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LEXICON

 

 

Khlong Saen Saeb (คลองแสนแสบ)

Thai. ‘Canal of A Hundred Thousand Stings’. A canal connecting Bangkok (map) with the Bang Pa Kong River in Chachengsao. Its name derives from the fact that in the past, the area teemed with mosquitoes. In Bangkok, it starts as an eastern extension of Khlong Maha Naak, which connects to the Chao Phraya River via Khlong Rop Krung, which itself starts from Pom Maha Kaan (fig.). In Chachengsao the canal ends into the Bang Pa Kong River near Wat Pahk Khlong (วัดปากคลอง), literally the ‘Temple at the Mouth of the Canal’ in the tambon Bang Kanaak (บางขนาก) of the amphur Bang Nahm Priauw. Foreign historical records mention a length of 55 miles, which is about 88 kilometer, though other sources claim that the canal is only about 65 kilometer long. It was dug between 1837 and 1840, on the orders of King Rama III, to advance the war effort during the Annam-Siam War, a 14 year long conflict that Siam fought with Vietnam between 1833 and 1846, over the governing authority of Cambodia. Its objective was to facilitate a quick route to dispatch troops and war material from the capital to the eastern provinces. In Bangkok, an 18 kilometer section, combined of Khlong Maha Naak and a portion of Khlong Saen Saeb, is used for public transport by an express boat service, providing fast, inexpensive transportation in the traffic-congested capital. It has 27 boat stations and runs between Pom Praab Sattroo Phaai (near Wat Saket - fig.) and Wat Sri Boon Reuang (วัดศรีบุญเรือง) in Bangkapi (บางกะปิ), after which the canal becomes quite peaceful (fig.). The service has a western line (fig.), which in part consist of the Khlong Maha Naak, that operates smaller boats between Pom Praab Sattroo Phaai (ป้อมปราบศัตรูพ่าย) and an interchange at Pratoonahm/Rachadamri (ประตูน้ำ/ราชดำริ), where larger boats continue on the northern line to Bangkapi. The canal is in many areas lined with concrete walkways and there are several canal-side temples and mosques. Many side canals connect with Khlong Saen Saeb, forming a large network, though most of these canals do not have a regular transport service. Saen Saeb Canal also has a floating market known as Talaat Nahm Khwan-Riam (fig.). Also transcribed Khlong Saen Saep.