Bang Mot Canal is 15 kilometers – long and straight-line canal; located in the southwestern Thonburi area. This canal started from Wat Sai canal market to Chao Mae Tab Nang Shrine, dividing 3 BMA administrational districts; Chom Thong, Thung Khru and Bang Khun Tien.
There wasn’t tangible evidence of when the Bang Mot Canal was built, and when communities along the canal were settled. However, with traced history of religious sites along Bang Mot Canal, there should be built and settled with few first communities around the 1800s such as Wat Yai Rom Community, followed by most communities in 1910s – 1930s.
Cultural Diversity and ways of life
There’ve been various ethnic and cultural people settling along Bang Mot Canal as Malayu Muslims in Nurulhuda, Darul – Ibadah, and Daril Hasan communities; Thai and Mon Buddhists in Wat Yai Rom, Wat Tha Kham, Wat Bua Phan and Wat Phuttabucha, Thai-Chinese in Chao Mae Tabtim Community. From local people interviews, their ancestors moved from nearby old communities as Muslims from Phra Pra Daeng and Paak Lat, Thai and Mon Buddhists from Bang Khuntien (present days Chom Thong district), Bang Kradee, Wat Sing and Wat Kok etc. and Chinese from Amphawa and also from mainland China.
As same as communities’ settlements; especially in 1910s – 1930s, various cultural people along Bang Mot Canal would earn living with paddy field, coconut and betel nut orchards, boat market, local boatyard, household fishing; especially in Muslim people did goat farms and fish selling. In 1925 AD. Mr.Sem (unknown surname), Thai people introduced tangerine to Bang Mot, then spread in Bang Mot area by Thai – Chinese people since 1930s alongside with previous agricultures, from 1960s – 1980s tangerine becoming mass agriculture instead of paddy field by all cultural people in Bang Mot area, then tangerine became the most popular fruit in Bang Mot.
Changing and challenging
Following Thailand's big flood in 1983 AD. The Thai Government and Bangkok Metropolitan Administration had established a water drainage system via water gates at canal mouths along Chao Phraya River, a main river of Bangkok preventing big floods in future. As water gate system blocking some canal mouths (from Chao Phraya River), connecting to Bang Mot Canal, have caused blocking natural plain – salty water circulation in Bang Mot Canal, then brackish water damaging and declining tangerine orchards in years later.
After the decline of tangerine orchards in the late 1980s and early 1990s to the present day, several farmers have changed their tangerine orchards to drinking coconut and mango orchards, alongside shrimp and fish farming; capable of brackish water, as the same time several abandoned orchards becoming housing projects and commercial buildings, and also people in late generation working outside Bang Mot. By this period the road traffic system has been becoming the main transportation in Bangkok instead of the canal system, including Rama II Road, and Phuttabucha Road in the Bang Mot area.
Moreover, since the late 2010s there have been several founding projects in Bang Mot for local business and tourism via local agents as enterprises, agricultural plantations and products, local groceries, boat trips, farm visits, weekly markets etc. with support from Thung Khru District, KMUTT, 3C Project, several schools and private businesses. During 2016 – 2020 There were 4 Bang Mod Festivals by cooperation from Bang Mot Canal communities, local stakeholders, local enterprises, Thung Khru District, KMUTT, 3C Project, several nearby schools and private businesses, to encourage nearby and outside people to travel and shop in Bang Mot.
Author : Wanda Niyom