Railway Market: Urban Train Track Doubles as Shopping Alley in Thailand

Southwest of Bangkok, the Maeklong Railway Market is one of the most popular places to shop for seafood in Thailand. But buyer beware: oncoming trains may spoil your trip if you fail to step out of the way.

The market gets its nickname Talat Rom Hup (“Umbrella Pulldown Market”) from the trains that pass through multiple times a day.


Like clockwork, sellers pull back their wares and raise their awnings to make way for locomotives. Vendors and visitors alike cut it close when the time comes, often sitting or standing just off to one side. Some wares are left in baskets that the raised sides of the train just barely pass above.

As a train approaches, a bell sound is transmitted over a speaker system as an initial warning signal. For any who miss that alarm, the train’s foghorn follows as it rounds the bend.


Best known for its seafood, the market also sells an array of other wares, including fruits, vegetables, meats, snacks, clothes and flowers.

The market is located close to the Maeklong Railway Station, which is the last stop along the Maeklong Railway Line. TielandtoThailand has more images as well as tips for photographers interested in shooting this unique urban sight.

  1. Pedro LM

    This is bonkers!

    I’m sure there MUST be a reason for setting the market there instead of on adjacent streets… but I can’t figure out what it is.

    1. miss pooslie

      the other streets may also be full but these get the attention for the novelty factor.
      the rents may be cheaper and if you can use the space for 90% of the day, why not?

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