Khlong Toei also spelt Klong Toey District, is next to the Chao Phraya River and contains major port facilities. It is also the location of a major market, though not one of importance used mainly by Thai. An estimated 20% of Bangkok residents live in illegal squatter settlements across the capital. With over 100,000 inhabitants around Klong Toey it is considered to be Thailand’s largest slum community. Klong Toei slum area has the most drug prone related problems especially in areas called, Lock 1-3 and Lock 4-5 over a 70-rai area and occupied by some 7,000 to 8,000 people.
The district is sub divided into 3 sub districts
1. Khlong Toei from the railway line known as Soi Zero to Sukhumvit Soi 22
2. Khlong Tan from Sukhumvit Soi 22 to Soi 36
3. Phra Khanong from Sukhumvit 36 to 52
The district used to be part of Phra Khanong. It was later separated into a new district on 9th November 1989. Originally Khlong Toei consisted of 6 sub districts. Three of which have since left to form the new Watthana district. The area has a history dating back to the 9th century as a port to cities upstream along the Chao Phraya River. It was a city called Pak Nam Phra Pradaeng , as opposed to the current Amphoe Phra Pradaeng. Khlong Thanon Trong was a khlong (canal) and a parallel road built by King Mongkut around 1857. Later, it became known as Khlong Toei and Khlong Hua Lamphong for different sections of the canal. Khlong Toei means the canal of pandan, as the plant grew along the southern bank of the canal. The road was renamed to Rama IV Road by King Vajiravudh in 1919.
The Khlong Toei Port, also known as Bangkok Port, was Thailand’s only major port for sea transportation of cargo. The construction began in 1938 and finished after the end of World War II. The port is located on the Chao Phraya River, not far from the Gulf of Thailand. Due to its limited capacity and traffic problem caused by semi trailer trucks, much of its shipping operation has been moved to Laem Chabang Port in Chon Buri Province since it’s opening in July 1981.
Nana Plaza ~ Nana Entertainment Plaza is a 3 storey red light district in Bangkok, which is said to be the largest sex complex in the world. It is located on Sukhumvit Road Soi 4 in Khlong Toei District it is opposite the Nana Hotel, within walking distance of the BTS Sky Train’s Nana Station. The name originates from the Nana family ( with Lek Nana the most prominent member ) who own much of the property in the area and still has much influence in Thailand.The Plaza is like a square, with a single opening on the western side, and consists of a ground floor and two additional floors.
The area was re modernised a few years ago. However it still looks a mess. It started as a restaurant area in the late 1970’s. During the early 1980’s a few go go bars appeared and gradually replaced the restaurants. A few bars offer a more pub like or beer bar format without dancing. Three short time hotels operate on the top floor. Short time hotels rent out rooms by the hour or more to the NEP patrons to take a bar girl for commercial sex. Most bar girls working at bars in Nana Plaza are willing to leave with customers on payment of a bar fine. This is the place that determines what visitors to Bangkok think about it as a whole.
There are three areas like this around Bangkok, Nana plaza, Patpong and Soi Cowboy. Many capital and large cities around the world are the same. They all have their red light districts. This will never change, no matter what law is passed.
Not all places around Nana are bad or sordid. I stayed many times in hotels around here because its so central. Sukhumvit Soi 4 is where most of the bars are and where many visitors head to play pool or drink beer or just for good food.
Soi 10 , you will find a small park called Chuvit Garden also known as Chuwit Park. It was created in 2006 by Chuwit Kamolvisit who owns the area. The block was formerly known as Sukhumvit Square. The park is open to the public daily from 08:00 to 10:00 and from 16:00 to 20:00.
Soi 12, you will find the famous Cabbages and Condoms Restaurant. Odd name I know but a very worth while charity is based around it. The PDA uses the profit from its restaurants and hotel near Pattaya to promote awareness of birth control, family planning and sex education along with HIV awareness. The Population and Community Development Association ( PDA ) was founded in 1974 as a non-governmental organization with the initial aim to compliment the efforts of the Royal Thai Government in promoting family planning in Thailand, especially in areas where knowledge and access to services were scarce.
I have been to the restaurant in Sukhumvit – Soi 12 in Bangkok. The surroundings are a surprise – its like a little bit of a rain forest in the centre of Bangkok. With water features and tropical plants all around. The food & service was first class. It’s not cheap but it’s not expensive either. However the ambience is well worth paying just a little more for. I have included further addresses of the other restaurants they have, plus the luxury hotel in Pattaya. If you feel like supporting this worth while cause, while enjoying your holiday, then why not.
Tagged: , Bangkok , Thailand , Sky Train , City Pillar Shrine , Nana , Nana Plaza , Morning Night Bar , Rainbow bar , Strikers bar , Hillary bar , Soi 4 , Cabbages and Condoms , Benjakitti park , Khlong Toei , Phra Khanong , Chao Phraya river , Chuvit Gardens , Phrom Phong , Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre , Emporiam , Tesco Lotus , Ekkamai , Ekkamai Bus Station , Mediplex , Sukhumvit road , Asoke , Ratchadphilsek road , Eastern Bus Terminal