Continued from Thailand – Laos: Day 6 – Part 1 – Goodbye Hua Hin and Trip to Maeklong Railway Market. For pre-travel, please refer here.
Who doesn’t know Maeklong Market? It is the most dangerous market in the world and still holds the same rank.
It is famous not because of selling guns, venomous snakes, human slaves and others as we see in Indiana Jones movies. How dangerous is that said to be? Follow the story of our travelogue …
This market can actually be accessed from two directions, namely by taking a train from Thon Buri (Bangkok) with a journey of 2 hours or from the south, which is the route we took and stopped at Pak Tho train station (in the previous entry).
After the bus driver dropped us off at a corner of a shop lot less than 150 meters from the market, we set off carrying our backpacks.
The time is about 10.28 am. Seen a lot of people here too because the area we got off earlier just now is located in the same area where minibusses gather as well as tuktuks and other public taxis parked there.
Rows of tuktuks waiting for passengers. And of course, they know this place is a tourist attraction. In addition to the Maeklong market, in the same district, there is also the Amphawa Floating Market. But we didn’t have time to stop. The reason is that there are many types of ridiculous scams there.
This is our situation. During our journey, the farthest walking distance that we walked with a backpack was only 500 meters away. Heavy but it’s very mobile-friendly.
The location to enter the Maeklong market, you can see at the end there is a barrier when the train passes. So, when you get there, turn to the right. If you turn left, you will enter towards Maeklong train station which got nothing attractive inside there.
Rows of non-halal food stalls here.
This is the view of Maeklong train station that I mentioned earlier. There is nothing here unless you feel interested in taking a look inside. Oh yes, one of our mistakes was not taking pictures on the white signboard that said “Maeklong Station”. The sign is like a stamp on a passport as a sign or proof that we have come here. Probably because we can’t wait to enter the market and inquire the market traders for the latest train route schedule.
The direction we entered. GPS: 13.407394, 99.998882
The situation in the market at the front near the main road earlier just now. Many shops sell non-food items here. And here it is ….. which is the railway line that crosses into the middle of Maeklong market. That is why it is called the most dangerous market in the world.
We went inside …
There is really nothing interesting here if you want to stay in this area. Most travelers come and visit in just a day. So just like us, we had to carry our backpacks to travel through the busy market where the middle path is so narrow. Just look at my backpack that is sometimes almost hit by the poles used for canvas roof pegs and wooden shelves used to display merchandise. Why carry a backpack inside? Because after this we want to continue the journey to Nakhon Pathom to see the largest stupa in the world and then take the train to Kanchanaburi.
We were a bit reluctant to go deeper, let alone with a large backpack. So, we stopped about 100 meters from the main road earlier and placed our backpacks at the edges of the shophouse here.
Dirty? Disgusting? For a tough adventure like this, just don’t care. Importantly there are clean spaces where the backpack can be placed. I’m not saying that you need to lick water on the floor, hahaha! This is the area of the shophouses located to the left and right of the market.
To visit up into the deeper market area is not necessary for us unless we are not carrying a large backpack and want to see the various items for sale in there. The market is the same as other markets in Thailand.
Initially, this was the spot we chose if the train came through it. But as the schedule approached, tourists began to gather and the spot began to be filled with them.
If possible, avoid coming here by taking the train from Thon Buri (Bangkok) because, in the end, you are the passenger when the train passes through the market. So, you can’t see or take pictures with the train from the side of the market and see the behavior of traders who flock to close their tents when the train passes by.
My suggestion, come early in the morning by minibus if from Bangkok. See the train as it passes through the central area of this market. Then return to Bangkok by taking the train at Maeklong station between 2.00 pm – 3.00 pm or take the minibus again.
CORRECTION: The train is indeed from the direction of Thon Buri (Bangkok), but needs to be connected as soon as it arrives at Mahachai station. From Mahachai take the second train at Ban Laem station. Mahachai and Ban Laem stations are separated by a river. I’m not sure how to cross, there may be a boat provided.
The train schedule that passes through the Maeklong market can be found here:
Meanwhile, I let Aqif play here just to let him pose on the iron rail of the world’s foremost dangerous market.
Here, hanging around on the runway is already seen as common. It’s kind of normal for everyone. I remember during the carpacker project for the east coast trip in Peninsular Malaysia in 2015 when we took pictures on the railway tracks in Tumpat, Kelantan. It was a bit chaotic to take pictures because I was worried that the train would appear suddenly.
What meme did you make Aqif ?? This area is quite large and long inside. Enough so far for us to wait for the train to arrive. After all, what else can we buy? Don’t expect to find halal food here, let alone Islamic restaurants/stalls.
It is a bit narrow and not suitable for those who carry a large backpack. The canvas roof of the booth is seen extending forward and covering the path of customers from being exposed to the scorching weather.
For those of you who carry a small backpack (daypack), you can walk inside.
Around the Maeklong area, there are no halal restaurants at all. So, for your pleasure please buy fruits here to quench your hunger.
I forgot the name of this fruit.
Smoked meats are sold here.
We photographed the memories of the family as proof of ever coming here.
They have blocked the spot that we have ‘booked’ earlier. Hahahaha!
At this time, the canvas of the tent has not been taken down yet, including the sale items that have not been moved inside.
Ok, part of the canvas has been taken down. Here, the traders are very much seen as a champion. Even at the last minute, the canvas can still be lowered. Understand that they have done the same job thousands of times, twice a day.
That’s the train coming towards us! The train tracks have been cleared … Get ready, everyone. Do you notice the space between the runway and the space for people to stand? I’ll tell you later about the safety factor.
This is a picture from the corner towards Maeklong train station. The roof at that end is its station.
This time, from afar, the train sounded loud. The atmosphere was a bit chaotic and anxious for a while. Mixed between feelings of worry, fear, excitement and so on.
It has arrived …. but don’t worry, its speed is very slow and slower than a cyclist’s.
We didn’t have time to take a selfie behind the train because of the chaotic moments. With people pushing here and there. All trembled in fear of being pushed into the middle of the runway.
This is the only selfie I managed to snap.
Then all of a sudden I got inspired as soon as the train passed us. I immediately jumped into the middle of the runway and took a picture.
THIS IS THE TECHNIQUE: The shape of the train head either at the front or back is almost the same. If you want to take a picture behind the head of the train, it’s surely dangerous, right? So immediately jump into the middle of the track and take a picture behind the back of the train as soon as it passes.
Let’s watch the video while we’re there.
A few tips: You need to get schedule information before coming here. Because the train only passes twice a day. The best is in the morning between 10.00 am – 11.00 am because the train is coming from the direction of Bangkok. If coming from the direction of Maeklong station, the feeling is a bit different and less than the train which arrived from Bangkok.
Recommended Safety Factors:
For those who travel as a family like us (2 adults and 1 child), make sure one person takes care of the kid and do not bring them to the side of the track, which is the part where many people will rush and even push each other because of chaos, panic and worry when the train passes by. DID YOU KNOW? THE DISTANCE OF OUR BODY AND THE TRAIN IS LESS THAN 2 FEET??? (sorry for using capital letters because it is so important). Imagine if our kid was dragged along to scramble on the side of the runway?
We were lucky because on the side there was a shophouse that is 3 meters away from the middle of the runway. But unfortunately, the spot we had chosen an hour earlier had started to be filled with tourists. At first, Tatie was also on the side of the track when the train started to arrive. Due to security factors, it was Tatie who had to take care of Aqif and sit by the shophouse as I takes a turn to photographed the moments. After all, at that time, Aqif was with her.
The train schedule maybe 20-30 minutes late, so just be prepared. The weather was hot inside the market. We can’t wait for the train to pass so we can get out of there quickly. Anyway, it was an interesting experience because the Maeklong market until now still holds the ranking of THE MOST DANGEROUS MARKET IN THE WORLD !!
Will we repeat coming here again? Yes, maybe in the future because we want to visit the famous Amphawa Floating Market around here which we did not have time to visit.
Let’s go to Nakhon Pathom to see the largest Stupa in the world!