Maeklong Railway | Thailand | A Most Unusual Market

| November 18, 2014 | 0 Comments

A few hours drive outside of Bangkok in Thailand, there is a market that can only be described as unique.. very, very unique. When I first came here, it was a hive of activity and noise on what appeared to be old train tracks, with stalls and buildings tightly packed to each side. After about an hour had passed, some of the vendors started to whistle and bark out instructions to their neighbours. Clearly something important was about to happen. A few minutes afterwards, almost as if on cue, a horn sounded in the distance.

I had heard about this Maeklong Railway market from some locals in BKK, the market that shared real estate with actual running trains. I didn’t quite believe it then. But this was actually happening. In a matter of mere seconds everyone retracted their tents. The woman behind me beckoned to come insider her stall with a reassuring “if you stay you die”. She was all smiles about it though. And then the train came through. Not very fast, but still rolling along at a good 30 to 40 kph, horns now constantly blaring.

This shot was taken as the train just passed us, and vendors can be seen already rolling out their stall roofs just as fast they retracted them. A lot of the wares are left on the ground for the train to pass over. I later found out that this market existed long before the creation of the railway, but due to lack of domain laws forcing the vendors to move, this strange coexistence still persists. A strangely wonderful coexistence. I’ve been to my share of markets around the world, and there was no question what would now occupy the top spot on my list.

Train passing through the Maeklong railway market

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Category: Asia, See

Len Theivendra

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Len Theivendra has traveled extensively all across the world having visited 73 countries in 6 continents. And it is through travel where Len gets to indulge in his other passion for photography. Len currently lives in Toronto and works in the hi-tech software industry as a senior engineer at IBM. You can read more about Len here and see more of his photography and travel shots by following him on Instagram, Facebook and Flickr