Photography Tips for Maeklong Railway Market Near Bangkok

photography-tips-maeklong-railway-market

I have been lucky to visit the Maeklong Railway Market near Bangkok twice, the first time in 2016 and then in 2018. I was not too thrilled with my photos on the first trip. But the second time around I was better prepared. So, this post is about photography tips for Maeklong Railway Market near Bangkok.

If you know about the Railway Market, you can skip this paragraph and go straight to the photography tips below. Maeklong Railway Market is on the either side of the Railway Tracks and the umbrellas cover the tracks! They are taken down to allow the train to pass and put back immediately again. This is the most exciting time to be at the market, when the train passes through it. The train schedule for 2018 is, please double check for the timings and be prepared for delays from the schedule. Train Arrivals are : 8.30 a.m., 11.10 a.m., 2.30 p.m. and 5.40 p.m. Train Departures are: 6.20 a.m., 9.00 a.m., 11.30 a.m. and 3.30 p.m. It is about 80 km from Bangkok. You can also stay at Amphawa and enjoy the nearby areas. Now to the photography tips!

Be Prepared for the Crowds

Maeklong Railway Market is a crowded place. I visited it in the morning for the 8.30 train, on both the trips and it is teeming with people even in the morning. They are everywhere, they will be in your frame as you will be too. So, decide carefully where you wish to place yourself when the train passes.

Be Prepared for the Smell

When the market is on the railway tracks and the umbrellas are up, you might notice the smell of sea food and meat if you are in the middle of the market. I am a vegetarian and not particularly fond of that smell. The first time I was unprepared and it bothered me. The second time around I knew what to expect, so I moved quickly through the middle and the smell did not affect me so much!

Place Yourself at the Either End

maeklong-railway-market

I would recommend standing at the Maeklong Railway Station end or near the crossing so that you have some freedom to move. The 8.30 am train goes to the Railway Station and goes back at 9.00 am through the market again. If I have to do it again I will stand away from the station at 8.30 am and close to the station at 9.00 am.

maeklong-railway-station

If you are near the station before 9.00 am you get to climb up the engine too which in my opinion is a bonus.

When the train starts moving at 9.00 am you can stand on the track as soon as it has crossed your end. Be ready, everyone else has the same idea too. So, for a few seconds you get to to photograph the market standing right on the tracks with the train in full view. You cannot do this from the far end for the departing train as you can get on the track only after it has crossed the market!

maeklong-train-market

For the 8.30 am train the reverse is true, you are better off away from the railway station as you can come on the tracks as soon as the train has crossed your end and moving toward the railway station.

Don’t Get Stuck in the Middle

train-market-thailand

Do whatever but don’t get stuck in the middle. If you get stuck in the middle, there will be a thousand cell phones in your frame, you can make a creative use of that too, but it was not my favorite spot for clicking the market while the train is passing through it.

Video or Photographs


While it is entirely up to you what you wish to create but I found it difficult to do both. On my first trip I was able to do only a video, on my second trip I ended up with photos only! The video above is from the 2016 trip.

Unless you mount your video camera some place chances are you can’t do both. On my first trip I did a video and took out the stills from the video. The second time around I used my DSLR and forgot to take a video.

train-market-near-bangkok

Also I forgot to sit down and alter the perspective while the train was passing through the tracks! If I go there yet again I will sit down to take a few low angle shots!

That is all from me at the moment. If you have a tip to add please do so in the comment section!

photograpy-maeklong-railway-market

PS. I was invited to visit Thailand by the Tourism Authority of Thailand, New Delhi. This was my 10th trip to Thailand.

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26 thoughts on “Photography Tips for Maeklong Railway Market Near Bangkok”

  1. Hello Mridula,
    Photos are wonderful. Thank you for sharing. Just the idea of going to Thailand makes me hungry. Can you suggest/recommend some good eating places around the market? Also what the pic does not capture is the smell of the place. Was it overpowering or pleasant? 🙂

    1. I went early in the morning after breakfast so never explored eating places. But I have seen a few right in the market along the tracks.

      As I said in the post I am a vegetarian and the first time the smell of meat and sea food bothered me. Not so much the second time around 😀

  2. गज़ब !! शानदार और विचित्र !! डिस्कवरी चैनल पर दिखाया था एक – दो बार लेकिन वो शायद कम्बोडिया का था। मजेदार लगता होगा जब ट्रेन आती होगी और ये सब लोग अपने तम्बू उठाते होंगे 🙂 , आपने भी अपनी फोटो बढ़िया एक्शन में खिचाई है !!

  3. Wow!!!!! Amazing place and great shots! In one of the photos, I could see people clicking photos even from inside the train! My favorite one is, your photo.
    Not everyone gets chance to visit such places, not at all twice! So, I’m sure, thousands of people would make most their trip with your tips.

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I am Mridula Dwivedi, I love to travel! I started my travel blog in 2005. I have been going places since! For more details do check out my media kit! In another life I did a Ph.D. from IIT Kanpur. I was a professor when I quit my job in 2015.

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