Traders and tourists are seen at Maeklong Railway Market in the province of Samut Songkram about two hours from Bangkok. — Bernama picSAMUT SONGKRAM, Dec 27 — Hundreds of local and foreign tourists will flock to the Maeklong Railway Market daily to take a closer look at one of Thailand’s top tourist attractions.
Armed with their cameras or smartphones, tourists will manoeuvre around buckets of fish or makeshift tables with an array of meat and vegetables to capture the perfect shot of the attraction that can only be found here in Thailand.
As early as 6.20am (7.20am in Malaysia), the first train will pass right smack in the middle of the busy market and this will be repeated seven times in a day and each time the train passes it never fails to draw gasps of wonderment from tourists or first-time visitors to the market.
According to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), the Maeklong Railway Market, about two hours from Bangkok, is set on a 1,000-metre-long railway track between Wongwian Yai in Bangkok and Samut Songkram province.
Almost everything that a consumer needs is available at the market, better known as ‘Talad Hoop Rom’ among locals or ‘Talad Siang Tai’ which means “Life-Risking Talad’. Talad means market in Thai.
The market is indeed very unique and a major safety risk because each time a train crosses the market, traders are forced to move their goods and canvas tents to avoid being hit by the train.
As the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) train traverses the market, traders must be quick to act because a delay of a few seconds or a difference of a few inches may result in a mishap.
To ensure that their tents and merchandise are not hit by the train, the traders have installed wheels to the base of the tent poles and tables to enable them to be moved fast as the train approaches.
Apart from the traders, shoppers too must be on the alert at all times to avoid being hit by a train while haggling over the prices of fish, chicken or vegetables at the Maeklong Railway Market.