Life along the Track (Part 2) – Bangkok, Thailand Trip #9a

March 7, 2010 at 11:05 am | Posted in itchy fingers | 2 Comments
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Itchyfingers finally reached Maeklong at about 11.10am, after taking two train and one boat rides. The next departing train at 11.30am would be the only chance for us to shoot some photos of the market scene before the last train at 3.30pm, which would be the one we had to take to make it back to Bangkok. So we made our way back to the market to find a good spot immediately after we alight our train…

So exactly what’s so special about this market that made Itchyfingers travel twice to visit?

Look at this picture…


Busy market scene…? Nothing special…?


Look carefully again…did you get it?


See that thing with number in the middle of the picture? Does it remind
you of a milestone?

If you still haven’t get it, let Itchyfingers enlighten you…the unique thing about this Maeklong market is that the stalls are set up right next to, some even on the railway track, which means to say that the train runs directly through the market itself! Pretty bizzare right? So what happens when the train arrives? Are the stall owners gonna scramble and rush to move their merchandise to avoid collision with the train? Well, the stall owners had that all worked out nicely…and safely…


Most of the stalls had some kinda wheels installed on their stalls…


Some of these wheels were even fixed on metal track for ease of moving…


Yes, these stalls were meant to be pushed in away from the track to avoid
the moving train and pushed out again to gain more prominence in order
to attract more customers!

While we were taking photos, some of the stall owners started to fold in their awnings..


Awnings folded in, stalls wheeled in…we knew the time should be near….
we hurried to get a good spot to take photos…

But good spots were hard to get, especially when there were other tourists around and the the space was really very cramp! If you try to stand further out to take photos, the stall owners would ask you to come in…safety first!

And if you think that people would be rushing to avoid being hit by the train, see this video…these people were taking their own sweet time when the train was approaching….

Only bigger stalls would be pushed in, stalls with smaller items like fruits and vegetables were left untouched as they had been strategically placed so that they would not be higher than the train…saving the trouble of moving in and out… :p But a bit unhygienic leh…so dusty…hahah…



Wasn’t it cool? Haha…


Immediately after the train passed by their stalls, stall owners would unfold
the awnings, pushed out the trolleys and life would go on as if nothing
had happened… :p They all know the timings of the train by hard, and it
was not difficult to find big clocks hung in the shops to tell them when to
spring into action!


We headed back to the Maeklong station to double check the next, and also
the last train of the day…


The next train back to Ban Laem would be 3.30pm. As usual, window
would only open half an hour before departure so we had plenty of time to
explore around


All kinds of dried fish stuff…


Squids!


Fresh veggies!


Er…these catfish were still alive..
😮

Besides the usual fruits and fish, we also found these…


Froggies in a skewer…eeee


Fresh froggies…kinda gross…

Then we also saw these sweeties…


Soft-shelled turtles!!!


Couldn’t help it but asked permission to hold one up close to admire…hahah…
tried asking if these were sold for food or for pet, but the old lady couldn’t
understand a word and my body language….certainly hope they were not
meant for the dinner plate…how to eat these when they were so tiny?
:O

We took our time walking, had lunch and ice-cream before proceeding back to the station to wait for our train. By then we were already surrendering to the heat…so hot! One of the things we didn’t like was the timing of the train schedule. They all didn’t seem to connect very well so all the time we would have to wait quite some time. It is possible to proceed from here to another floating market but we didn’t want to rush and risk missing the train. Well, may do that the next round…haha…


Tisu Girl trying to cool off under the fan on the train…now you know why
they have fans on the train…?

We grabbed a good seat so we could shoot the market from the train…This video shows the train moving from the station right into the market…see how close it was to the stalls?


This was shot by Tisu Boy. We dared not stick our head or hand out too much,
but this guy obviously wasn’t too worried…hahah


Another view from Tisu Girl… :p

Then it was the same journey back to Ban Laem station. But this time, when we alight the train, the same guard that told us about the train schedule the first time we were there, told everyone to board the ferry from the other side to go to Mahachai station….we followed and realised this was the jetty the website was referring to, which is the one that charges 5 Bahts and takes you directly to the Ban Laem train station! Now, if only we could find this we wouldn’t need to walk so far to find the station! :O


So, this is the correct jetty!


That path facing the sign of  the Ban Laem station led us here which didn’t
ring a bell when we saw it earlier…


Doggy running around the boat, barking…


Late afternoon glow…the boat took a longer route…


…and it brought us back to the same ferry terminal! Confusing as how
would one know whether the boat is gonna send you to the Ban Laem town or
straight to the station? Or maybe if there is a connecting train coming then
they would send you to the station? Think only the locals would know the
exact timing…


Back at Mahachai station, it was another long wait for the train….


Oooo….Itchyfingers had never looked so tall before…hahah…

By the time we reached Wong Wian Yai station it was already half past six…It was a tiring day but certainly a very interesting one cos we experienced a different side of Bangkok! Definitely worth a visit if you have the time, otherwise you can always try to get a bus back to the city or catch a cab back if budget allows you to! 🙂

Also see related posts:
> Back on the Right Track (Part 1) – Bangkok Trip #8a
Exploring by Train (Part 3) – Bangkok Trip #7a
Exploring by Train (Part 2) – Bangkok Trip #6a
Exploring by Train (Part 1) – Bangkok Trip #5a
Paper Art – Bangkok, Thailand Trip #4a
Pirate in the Land of Smiles – Bangkok, Thailand Trip #3a
Children of Heaven – Bangkok, Thailand Trip #2a
Have a Break…Take a Nap – Bangkok, Thailand Trip #1a

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2 Comments »

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  1. I really enjoy your posts and this one particular was very nice with all the pictures and movies. Thailand markets really are interesting even if they are not set up right next to the railway ::)

    • Thank you! We also visited other markets in other countries, but couldn’t find enough time to write about them all! :p Do drop by often!


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