Mae Klong Train Market
Checking out of the hostel, the famous train market was only a block away. With umbrellas, awnings, goods spread out, and feet shuffling through—the train tracks where almost hidden. Our narrow path through the dense market was between the rails. An assortment of fish, fruit, vegetables, clothing, and more where set up against our feet.
After slowly making my way around the various passageways of this market. I found a little cafe up against the tracks. Sitting down with an ice tea, I set up my cameras on a table next to the tracks and waited for the train to arrive. I felt like a true professional photographer in the middle of a well practiced routine. The cafe began to fill up and the umbrellas began to fold up—we were getting close to the 11:10am train arrival. The friendly cab driver I rode with the other day said this market’s local name translates to ‘Umbrellas Up Market.” Venders were packing up their stalls leaving just enough room for the train to get through. The cafe owner began directing people to the sides and we all started standing on top of whatever we could.
Everyone with their phones out, ready and waiting…there it was right on time, coming slowly around the turn! The bright red rail cars glided over the market goods lying just below the moving chassis. Soon after its passage, the umbrellas went back down and the market resumed.
Only 20 minutes later, the train made its departure back through the market and the whole process repeated. The train stopped right next to me—the conductor just a couple feet from me. Reaching up to cabin window, the cafe owner handed off two cold drinks to the smiling conductor who then set the train back into motion leaving the market to return to its busy activity.