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 which will help you in taking better pictures.
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 Crowd
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 of the 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.
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!
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
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.
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!
PS. I was invited to visit Thailand by the Tourism Authority of Thailand, New Delhi. This was my 10th trip to Thailand.
26 thoughts on “Simple and Effective Photography Tips for Maeklong Railway Market”
Really awesome tips. I never new there is a market like this in Bangkok. Thanks for sharing
This is close to Bangkok, about 80 KM away, closer to Amphawa in Samut Songkhram!
Mridula, I had read about this market.
You have captured nice shots ?
Thanks for sharing the tips ☺
Thank you Sachin! 😀
This never gets old. It’s amazing how these people make everything work. I’d like to see this market and watch a train go through there. 🙂
It is indeed fun, the second time around too!
Amazing , Thanks a lot for sharing 🙂
Loved the video .
Thank you Rupam!
interesting post sharing
Thank you Pushpendra!
Looks like a very cool place. Hi again Mridula 🙂
Hi Kalpana, the place is for sure a lot of fun!
lovely photos as always…i keep telling you again and again..i am a huge fan of your clicks…they speak a thousand words….thanks for this useful post Mridula
Thank you so much!
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? 🙂
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 😀
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 !!
Thank you Yogi, also going for the second time was fun!
A lovely place for interesting frames.
Thank you Niranjan!
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.
Thank you so much Sindhu!
I have heard lot about this place and your clicks are amazing mam especially your dress which match with train color, love it 🙂
informative to first time visitors.
Thank you Mayuri the dress was a coincidence 😀
Useful tips Mridula
Thank you Shrinidhi!