(also commonly spelled Klong
; คลอง) is the general name for a canal
in the central plain of Thailand
. These canals are spawned by the Chao Phraya
, the Tha Chin
, the Mae Klong
Rivers and their tributaries. The Thai word khlong
is not limited to artificial canals; also many smaller rivers are referred to as khlong followed by the name of the stream.
Khlong in Bangkok
The Thai capital Bangkok
was crisscrossed by khlong and so gained the name Venice of the East
. The khlongs were used for transportation and for floating markets
, but also for sewage
. Today, most of the khlongs of Bangkok have been filled in and converted into streets, although the Thonburi
side of Bangkok (covering areas west of Chao Phraya River) still retains several of its larger khlongs.
Central Bangkok has the Khlong Saen Saeb, which is a route for a boat service that remains a vital public transportation function in the traffic-congested capital.
The traditional floating markets now exist mainly as tourist attractions, the most famous one at Damnoen Saduak
in the Ratchaburi province