View Larger Map One of many klongs in Bangkok
The word klong is a term used to describe a small artificial water passage that flows in and around a city. The klongs of Bangkok have long been an important part of Thai culture. These waterways have been around for centuries and have provided many of the people of Bangkok a way to sustain their life. Although many of the smaller klongs no longer exist, the remaining canals are still in use for fast transportation.
Klongs in Bangkok
The capital of Thailand was once a city that had a multitude of manmade canals and small rivers. These canals or klongs were used by river taxis and canoes to travel from one side of Bangkok to the other. Today, many of these canals have been filled in and turned into streets. However, the Klong Bangkok Yai, Klong Dan and Klong Bang Nun Si still exist and are often crowded with river taxis.
Many people use the klongs to visit the numerous Thai temples or to experience local Thai culture. The Klong Bang Bua Thong is often used in order to travel to smaller more remote villages of Bangkok that are not easily accessible by car. In addition, many of the city’s urban klongs still house small cottages along their edge.
Venice of the East
The klongs of Bangkok have given the city the nickname of “Venice of the East.” Although many of the klongs have lost their romantic appeal, tourists are still able to enjoy a taste of local flavor. The long tailed boats that are used to travel up and down the canals provide visitors a very picturesque view of the city. The city of Bangkok has even started to have river cruises that travel along Klong Phrakhanong and into historical villages. For those people that are familiar with Bangkok, the klongs serve as a fast way to cut through the city and avoid traffic.