There are some great things to see and do outside of the metropolitan area, you don’t need to travel too far to see the Railway Market and Floating Markets of Bangkok – rich in tasty delights to tantalise your senses.
The minivan is the fastest option, however buses do operate from Mo Chit Northern Bus Terminal as well. The minivan service usually needs to wait for full capacity before the driver will leave – so there is usually no set time for departure. However, we were assured that the minivan would leave no later than 12:30PM, so that was at least some indication to our schedule.
Victory Monument > Maeklong (AC, minivan)
1hr 30mins – 2hrs
Amphawa Floating Market > Victory Monument (AC, minivan)
1hr 30mins – 2hrs
By latest reports, as at 10 August 2015, the train to Maeklong running through the markets is not in operation due to rail works. I have been advised that train services will resume from November, 2015. Please make sure you have up-to-date information on that, locals will be able to help you out.
The journey is fairly comfortable on mainly flat, straight road. You will be dropped off 100m from the Railway Markets. The shop fronts are still set on rollers, used for moving produce out of the way of the train. Its quite an ingenious system and you will see that the tarpaulins are set on moveable poles that can be retracted rapidly.
We were caught out by the rain, so we didn’t stay long – also we were disappointed that the train wasn’t running anymore. So we headed straight over to Amphawa Floating Markets.
The boardwalk shops are always open, but the floating foodstalls are only open from 4:30PM.
From Maeklong, the floating markets are just a short ride away. You’ll see trucks with the back open, two benches are positioned inside facing each other, this is called a songthaew (pronounced: song – teh – ooh)
Maeklong Railway Market > Amphawa Floating Market (open air, songthaew)
You’ll take the minivan from here to go back to Bangkok.
Grab some seafood from any of the floating foodstalls. They’ll grill and serve the food directly from the boat. You can find yourself a spot to eat on the steps along the river, or enjoy your meal from one of the many restaurants up on the boardwalk.
After you’ve had a bite to eat, take a stroll along the boardwalk. There are bridges to cross to the other side every 100 metres or so, so don’t worry about having to back track the way you came. There are some temples just outside the market area, about a five minute walk. You might walk through just in time to hear the monks ring the bell – they’ll ring it fifty times once every few seconds, then forty, then thirty, then twenty, then ten.
There’s a river tour operated on one of the long tail boats. A tour costs 50 Baht and will take you on a circuit around the river for around an hour. A private boat will cost 500 Baht.