KHLONG BAN PLA MO (คลองบ้านปลาหมอ)
Text & photographs by Tricky Vandenberg - March 2011
Khlong Ban Pla Mo was a canal situated off the city island in the northern area running
partly in present Tha Wasukri and Khlong Sra Bua sub-districts.

The canal is defunct, but there are still some stretches existing from this canal. It is difficult
do determine where exactly the canal ran in the Ayutthayan Era.

Khlong Ban Pla Mo joined the Pha Lai canal somewhere south of
Wat Pa Daeng. Wat
Nom Doan and Wat Saliang stood on its east bank.

Wat Pa Daeng,
Wat Kwid, Wat Laiso, Wat Raeng, Wat Chao Ya and Wat Bailo were
situated west of the canal.

The canal could have ran further north, passing Wat Klang (Sra Bua) towards
Wat Khae
and running into the Lopburi River on the west side of the last temple; it remains anyway
guess work.

The canal is not indicated on a
mid-19th century map, neither on Phraya Boran
Rachathanin's map. The waterway is nevertheless mentioned as the Pla Mo Village canal
in the Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya.

"
The Phraya of Phichai and the Phraya of Sawankhalok were delighted and went
along to lie in ambush at the
Pla Mo Village Canal with Khun Phirenthorathep,
Luang Si Yon, and Mun Ratchasaneha who was in government service
". [1]

The chronicles mention the ambush on the usurper king Worawongsa in 1549. The Royal
barges were navigating the larger canal Khlong Sra Bua. The attack must have been
occurred either on the junction of the Pha Lai canal and the Sra Bua canal (1), which in
this case Khlong Ban Pla Mo should have run into the Pha Lai canal in the vicinity of Wat
Raeng; or  in the other case the Ban Pla Mo canal could have had a junction directly with
the Sra Bua canal.

The canal is named after a village, which on its turn is named after a common species of
fish in the Siamese waters, but of different genus. There are three kinds of "Pla Mo": the
common climbing Perch (ปลาหมอไทย), the Java Tilapia (ปลาหมอเทศ) and the
Striped Tiger Nandid (ปลาหมอช้างเหยียบ). The last two are the ones which are the
most used in the Thai kitchen.

Footnote:

(1) I presume that even if Khlong Ban Pla Mo was interconnected with Khlong Sra Bua
and the old Lopburi River (present Khlong Hua Ro), it was not possible for the royal
vessels such as the Suphannahongsa, to turn into these smaller canals.  

References:

[1] The Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya - Richard D. Cushman - page 25 / Source: Phan
Canthanumat, British Museum, Reverend Phonnarat, Phra Cakkraphatdiphong & Royal
Autograph.
(Ban Pla Mo Canal near Wat Pa Daeng)
(Ban Pla Mo Canal near Wat Laiso)
(Ban Pla Mo Canal near Wat Raeng)