Friday, March 11, 2011

Lak Mueang of Phuket

Lak Mueang Thaland Tha Ruea
Photo by Ian Reide
In case you follow the comments on this blog as well, you already read that my reader Ian is currently in Phuket exploring, including topics related to my blog. And since he is also fascinated by the city pillar shrines (Lak Mueang, หลักเมือง), he found out why there is no major shrine in the provincial capital like in (most) other provinces.

In Google Maps a city pillar shrine for Phuket can be found way outside the provincial capital, close to the Heroines monument and the Thalang national museum. As it is not as big as those in other provinces, and a bit off the main road, I haven't spotted it myself during the few days I have been on Phuket so far. But I had marked it in my Google Map of the city pillar shrines.

When Ian was now exploring Phuket, he found out that there is not just this one city pillar shrine, but a total of four spread over the island. Actually, those he talked with claimed there are five, but the fifth was nowhere to find. I haven't been able find anything in the net either, for example Kanchanapisek lists only four as well. Quite notably the current photos show those of Choeng Thale very much restored, on Kanchanapisek most have no shrine around them and look quite weathered - the one in Si Sunthon however had a better look in past.

The four city pillars are the following, all located within Thalang district:
Thalang Tha RueaSi Sunthon subdistrictหลักเมืองถลางท่าเรือWaymarking, Kanchanapisek
Thalang Mueang MaiThep Krasattri subdistrictหลักเมืองถลางเมืองใหม่Waymarking, Kanchanapisek
Thalang Pa SakChoeng Thale subdistrictหลักเมืองถลางป่าสักWaymarking, Kanchanapisek
Thalang LephangChoeng Thale subdistrictหลักเมืองถลางเลพังWaymarking, Kanchanapisek

View Lak Mueang in a larger map

1 comment:

Ian said...

Thanks for including my discoveries. Yes, I have become fascinated with Lak Mueang. The omnipresent religious nature of Thailand is a far cry from secular Australia. I was told that the fifth shrine was to the south east of Phuket Town, but its precise location, or even if it actually exists is unknown.

The lack of a central, main Lak Mueang, for the province as a whole, does raise the question of how provincial governments deal with national government decrees? Provinces were ordered to build Lak Mueang in 1992.