Maeklong Market

Most folks just drive through Samut Songkhram on their way to somewhere else. If you’re on your way south to Hua Hin or beyond or are going to Don Hoi Lot, you just stay on the freeway and don’t even see the town. If you’re going to the Domnoen Saduak, Amphawa, or Bang Noi floating markets, you drive through town but usually don’t consider stopping. Maeklong Train Station, Samut Songkhram, ThailandThere’s been a good reason to stop for many years but most folks don’t know about it. The Maeklong Market (ตลาดแม่กลอง), or Maeklong Railway Market is unique in that a train goes through the middle of the market, scattering vendors and shoppers alike, a few times each day.

Tracks and  tarps at Maeklong Market, Samut Songkhram, ThailandHere one can see the tracks going right down the middle of the market, with shoppers between the tracks and produce up, and even on, the rails.

The market is also called the ตลาดร่มหุบ or Umbrella Pulldown Market as the awnings also must be moved aside to allow the trains to pass through.

The Maeklong Market

Though the railway line was completed well over one hundred years ago, it is said that the market existed at its present site prior to the railroad and the vendors simply refused to give up their space, in spite of the danger. While the train is quite slow as it traverses the market entering and exiting the station, there are still occasional injuries and even deaths as even a slow train is difficult to stop. Even without the train, the Maeklong Market is a good market to visit. It’s not crowded, both vendors and shoppers are very friendly and there is a large variety of things to purchase, both for preparing at home or eating there. If you’re coming from Bangkok, Samut Songkhram and the Maeklong Market are just  short of the half way point to Hua Hin. This is a good point to take a break before continuing on your way to Hua Hin or stopping in Don Hoi Lot for lunch.

Fruit vendor at Maeklong Market, Samut Songkhram, Thailand Gac and quava for sale along track at Maeklong Railway Market, Samut Songkhram, Thailand
A vendor sells Gac fruit (ฟักข้าว). Gac fruit for sale along with guava and pumpkin.
driedshrimp Shrimp paste (kapi) for sale at the Maeklong Railway Market, Samut Songkhram, Thailand
Samut Songkhram is known for fresh seafood but this lady sells dried shrimp and squid which are also quite popular. Taking a break from the heady business of selling shrimp paste or กะปิ.
Young coconut, banana leaves, limes, and Thai cherries for sale at the Maeklong Railway Market, Samut Songkhram, Thailand Vegetables offered on both sides of the railroad track, Samut Songkhram, Thailand.
 A lady bagging up Thai “cherries”.  Veggies up against the rails.
Fruit displayed on rollers at Maeklong Railway Market, Samut Songkhram, Thailand Lots of veggies at Maeklong Railway Market, Samut Songkram, Thailand
The shelf these bananas and mangoes are on has rollers which makes it simple to move below the watermelon before the train arrives. This vendor specializes in greens of various shades.

goldshopA typical gold shop on a street near the railway market.

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