Arguably the most dangerous marketplace in the world, Thailand’s most famous railway Mae Klong is a bizarre open-air market where trains pass through 8 times a day.
The market itself is located right on the train track which mean that every time trains arrive/depart from this station, market vendors need to clear a path for the train by pulling back umbrellas and their products off the track.
It might sound dangerous but personally I think it’s quite interesting culturally. I myself have been to the market many times, mostly accompanying friends to see the market (for me it’s solely for shopping purposes ;P)
From Bangkok, you can take the mini van from Victory monument. Look for Century the movie plaza and right next to it you will see the bus terminal. Bus leaves every hour or so. If you want to see the train departing from the station, you need to be on time.
Trains coming from Mae Klong station:
6.20 / 9.00 / 11.30 / 15.30
Trains toward Mae Klong station:
8.30 / 11.10 / 14.30 / 17.40
I’ve arrived just in time to see the train at 9.00.
Vendors start clearing out 10 mins before the train arrives. You might wonder if these fruits and vegetables will be crushed as the train pass by. Nope, they are all safe! It seems that the distance is carefully calculated.
Now you might wonder whether it’s safe or not. Has somebody been electrified?
Let me explain to you that in Thailand, intercity trains are mostly operated by diesel engines (unlike the BTS or MRT in Bangkok metropolitan area). So it’s completely safe to walk on the empty track.
As the train approaching…
This video clip was posted 5 years ago. Well, you get the idea.
Of course, the train moves very slowly as it’s passing through this market. Slow enough for the vendor to be able to pass something from to passengers on board the train. After that, the speed slowly increases as the train goes past the residential area to the suburbs.
After that, the market is resuming normal operation.
Maeklong is very famous for fruits and seafood as it’s located close to the river delta. It’s also a mail producing area for palm sugar which you can buy pretty cheap here (30-40 baht per 1 kg).
Let’s take a look at some!
< Seafood >
And we can’t miss the most famous product, Pla Tuu (steamed mackerels).
I ended up buying so much stuff I had a hard time to carry them back to Bangkok.
I hope you enjoy this post. Next I will write about Amphawa floating market. Stay tuned!