Maeklong Railway Market

I visited the Maeklong Railway Market, sometimes also called the umbrella pulldown market a while back. It is also known in Thai as the “Siang Tai” (life-risking) Market.

Maeklong Railway Market
Maeklong Railway Market

My research tells me the market was set up in 1905. At some point in time, tracks were laid for the The Mae Klong Railway. The Thai government did not purchase the land beside the tracks so the market kept it’s location with the tracks running through it. This turned out to be very auspicious for the tourism industry, and the market has become a major tourist attraction.

The Mae Klong Railway Market as it looks before the awnings are pulled back to allow the train to pass.
The Mae Klong Railway Market as it looks before the awnings are pulled back to allow the train to pass.

Although billed as a Bangkok attraction the market is about an hour south of Bangkok (I have included a map below).
I drove by private vehicle from my home in central Thailand to visit the market, and we spent the night at the Mae Klong Hotel, which is a stone’s throw from the train market, making it very convenient to just walk over to the market in the morning. It is not a lavish Hotel, but it gets the job done with clean rooms and a comfortable bed, and it’s location is ideal for making images of the market, then going back to relax before more sightseeing.

The Mae Klong Railway Market
A vendor at one of the many little shops set up along the train track at the Mae Klong Railway Market.
The Maeklong Railway Market
Food vendors a short distance from the main market, at the train station, make if very convenient to grab a quick bite and take a rest while photographing the Maeklong Railway Market.
The mandatory group selfie at The Maeklong Railway Train Station.
The mandatory group selfie at The Maeklong Railway Train Station.
Passengers wait at the The Maeklong Railway Train Station.
Maeklong Railway Market
Shops along the track doing business before the train approaches at the Maeklong Railway Market.
The train rolls through the Maeklong Railway Market
The train rolls through the Maeklong Railway Market.
The Maeklong Railway Market
A vendor waits for the train to pass at the The Maeklong Railway Market
Vendors pull up their awnings in preparation for the train to pass
Vendors pull up their awnings in preparation for the train to pass on it’s return trip to Bangkok.
A train passes through the Maeklong Railway Market
A train passes through the Maeklong Railway Market on it’s return trip to Bangkok.
The Maeklong Railway Market
Vendors put their awnings back in place after the train passes in the Maeklong Railway Market.

All said and done I thought the overall experience at the Maeklong Railway Market was a good one. I always have mixed feelings when making images of a popular and much photographed tourist attraction. As Ansel Adams once said – “never stand in the footprints of another photographer”. The flip side of that is if you don’t go you will miss out on the experience. So I always go, and try hard to make images the are different, even, if ever so slightly, different from the thousands of images on the web, trying to add a little personal touch.

The Maeklong railway market train schedule 2018 / 2019 is:

Trains arrive at Maeklong Train Station at the following times:
08:30
11:10
14:30
17:40
Train depart from Maeklong Train Station at:
06:20
09:00
11:30
15:30

Map

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