Maeklong Railway Market

The Maeklong Railway market was the most unique and fascinating markets that we got the pleasure to experience!

While this marketplace is mostly geared towards locals, this is definitely a must see if you visit Bangkok!

This market is so neat to visit because, as the title mentions, it is located literally right on a railroad track! This means that every time a train passes through, every stand pulls their products back and lift their tents so that the train can pass. After the train passes it’s right back to business again! It’s so fun to watch and experience!

Since it’s mainly for locals there are a lot of fresh fruits, vegetables, and seafood being sold! So of course, there’s a lovely smell that goes along with it, but it’s worth seeing!

We stopped at this market on the way back to Bangkok after visiting the Damnoen Floating Market. It is about 45 minutes – 1 hour outside of the city of Bangkok.

The first time we saw the train pass we were actually inside the market! We were walking on the tracks when they made the announcement and we saw all the stands start to bring their products back and lift their overhanging tents up. We stood off the tracks just a few feet and then it came. The train does pass slow but it’s a little unnerving how close you are! Then just like that, the train passes and the tents come right back down and the products are right up next to the tracks again and everyone is walking around shopping like nothing ever happened! It was so fun!

We walked down the tracks a little more to explore the market then started to walk back towards the station where we entered.  We were taking pictures and talking then sure enough the train started up and made its way back through the market! It was so cool to see all the tents go right back down the second the train passes through. My boyfriend got a great video from the station.

We were told it passes through about every 30 mins – 1 hr. We were there for about an hour or a little longer. There’s really not much to see besides the train pass and to see what fun food you can find in the market. Again, the market itself is more for locals so there’s not many fun souvenirs to find but this was by far my favorite market to see. I would recommend this to anyone who visits Bangkok, it’s worth the drive out to see and experience!

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

Oh, the Floating Market, what an experience! 

While in Bangkok, we decided that going to a floating market was a must-see!

 

We took a taxi to the Damnoen Saduak Floating market. We chose to take a taxi because it was about an hour and a half drive out of Bangkok. This market is one of the largest in the Bangkok area, which also means it’s very touristy and will get busy very quickly! The market opens very early in the morning and closes in the afternoon so make sure to get an early start! We left around 7am from our hotel and got to the market around 8:30am.

When we arrived at the floating market we were greeted by one of the owners who went over prices. It was a little more expensive than we anticipated but we already drove this far we decided to still go! For just the Floating Market experience it cost 2,500 baht per person. He also tried to convince us of adding on an animal show of our choice (elephant trekking, monkey show, or an alligator show) which would cost 3,000 baht each. We could also do the full package of the floating market, an animal show, AND visit a temple for 4,000 baht. We opted just to do the market. You can bargain almost anything in Thailand so we convinced him 3,500 baht for the both of us.

I personally do not recommend paying ANY amount of money to support anything that has to do with animals being used for entertainment purposes, ESPECIALLY ELEPHANT TREKKING! Please be a responsible tourist while visiting foreign countries and do not support cruelty!

We boarded our motorized long boat and headed out for our hour and a half adventure! From the jungle terrain landscape, I felt as if I was on the jungle cruise ride at Disneyland! The driver was really nice – they basically just navigate you through the market and pull up to a stand if you would like to look at the products. Through the canals, you will pass many personal homes and small market stands before eventually getting to the actual market. Once you are to the market it reminded us of Bangkok traffic except on water!

Almost everything you can buy in the floating market is all the same that you can buy from the markets in the city. I did feel as if they were a little pushier here. The whole time spent in markets in Thailand this is the only place I felt somewhat hassled. There are tons of beautiful clothing, handmade sculptures and toys, stunning paintings, spices, exotic food, etc. 

This water is NOT clean! We were applying hand sanitizer anytime the water would splash up on to us. It was literally green swampy water littered in garbage. I have a huge fear of snakes so I was a little less than impressed (okay, so I had a full-on panic attack!) when we saw a giant snake swimming in the water next to our boat. My boyfriend can vouch for me that the head was the size of a football!! Thankfully we saw this once we were almost back to the dock!

I’m glad I can check the Floating Market off my bucket list but an hour and a half was a little long for me in my opinion. My boyfriend said that the Floating Market was one of his favorite things that we did in Bangkok and he really enjoyed it! It was truly was a unique experience and a must-do if you make your way to Bangkok!

 

Tips For Tuk Tuks

KNOW WHERE YOU ARE GOING!

I can’t say it enough: KNOW WHERE YOU ARE GOING!

You see tuk tuks on tv shows and movies, but to ride in one is an adventure all in itself!

If you’ve never seen one, tuk tuks are little motorized vehicles that are very common throughout Thailand as a form of transportation. In Bangkok, we were riding in these crazy contraptions multiple times every single day while we were there! They truly are great to get from one place to another within the city. They are quicker than taxis because they literally will cut through traffic, ride the lines between two lanes, drive in oncoming traffic, and the list goes on because I’m pretty sure there are no rules when it comes to tuk tuks besides the fact that it seems like they rule the roads!

ALWAYS KNOW WHERE YOU ARE GOING!

I’ll keep saying it! Unless you want to get scammed, always have an exact location to where you want to be driven to. Even when you have a specific location, they may still try to drive you to other places so be careful of that. The most common scam is they will offer to take you to where you want to go plus another great place! But on the way, we’ll just make a quick stop at the fashion market. DO NOT TAKE THE RIDE! They get paid commission to take you to these “fashion markets” to get custom tailored for suits and dresses and it’s very high pressure! It seems like a great idea because they are offering to take you to multiple locations for a low price but THIS IS A SCAM! We thankfully avoided all these situations but I’ve read stories of people who have made the mistake and got driven to these high pressure stores and they felt forced to buy one because they started to feel scared if they didn’t.

Also, KNOW WHERE YOU ARE GOING if you are looking to find a place to eat or get a massage or ANYTHING! We did make this mistake. We wanted to check out one of these “cheap” massages you always hear about and asked the driver to take us to one. We ended up at a very expensive spa. I do believe they are paid to take you to high end restaurants and spas. They will sometimes try to talk you into going to a “better” place than what you ask for. It sounds great at the time because, hello, they are the ones that live there so they MUST know if a place they recommend is better than what you are asking for. Not true, just stick to where you want to go and you’ll be fine.

For tuk tuks and taxis alike, be a little weary when they strike up conversation and start asking what your plans are for tomorrow or later in the day. It’s fine to just have a good talk but usually they are fishing for business for later/the next day. They’ll offer to meet you at your hotel to pick you up to drive you around. We even got asked what our room number was so they could get a hold of us the next morning. They’ll make you feel guilty if you don’t take them up on their offer. Best thing to do is to say you’re keeping it open so no thank you!

 

With all that being said, tuk tuks were so much fun to drive around in, relatively cheap, get you where you want to go quickly, and most drivers were really fun to talk to and joke with. You may question on occasion whether you’re going to get to your location in one piece but hey, that’s part of the adventure, right?!

We only used taxis to/from the airport and if we were driving out of the city (when we went to the floating market and railway market ). Otherwise, we stuck with the fun tuk tuks and just hung on and enjoyed the ride!

 

My 3 Day Itinerary for Bangkok

“Bangkok has us now”

I absolutely loved our time spent in Bangkok!

 

We stayed at one hotel the entire stay in Bangkok. I would highly recommend
doing this because the city is so huge that it’s nice to get acclimated to one area. There are many ways to get around the city so you can still see and explore the whole city.

We stayed at the Prince Palace Hotel which we thought was a great location! It was literally in the middle of a giant market called the Bobae Market. We could step out of our hotel and step right in to the busy market filled with delicious street food and beautiful handmade goods! Many taxis and tuk tuks surrounded the market so it was very easy to find transportation.

DAY 1:

The first day we filled with temple hopping. I even read blogs before going on our trip warning that you get “templed out quickly” which is exactly what happened to us. In the future, I would space them out and just go to one or two each day. We went to Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of Emerald Buddha), Wat Pho (the Temple of the Reclining Buddha), the Golden Mount, and Wat Benchamabophit (the Marble Temple).

General rule with temples is to BE RESPECTFUL! Males should have at least their knees covered and woman should have their knees and shoulders covered when entering a temple. I ended up buying a beautiful silk scarf from the market and a beautiful long skirt (only $3 USD each!) and had them in my purse so I could throw them on when needed. The temples also provide clothing that visitors can borrow.

We realized the first day when it comes to tuk tuks you want to know the exact location of where you are going! Check out my Tips for Tuk Tuks!

You’ll also realize that Bangkok has a unique smell. Just embrace it. It’ll follow you everywhere.

DAY 2:

The second day we took it a little more easy. From walking down the sidewalks for hours next to traffic and riding around in tuk tuks the day before, the pollution and smog really got to me. I felt really congested and tired.

We took it slow that morning and enjoyed exploring the Bobae market.  Afterwards, we decided to go to the Siam Paragon Mall that we drove passed the day before. This is a very upscale mall! Gucci, Chanel, Mercedes Benz, etc. They also have an aquarium you can visit on the bottom floor of the mall. We were thinking of checking it out but the lines were long and it was a little pricey for us – 900 baht. I was a little hesitant paying to see any type of animal in Thailand, it seems that the animal welfare standards do not really exist in this country unfortunately. I was also warned to NOT go to the Bangkok Zoo due to horrible conditions.

After wandering around the mall for a bit, we decided to go to the Sky Tower Hotel which is shown in the movie The Hangover 2. Unfortunately, we were not aware that there is a dress code to go to the Sky Tower bar so we were not able to go have a drink where Chow and the boys did in the movie. If you are wanting to go be aware that they want you to “dress smart” as in no shorts, no flip flops, and no shoulders showing!

Chinatown. Every major city needs a Chinatown, right? Well Bangkok is no different. This Chinatown is PACKED full of people! Very crowded markets and yes, motorbikes still ride through the markets even when you are walking shoulder-to-shoulder in the crowd. One thing we noticed were lots of shark fins were being sold for food. Huge cultural difference here!                

 

DAY 3:

Market day! We decided that we wanted to drive to the outskirts of the city to experience the Floating Market and the Railroad Market. We got a taxi because it was an hour and a half drive to the Floating Market. The Railroad Market is on the way back to the city. We were able to get the taxi ride, there and back, for 1500 baht. It was nice having a taxi wait for us at the markets because they’re a little harder to come by out there and I’m sure if you had to wave one down we would have ended up spending twice the amount that we did.

Once we got back to the city we had the taxi driver drop us off at Koh San Road which is one of my favorite areas in Bangkok! A must see! So many different restaurants to choose from, lots of shopping, great massage parlors, delicious street food, entertainment…the whole package! This is where we had the taxi drop us off for the day. And yes, I was feeling a little adventurous and ate a scorpion! 

And what’s a trip to Bangkok without seeing a red light district? I know there are some controversy about going to a red light district in general but we wanted to experience it! There are 2 main ones that we had heard of: Patpong and Soi Cowboy. We decided on Soi Cowboy because it was in the direction of our hotel from where we were. It was…..wild and confusing but actually was a lot of fun! Lady drinks, go go dancers, and lady boys, OH MY!

 

Bangkok is wild with endless things to see! I enjoyed Bangkok ten times more than I thought I would! I actually wish we were able to stay longer to see more of the city but I guess that just makes a great excuse to come back to Thailand again one day!