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BMA touts tourism revival Thai canal plan

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Bangkok canals Khlongs in the Thon Buri district. wikimedia/David Broad

BANGKOK (Bankgkok Post) – The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) will spend 150 million baht to develop a new 15km canal network in Thon Buri as part of an initiative to revive tourism in Bangkok.

Pijaya Nagavajra, BMA deputy permanent secretary, said the BMA has asked the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council to approve the budget to rejuvenate the landscape and infrastructure along the canal which City Hall aims to promote as a new destination for cultural tourism in the capital.

The scheme is also aimed at promoting the canal as part of an alternative water transport network, with a plan to bring in 30 long-tailed-boats to take tourists to visit temples and communities along canals. Passengers will be able to buy a one-day pass, after which they can use the service as much as they want.

“When you speak of the Chao Phraya River, most tourists are familiar with popular sites such as the Temple of Dawn and Grand Palace. But if they just take a boat down the adjacent Bangkok Noi canal, they will be awed by historic temples and old communities which have been stood there for several hundred years,” Mr Pijaya said.

The canal route will start in Bangkok Noi Canal near Siriraj Hospital in Thon Buri area and include adjacent canals such as Mon Canal, Chak Phra Canal and Bangkok Yai Canal. The canal route was originally part of the Chao Phraya River and has been in use since the Ayutthaya period over 300 years ago.

Among the highlights are Wat Suwannaram temple, built in the Ayutthaya Kingdom and housing monk statues and mural paintings, and Wat Srisudaram.

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