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Samsen or spelled Sam Sen (Thai: สามเสน, pronounced [sǎːm.sěːn]) is a road and neighbourhood in Bangkok considered to be one of Bangkok's oldest. Samsen road starts from Bang Lamphu intersection in the area of Bang Lamphu within Phra Nakhon district and wends northeast to Dusit district until it ends at Kiakkai intersection, covering 4.6 km (2.8 mi). It runs parallel to east Chao Phraya river.
Samsen began in Ayutthaya period (1351–1767) in the reign of King Narai (1633–88). Portuguese came to live and work in the kingdom and the king allowed them to settle in Samsen. At that time, this area was a paddy field and canal by Khlong Samsen (Samsen canal), which is believed to be a natural canal. The Portuguese founded Immaculate Conception Church in around 1674, the oldest church in Thailand.
In the reigns of King Phutthayotfa Chulalok (Rama I) and King Nangklao (Rama III) of Rattanakosin kingdom, Christians Khmers and Vietnamese who escaped crackdowns in their country migrated to Siam (now Thailand). They were allowed by the king to settle in the area nearby Portuguese's church in Samsen. The area became known as "Ban Khmer" (บ้านเขมร) and "Ban Yuan" (บ้านญวน).
"Samsen" has no specific meaning in Thai. It may have derived from Pali or from Bahasa Melayu. Legendarily a floating Buddha image required up to three hundred thousand people to raise it from the water. "Samsen" is similar to "Sam Saen", which means three hundred thousand. This Buddha image is enshrined in front of the Samsen police station, namely Luang Por Samsen.
Although it is short, Samsen road runs through historic and important places such as Bang Khun Phrom Palace and Bank of Thailand with Thewawes Palace, Thewet Bridge, Immaculate Conception Church, Saint Francis Xavier Church, Saint Gabriel's College, Vajira Hospital, Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University, Sukhothai Palace, National Library and Royal Pier, Thavasuki, Wat Bot Samsen, Boon Rawd Brewery Headquarters and Sappaya-Sapasathan, the new Parliament House.
- Pinijnakorn (2012-05-04). "สามเสน...ประวัติศาสตร์บรรพชนคนนานาชาติ ต้นกำเนิดการประปาแห่งกรุงรัตนโกสินทร์" [Samsen...history of international ancestors the origins of the Rattanakosin waterworks]. TPBS (in Thai).
- Num luk thung (2009-10-20). "เยือนย่ำย่านเก่า เล่าตำนาน "สามเสน"" [Visiting the old town a tale of legend of "Samsen"]. ASTV Manager (in Thai).
- Bunnag, Rome (2016-07-26). "เหตุที่มี "บ้านเขมร" และ "บ้านญวน" อยู่ที่ทุ่งสามเสน! ก่อนจะถูกบุกเบิกเป็นย่านสร้างวังจนเต็มทุ่ง!!" [The reason that there are "Ban Khmer" and "Ban Yuan" in the Samsen field! before being pioneered as a district, creating palaces full of fields!!]. ASTV Manager (in Thai).
- Damrong Journal The Faculty of Archeology, Silpakorn University (2014-07-24). "สามเสนเรียกกันมาแต่สมัยอยุธยา" [Samsen known since the Ayutthaya period]. facebook (in Thai).[dead link]