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Bangkok Travel Meetup Pages

To give you an idea of the high-quality trips this group has, here are comments on the November trip:

"Amazing Amphawa" - to Samut Sakhon Province and Samut Songkhram Province by two trains and a boat (organized by the Tourism Authority of Thailand and five tourism associations), Saturday, November 21, 7:20 am - 7:30 pm.

999 B including train, boat, mini-bus, 2 meals, admission fee, tour guide.

Comments of some of the participants:

Wayne Davis (+3 guests)

"Wonderful day. One of the most enjoyable one day tours I've ever experienced."

Patrick (+3 guests)

"Beautiful places, cool people, enjoyable. It was worth every penny. This is not only me saying it, but the three friends I had brought along with me."

Fay (Phaik Yeong) (+1 guest)

"This is truly unseen Thailand! Both my friend and I enjoyed it a great deal. Thanks for organizing this!"

Karen Woolis

"Beautiful well thought out trip. Loved the different modes of transportation and the 'off the beaten track' views. My only criticisms are there were a few too many wats, too much getting on and off the long tail boats, and the trip was a bit long."


"I agree with Wayne's comment although I would say that this was **the** best one-day tour I have ever taken! Previously, I had taken a tour to the same area but from a different tour operator. The previous tour cost almost twice as much as the present one and was less than "half" as good as this one.

The visit to the Rom Hub market (folding umbrella market right on the railroad tracks) was absolutely astonishing and a "must-see" in Thailand. First, from the rear window of the train, we watched as the hundreds of merchants spread their umbrellas back **over** the railroad tracks after our train passed. It was an **amazing** ripple effect and many of the merchants smiled and waved to us. In 2-3 minutes, we left the train at the end of the line and then saw the reverse process as the train headed in the opposite direction (umbrellas went back up).

This was only one part of an absolutely fantastic trip! If enough people are interested, we may repeat this Meetup early next year."

Here's an amazing video of the Rom Hub market (folding umbrella market right on the railroad tracks), an absolutely astonishing sight and a "must-see" in Thailand. You have to see this to believe it!

To see photos of our trip, click on "Photos" at the left.

"Amazing Amphawa" - to Samut Sakhon Province and Samut Songkhram Province by two trains and a boat (organized by the Tourism Authority of Thailand and five tourism associations), Saturday, November 21, 7:20 am - 7:30 pm.

999 B including train, boat, mini-bus, 2 meals, admission fee, tour guide.

The Mae Khlong-Mahachai Railway runs between Wong Wian Yai in Thonburi, West Bangkok, and Samut Songkhram on the Gulf of Thailand. Originally constructed as a private line to take sea produce from the fishing ports of Samut Sakhon and Samut Songkram to the markets of Bangkok, it later became part of the State Railway of Thailand, though it was never physically connected to the rest of the network.

This little known line has great charm, passing through surprisingly unspoilt countryside, and terminating in the middle of the fresh food market in Samut Sakhon known as Mahachai. However, if you take the 2 baht ferry across the Tha Chin river, you will find a parallel station on the west bank. Trains connect from there to Samut Songkhram on the Mae Khlong river - thus the name Mae Khlong-Mahachai Railway.

Railroad Line for our trip

Meetup RSVPs close at 11:00 am on Friday, November 20. Click here to RSVP:
"Amazing Amphawa" - to Samut Sakhon Province and Samut Songkhram Province

Trip Highlights:

- Huge Mahachai Market in the Mahachai railway station
- Rom Hub market (folding umbrella market right on the railroad tracks)
- Boat cruise along Mae Klong River and PeeLoak canal
- Shopping at Amphawa Evening Floating Market

The Amphawa community received a 2008 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Award for Culture Heritage Conservation:

Amphawa Canal Community, Thailand

The restoration of the traditional Amphawa Canal Community has successfully achieved public-private cooperation in the safeguarding of heritage structures in Thailand. With co-funding from the local government and Denmark, the project has benefited from the active support of the local residents and homeowners and the guidance of Chulalongkorn University. The project has conserved numerous historic buildings of local significance and retained the traditional canal-side urban morphology, which is under threat around the country. The project demonstrates a recognition of the cultural significance of Amphawa and an appreciation of both the architectural and living heritage of the historic canal community.

Art's comment: Here's a quote from an article on The Nation website for September 5, 2009

The tradition that stays afloat

In danger of getting too slick even for tourists, Central Thailand's floating markets are boasting renewed appeal

It's a scenario familiar to everyone in Thailand, if not the foreign tourists: floating market thrives in simpler, quainter times; declines with the advent of the automobile; is revived as a tourist attraction; becomes so commercial that all the old charm is lost forever.

The market at Damneun Saduek is a case in point - still popular and photogenic, but hyped beyond recognition of its original appeal.

Elsewhere, though, the story's not so dismaying. Amphawa, Bang Nam Phueng and other floating markets are flourishing in the central region, and their ties to the farming community remain strong.

Getting from the BTS Skytrain Wong Wian Yai station (the new southern end of the BTS Skytrain Silom line) to the SRT (State Railways of Thailand) Wong Wian Yai station:

  • 15 minutes - walking (see map, directions, and photos below)
  • 20-30 minutes - estimated "motorcycle taxi" time
  • 60+ minutes - by taxi in "rush hour". You need to be at the railroad station by 7:20 am Saturday morning (Nov 21) and this is during the rush hour because many Thais work on Saturdays. Your best bet is to walk.

Here's a map provided by the BTS Skytrain of the Wong Wian Yai area. The railroad station is just below the big traffic circle shown in the top left. Please note that Exit 1 is where you want to leave the Skytrain. For a larger view of this map, click here: Larger map

Here's the name of the railroad station in Thai for the taxi driver if you decide to take a taxi there from the BTS Skytrain station. Because traffic is so slow in that area, I strongly recommend walking instead of using a taxi.

Below are the instructions of how to walk between the BTS and SRT stations at Wong Wian Yai.

Step 1: Leave Wong Wian Yai BTS Skytrain station via Exit 1. Walk down the stairs and then do a U turn at the bottom of the stairs. Then walk west along Krung Thonburi Road.

Step 2: Walk along Krung Thonburi Road and over the Klong (Canal) Bang Sai Kai bridge. Then turn right into this soi.

Step 3: Walk along this soi until the end.

Step 4: Walk straight ahead here then turn to the right onto (Somdet Phra Chao) Taksin Road.

Step 5: Walk north along Taksin Road.

Step 6: Cross this footbridge over Taksin Road. Turn to the right once you reach the other side of the footbridge.

Step 7: Walk north along Taksin Road. Then turn Left into the 1st soi after crossing the footbridge. Once you see the Bangkok Bank ATM, walk behind the ATM and onto the platform of Wong Wian Yai SRT station. (This is not a "big, "fancy" traditional railroad station. It is just a simple platform, which is "hidden" from the surrounding area.)

(I adopted the above from a blog that has probably more than you would like to know about the new BTS Skytrain extension to Wong Wian Yai: Thai Transit Blog)

Any questions? Click beneath my photo on the left to send me an email.

Best regards,

Bangkok Travel Meetup

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About Bangkok Travel Meetup January 15, 2010 1:15 AM Art

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