommended.

For seeing the Maeklong train market, I’d say the easiest way is to book a day trip from Bangkok, it’s only an hour and a half away, and driving in Bangkok just isn’t fun. If you take a tour to Mae Klong railway market, rather than travel independently, you’ll be back in time to enjoy the crazy Bangkok nightlife that evening. Enjoy!

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