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Tuesday, 10-Feb-2009 09:07 Email | Share | Bookmark
Bangkok part 4 / The venice of Asia

The Chao Phraya River

Europeans have called Bangkok the “Venice of Asia” because of its many canals. The Chao Phraya and its canals carry Bangkok's famous floating market: hundreds of small boats that come into the city every morning to sell fruits, vegetables, flowers, and fishes. People who live on houseboats or in the wooden houses at the water's edge traditionally use the canals for washing…
The Chao Phraya (Thai: แม่น้ำเจ้าพระยา) is a major river in Thailand, with its low alluvial river plain marking the mainland of the country
According to many European old maps, the river is named as Menam or Mae Nam, the Thai word for river (Me or Mae is "Mother", Nam is "Water"). The name Chao Phraya is a Thai feudal title, which can be translated as General or Lord. In the English-language media in Thailand the name is often translated as River of Kings
The Chao Phraya begins at the confluence of the Ping and Nan river at Nakhon Sawan (also called Pak Nam Pho) in the Nakhon Sawan province. It then flows from north to south for 372 kilometres (231 mi) from the central plains to Bangkok and the Gulf of Thailand. In Chainat, the river splits into the main river course and the Tha Chin river, which then flows parallel to the main river and exits to Gulf of Thailand the about 35 kilometres (22 mi) west of Bangkok in Samut Sakhon. In the low alluvial plain which begins below the Chainat dam, many small canals (khlong) split off from the main river. The khlong are used for the irrigation of the region's rice paddies
In Bangkok, the Chao Phraya is a major transportation artery for a vast network of ferries and water taxis, also known as longtails.

The principal tributaries of the Chao Phraya River are the Pa Sak River, the Sakae Krang River, the Nan River (along with its principal confluent the Yom River), the Ping River (with its principal confluent the Wang River), and the Tha Chin River.[1][2][3] Each of these tributaries (and the Chao Phraya itself) is further tributed by additional minor tributaries often referred to as khwae. All of the tributaries, including the lesser khwae, form an extensive tree-like pattern, with branches flowing through nearly every province in central and northern Thailand.[1] None of the tributaries of the Chao Phraya extend beyond the nation's borders.[4] The Nan and the Yom River flow nearly parallel from Phitsanulok to Chumsaeng in the north of Nakhon Sawan province. The Wang River enters the Ping River near Sam Ngao district in Tak province.

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