The Canals Of Bangkok
| In the 19th century Bangkok was definitely a floating city, and the moniker of Venice of the East was apt for this charming beautiful city.
During that period some 400,000 people lived on floating houses on the rivers of Bangkok while the remaining people lived in houses on stilts on the river and canal banks.
In the mid 19th century, King Rama IV and then his son Rama V started modernizing the city by building roads and railways. With the development of roads, the unique aquatic community of Bangkok got displaced and now we see more paved roads and car parks instead of floating houses.
However, there are patches in Bangkok where there are still aquatic communities and one such place is the Talin Chan market where you can see dug out canoes selling chicken, eggs, pork and spices to locals who live on barges bunched together. Once you leave Talin Chan, you reach a wider channel which a tributary of Chao Phraya, Bangkok’s main river. Here you will see shirtless fisherman sitting under stilted building and casting their homemade rods into the calm waters of channel. Besides this, a visitor will get true flavor of the aquatic community of Bangkok with the water buses, barges, tugboats and tourists boats passing dangerously close to each other along the river.
Many local residents who live on the canals even today believe that had it not been for the tourists flocking to Bangkok, the government would have long filled the canals and built roads on them.