Wednesday, July 28, 2010

City pillar shrine for Chonburi

Some weeks ago Richard Barrow made an mobile blogging tour to some attractions in Chonburi province. Reporting live on Twitter on his trip, once he reached the Phra Phutthasihing Pavilion close to the government offices I wondered whether the city pillar shrine isn't located close to that place as well, as it is in many provinces.

At first, Google found an article at, where it was claimed that this shrine is also the city pillar shrine. The author of that placemark wrote
In other shrines I have seen there have been pillars or other secular material of some sort in the shrine, identifying the province. Not so here. Also, I have not been able to find a written source that identifies the shrine as the Lak Mueang of Chonburi. Piecing together verbal accounts from city officials, it seems that this building is both the City Pillar Shrine and a Buddhist shrine, a dual purpose.
Since Richard wasn't able to find any pillar-like structure there nor any other hint of it being the city pillar shrine, I tried to find other source. Finally the Pattaya Mail issue from April 25 2008 gave a better hint - the article titled Women’s prison to make way for city shrine states that a city pillar shrine is planned to be built at the site currently occupied by the women's prison, which is to be relocated to a more spacious site. As this was from 2008, one should expect some development there by now. However, Richard tweeted
There is a prison opposite but the guard tower seems manned.
So it seems Chonburi in fact has no city pillar shrine yet, unlike what I was expecting. When I was researching for the Wikipedia article on the city pillars, I found one source which states that in 1992 it was decreed that all province should have such a shrine. It is rather surprising that a quite wealthy province like Chonburi did not built one yet.


Ian said...

I am the one who created the waymark. Yes, it does seem that there is no formal pillar. I did not know that there was a plan to create a real pillar. When I visited Chonburi, no one could immediately direct me to the shrine. I was surprised. It has been my experience that locals are proud of their CPS.
The structure housing the Buddha image closely resembles a 'Thai' style CPS, and during my visit locals came by and paid their respects, in the same manner as at a CPS.

Ian said...

Hello again.
I finally did what I should have done months ago, ask a Thai friend to translate the plaque at the Chonburi Lak Mueang. Here is the translation:

It looks for certain that this is not the cps. Looks like I will have to change my waymark. Interesting to know why Chon failed to setup a Lak years ago?

I search for information it said lak mueang for chonburi is being built and will be finished in 2012.
Chonburi is the only one province that doesnt have lak mueang.

The pics u took is "Hor Pra" ,a hall where images of Budda kept

Thai writing from the shrine says this hall was opened on Jan,08 1966 by The King and The Queen started building on Oct,24 1961 and finished on Dec, 1965

Andy said...

Are you sure Chonburi is the only province which still have none? I haven't been able to locate one in Phuket and Nakhon Pathom, also the former province Thonburi apparently did not have one. And obviously the province Bueng Kan which is just now in the process of being created does not have one either.

Ian said...

I visited the Chonburi provincial admin offices. There is a model of the proposed Lak Mueang on display. It is big and impressive. The image is already being used in the provincial government advertising.

I also visited the prison site. It is directly east of the the Phra Phutthasihing Shrine (waymark: WM8EX6). Prison entrance coords: 13.3597n 100.9844e.

There was no sign of activity at the former prison. Perhaps a 2010 completion is optimistic.

Ian said...

The longer I spend in Thailand the less sure I am of anything, however, I did find a google map description of a Phuket cps, on a Lak Mueang road: 7.9789 98.3691. Though, from the two pics at the site, there seem to be two different cps, and both look rather small, more like the 'amphoe' cps I saw in Isarn, rather than a full sized province cps. In October I plan to visit some of the southern provinces on my way to Sing, and back to Aust for xmas. I could include Phuket, and see what I could find there.

As regards Nakhon Pathom, I could find nothing on google maps, however, I will be in Ayutthaya next week for a week or so. I could take a trip to NP and see what I could see.

Also, I realise that I did not include the two other 'amphoe' level cps's I discovered, here they are:

Andy said...

The one in Phuket fits, as the center of the province was moved in past away from Tha Ruea, probably near the Tha Ruea intersections with the heroine monument. So same as in Trang, the city pillar shrine stayed at its original location even though the city was moved.

I have added the other two placemarks in my map now as well. The shrine in Ayutthaya is hardly to be missed; for Nakhon Pathom - maybe the shrine is in Nakhon Chaisi actually, as that's where the administrative center was in past?

Ian said...

re: Nakhon Pathom. I asked a friend who is studying at Sil uni in NP. She does not remember seeing a cps for NP. She also said, that as NP is close to Bangkok, NP people feel that they are part of Bangkok, and thus do not need their own cps.

Not sure how this works out vis a vis the law requiring each province to have its own cps, but, that does go some way to explaining Chonburi's late entry. Chon does not have a definitive centre, it is something of a recent development, and it is within the sway of Bangkok.