Maeklong Railway Market
[GPS Coordinates: 13.407571, 99.998380]
I am an avid audience of travelogues. After see Maeklong Railway Market from TV, I was so anticipated to take a walk. Comon, Bangkok is not just about shopping. I am sure there are more things to do! So on Day 3, both bff & I went to the Maeklong railway market.
It is a very popular tourist attraction and it only take a 2hrs drive to reach there. One can simply get a minivan at 70THB just right outside this shopping mall at Victory Monument. There is only 1 store that sells ticket to Maeklong, so there is no need to ask around for cheaper options.
The ride is pretty smooth, all the way along the expressway. Upon arrival, it is just like any small town and it has a bit of Chinatown feel. What is interesting about this place is that, there is this particular wet market that cuts across the railway track.
This railway track is still active! Both bff and I walked across the market and purposely walked on the railway track. We also took photos at the train station non-stop and kept asking the locals what time will the train arrive. Unfortunately, because I went to check out for cheaper minivan tickets, we missed the earlier ride, which could probably have let us see the train on time! Oh well... so we waited for the next train, which is 3 hours later!!
To kill time, we went to this gold shop. Bff said that the last time she came Thailand, she bought really cheap gold earrings. So why not? The moment we stepped in, this female staff kept saying "Bu mai! Bu mai!" I didnt take into consideration.... thinking, "did she meant 'Welcome'?" But as I looked across the shop, everyone had this stare at us. Then the female staff said:" No Chinese". Bff responded almost immediately "Wo men bu shi zhong guo ren! (We are not China Chinese)" while I was still trying to recognise the language. The female staff meant "Not selling".
Oh geez...This is unbelievable. They hate China Chinese so much? So...seriously, this discrimination is really worldwide! We just walked out and walked along the street to another gold shop. This time, the staff is much friendlier. We chatted, bought some gold and played with their dog.
After lunch at this famous wanton mee stall, we went back to the railway market and waited. Damn! This time, the train is delayed...so that meant more waiting time! I was in fact getting abit impatient and wanted to just leave and not waste anymore time as I wanted to go to another place. Luckily, the announcement bell came and the train is coming!!!
We witnessed how the locals kept the tents and stores within minutes and the train passed.
The locals know just how much allowance is needed between the train and the gaps! The train is so close! Seriously, if you are caught unaware, you'd probably lose your nose.
So for that, we spent 6hours at Maeklong just for that 30 seconds experience. But I must say, this is really something awesome!
Amphawa Floating Market
[GPS Coordinate: 13.425588, 99.954283]
We then left for Amphawa floating market, which is only 10mins away from Maeklong. By the way, most tours will cover these 2 places of interest and generally cost alot. If you are adventurous enough, a DIY trip will just do it. We walked to the back of the market and took the local bus to Amphawa, which only cost 5THB. I swear this is the cheapest transport I have ever taken.
Fast enough, we reached Amphawa. One will definitely NOT miss this place because it is so crowded that you know you are in the right place! Fearing that we will miss the last bus back Bangkok, we bought the ticket prior to entering the floating market.
We passed by this grilled seafood store. The aroma of the shellfishes were so tempting that we were hesitating to have some. In the end, we couldnt resist and ordered some grilled scallopes. To our surprise, the store owner gave us 2 free dishes of grilled clams and mussels too! These all sum up to only 150THB!
Frankly speaking, Amphawa floating market sounded very attractive to visit. But while I was there, it feels like a combination of Tai O, Hong Kong and Malacca, Malaysia. We didnt walked much due to the lack of time, but at least, it is a 'Been there seen it' trip.
At around evening, we returned Bangkok. The return journey is slightly longer as there are lots of vans causing long queues at the petrol kiosks. Plus, it was raining.... safety first!
At around 830pm, we reached Bangkok.
Bff isnt free on this day, so I wandered Bangkok alone!! Wow, I couldnt believe I was this brave, come to think about it.
In the morning, I went to Chatuchak market to take a look. Although not many shops are opened, the shops which sells items which I wanted to get were opened! Lucky me! I absolutely love tribal products and I bought 3 bags. Duhz. Abit pricey but I like! It wasnt crowded at all so it made shopping very easy. I also bought 3 vintage blouses - something I thought I will never buy but because it only cost 100THB each, so why not? I am a sucker for cheap yet good quality stuff.
Bff told me about this JJ Mall, which is situated next to Chatuchak Market & so I went to take a look. It is almost like any shopping mall but sells things like Chatuchak Market and it is air con!! The price is still affordable despite probably higher rental, but this is much more walkable without having to wipe your dripping perspiration.
After 2 hours, I have lots to lug in my arms and I decided to return to the hotel to put them, since the hotel is so near. I also packed my luggage for my departure the next day, rested a while and left for part 2 of the day.
After hearing so much from friends on FB about this place, I took the BTS to Saphan Taksin, took a free ferry at Sathom Pier to Asiatique [GPS Coordinate: 13.704290, 100.504147]. The trip is just funny. I could hear HKers everywhere as I travelled to Asiatique and at some point of time, I thought I was in Hong Kong. Hahaha.
It was approximately 4pm when I got there. The sun was already setting, making the scenery very enjoyable. There are alot of catfish in the river! All of them jumped out of the water as the ferry navigated by.
Asiatique disappointed me slightly. It is just another night market. There are restaurants around, which I believe is kinda pricey and I didnt eat there, though my usual travel habit is to splurge on my last night. I chose to have Pad Thai instead and it cost 50THB! I couldnt complain more because I was just sitting underneath the ferries wheel and it was amazing!
Night fell soon after. Everywhere was lit up.
I left Asiatique at 7pm, a time where huge crowds kept landing from the ferry. I then took the BTS to Siam station hoping to grab food. I couldnt remember how Siam Paragon was when I visited 4 years ago. I thought I could find food there... but sadly no. Too pricey! I then headed to Central World, which took me approximately 20mins to reach, crossing another night market and I almost drowned myself in the food aroma. My tummy was also rumbling as I walked past!
I finally reached Central World and I went to eat Macdonalds. DUHZ! But really, who could resist a McSpicy meal at 199THB?!?!?!?!?! I know I am a failure... come Thailand also must eat Macdonalds...sigh.
How can one forget to go to local supermarket to buy food back? My usual loot - Lays potato chips, Pretz, Pocky and some Thai milk tea.
So my days in Thailand were almost over. Day 5 was a nothing because we took the 8am flight back. Or maybe, if you consider watching sunrise along the way to the airport as something interesting?
I enjoyed this Thai trip very much. Trust me, I will be back.