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Khlong Rangsit Prayoonsak (คลองรังสิตประยูรศักดิ์)

Thai. Name of a major canal in northern Bangkok, that connects the Chao Phraya River (fig.) in Pathum Thani with Nakhon Nayok in the East. It was the first irrigation canal of Siam to be dug North of Rattanakosin and its construction, which took 14 years, was carried out by Prince Saai Sanithawong (fig.), after receiving the concessions for the dig in 1890 AD. Prior to this, he had been the first deputy chief of naval operations, with the rank of Navy Vice-Admiral. The project became his personal endeavor and legacy, which he carried out under the name Siam Canal and Irrigation Company, and with the aid of his son Momratchawong Suwaphan Sanithawong (fig.), who –as a physician educated in Scotland– assisted his father both in the field of medicine and in this company. By royal decree, the canal was named after Rangsit Prayoonsak (fig.), the the 52nd child of King Rama V (fig.), who was also known as the Prince of Chainat. The canal is in short often referred to as the Rangsit Canal, while the local populace usually refer to it as Khlong Chao Saai (คลองเจ้าสาย), i.e. the ‘Prince Saai Canal’, in honour of its builder, whose statue, together with that of his assistant and son (fig.) today stands in a Buddhist temple located along the canal, in close proximity to the Northern Bangkok University. In addition, the canal is by some nicknamed Khlong 8 Wah (คลอง 8 วา), after its initial width. See MAP.