If you try to tell people that you’ve been to the Maeklong Railway Market, chances are that they wouldn’t know where is it.
But mention about a train travelling through this market with the stall holders opening and closing their umbrellas as the train passes through and suddenly everyone seems to know what you’re talking about.
The tracks along the Maeklong Railway Market has been rehabilitated early this year, and now feature the typical BS100 rails and concrete sleepers as found in the other parts of the SRT mainline.
Some stall trolleys seem to have a track of their own too for easy pushing in and out of the path of the train.
The ballast has been tiled along the market area for easy walking with the fresh tamped ballast settled in since the rehabilitation.
With the rehabilitated tracks, the fishy smell and flies that once plagued the area seems to have disappeared too.
A different type of tiles are used on the embankment, but I’m not sure if it’s actually related to the banking or not.
If you compare the above pictures to one taken 2 years ago, you can see the improvements in the trackbed…
… but the market still remains as busy as ever.
Samut Songkhram province is famous for fresh produce…
… especially seafood, in particular, mackerels. There’s actually meat to chew on in these mackerels, not like the one you find served with Nasi Lemak in Singapore or Malaysia.
The friendly local mackerel inspector will agree on that.
The market is a sight to behold, but is best experience when you’re there since it gets crammed at times either by the low-hanging umbrellas or the sheer number of tourists walking. My camera might not do the atmosphere justice.
Once the departure time nears, the stall holders fold up their stalls for a few minutes like clockwork.
If you are a regular reader of my blog, you should know that the train is actually wider than the width of the meter-gauge track, but apparently many people didn’t know till they actually saw the train.
Up close and personal with NKF1216. This is one of two NKFs on the Maeklong Line that has the new red and green livery painted on, the other being NKF1221.
The driver waving at us tourists while he passes at less than 5 km/h.
As the train passes, the tourists spill back onto the tracks.
The stall holders close back the market as though nothing had happened before, and business goes on as usual.
I took my photos at Punjung. If you wish to grab a drink before taking photos of the passing train, and get a good spot to stand at, this is the coffee and tea joint you should head to. There’s fresh coconuts here for 20 baht too.
Do take note of the train timetable to Maeklong as there are only 4 pairs of trains daily, out of which only 2 pairs offer a possible connection to travel to and from Bangkok.
The timetable can be found in the Maeklong Railway page.