The Venice of the East


Riding my bike a few weekends ago past the new Skytrain Sukhumvit Line extension (more about that later), I crossed this khlong, or canal, near the Third Stage Expressway.  Bangkok has long been referred to as the Venice of the East, although most of the canals have either been filled in to make roads or are stagnant dumping grounds.  This canal, though, flows unimpeded to the Chao Phraya River and seems to benefit from a twice-daily flushing by the tides.

Khlong Map

The arrow on this map illustrates the location and direction of the first photo.  It is charming that there are still communities that live on the edge of the water, whose land has not been expropriated for development into condos, hotels, and office buildings.  Of course, in some areas, those are the poorest communities and homes are little more than corrugated tin shacks.  In other areas, such as the Phra Khanong community in the first picture, residents are of modest means but their community is long-established with solidly-built homes and shops.