DAY TRIP – BANGKOK TO MAEKLONG RAILWAY MARKET- THAILAND
The Maeklong railway is well-known throughout the world as it passes through a local Thai market at a gentle speed of 30 km/hour. Shopkeepers along the Maeklong Railway must get prepared each time before the train rungs through and it is a sight to see them push back their tiny stalls from the track before the oncoming train arrives.
If you don’t mind walking and enjoy doing so, then it is real simple to follow these instructions. If not, skip over and take a taxi directly from Mo Chit BTS Skytrain ((or your hotel) to the Southern Bus Terminal. You will then need to inquire with a few local people regarding the exact van needed to get to Maeklong station. The last time I was at the bus terminal, the bus I needed to catch was in Terminal 3, but I have a feeling that it varies.
Alternatively, if you like to stay on budget and prefer public transport, then hop on the BTS Skytrain to Mo Chit station (also the same station to go to Chatuchak market). I actually walked 20 minutes to the Southern Bus Terminal from Mo Chit station because I like to get exercise during my travels. Once you are about to arrive to the Southern Bus Terminal, it will be on your left-hand side. You will need to walk straight through the terminal in the markets located behind the main building. After making a left turn, you will find the somewhat hidden van parking of the terminal, but ask around if you get lost and eventually you will find it. I have to admit it was not blatantly obvious where to find the van terminals.
Once you are in the right section, you will see rows and rows of vans waiting to be fully filled with passengers (no joke) prior to departure. Finding the correct parking area and van was annoying and so was waiting for a full ride, so you must be patient throughout the day. We paid 90 bhat each way which isn’t bad when you consider the cost of a taxi ride.
ARRIVAL AND EXPLORATION
The ride was a few hours and drivers tend to make stops along the way for gas (normal) and street food (not so normal). Once you’ve arrived at your final destination, congrats, you made it! Now, you only need to walk about 5 mins straight from the dropping point and then one right turn to find the world famous Maeklong station.
The trains tend to run once in an hour usually, but this might change depending on season. I had to catch the train pass through minimum two times after such a tedious journey to reach there. Once I saw the train parked from the station re-entering the market after collecting local passengers. The second time I saw the train from inside the market itself which is perfectly safe as it move a lot slower than anticipated. As you’re waiting for the train arrival, you can snack on local market foods or have yourself a milk tea or mini coconut because it will steaming hot in that location. You might need to “reserve” a spot because the tourists will be swarming the train tracks to get a good photo.
Overall, if you minus the hassle of finding the departure terminal to Maeklong station, it was a great experience to be in such a renown location. When you’ve captured the moment and maybe a selfie, if you can squeeze in between the many tourists, it will be simple to head back to the van stop. Try to catch a ride with the same “company” because otherwise, you will get harassed with ticket sellers. Now, that you’ve conquered this route successfully, you will have no problem finding Mo Chit BTS skytrain once back in Bangkok.