The Thai market where you come face to fender

Wednesday, 13th September, 2017

Vendors at Thailand's Maeklong Railway Market have to move their wares to make way for trains. Photo: Tourism Authority of Thailand.

THAILAND’S Maeklong Railway Market must surely be one of the world’s most-aptly named market places.

Half a dozen times a day, visitors who aren’t in the know get the surprise of their lives to find themselves suddenly face-to-fender on the narrow, crowded, open-air alleyway in which they are shopping, staring into the front of a pulsing diesel-hauled passenger train.

That's the result of a railway line that’s run some 70km from Bangkok since 1904, slicing right through the Maeklong market and its hundreds upon hundreds of stall-holders, who sell everything from meats and seafoods, groceries and fruits and vegetables, herbs and spices, clothing and flowers, to freshly-cooked Thai foodstuffs at dozens of little snack bars and cafés.

So busy is it, in fact, that vendors pile their wares right up to, and in some cases, even into the very rail track on their narrow footways. And then on those half dozen times a day when a little warning bell tinkles over the loudspeaker system, and a few minutes later there’s the blasting of a diesel locomotive’s horn, they quickly, yet calmly, move their goods back from between the rail lines, and drag back their overhanging shade awnings, to clear a path for the approaching train.

When that train’s crawled by with carefully gauged centimetres to spare, they simply put everything back in place on the footway and between the rail lines again, until the next warning bell tinkles and the next train horn sounds, and a path must be cleared once more… six times a day, seven days a week.

Related Articles

Tuesday, 7th November, 2017

Two for the price of one

ON the Go has 2-for-1 deals on selected Egypt, Vietnam and India itineraries for sale until November 13.

This limited… more

Related Article

Tuesday, 26th September, 2017

Book the cook before you fly

PASSENGERS travelling from Perth will soon have more opportunity to tantalise their taste buds with Singapore Airlines' Book the Cook service.

The airline offers the… more

Related Article

Tuesday, 10th October, 2017

Cuba a motoring time-warp

BIZARRE as it sounds, there are people - in fact thousands of people every year - who go to Cuba not for its beauty, culture… more

Related Article

Tuesday, 29th August, 2017

What lurks below in Dubai

A THRILLING new underwater activity in Dubai allows you to descend into the Ambassador Lagoon and walk among its thousands of marine animals.

AquaTrek by… more