Samut Songkhram is a province about an hour and a half away from Bangkok, known for the Maeklong Railway Market and the Amphawa Floating Market which is not too far from the more famous Damnoan Saduak Floating Market. Normally an idyllic town, it becomes lively most during the weekends, when the Amphawa Floating market opens.
The Maeklong Railway Station is not just another railway station, because of Rom Hoop Market, which is set up over the rail tracks. When the train comes, the vendors would lower the shelters and shift their goods to get them out of the trains, sometimes just inches away! Selling mostly fresh produce, there isn’t much to buy as a tourist at the market itself, but the surrounding areas have plenty of food to sample!
If you get a chance to visit, check the train schedule before you leave, or you may end up having to wait hours just to see the train arrive or leave. Try to catch the train arriving, as it is a lot more interesting!
Also, don’t just go there for the train and leave right after! Especially in the early evening on weekends, the once empty roads are filled with street food vendors, allowing you to sample the Thai cuisine. A great place for photography, and a great way to imagine how Thailand was a few decades ago.
The Amphawa Floating Market is just 10 – 15 minutes away from the Maeklong Railway Station. On normal days, it’s a quiet area, but on weekends nights, it comes alive with locals and tourists that visit for the weekend night market. With plenty of food options, from street food to restaurants serving Thai seafood, you will never run out of options to sample Thai cuisine. Don’t miss out on the local “Pla Tu”, or short mackerel, which is the local specialty. These fish have a savory taste, and are used in many different dishes. Still popular nation-wide, it holds a long history with Thailand. And if you like it, get a souvenir plushy of the fish itself!
Don’t miss the boat tours, especially the firefly tour! You can get a boat ride around the Maeklong River, to see the various temples from the river. And when the it gets dark, head out on a boat to hunt for sightings of fireflies on the river banks. Small dots of lights dance over the thick foliage, and are simply mesmerizing!
Want more time at Samut Songkhram? Spend a night there, at one of the many riverside homestays, where you can lounge on an overwater balcony.
Samut Songkhram is a great place to visit for a day, and isn’t too far from Bangkok. You will be able to explore a town stuck in time. A great place to take pictures, sample the local cuisine, and explore!