Famous Thai People
- Thailand has a rich tradition of honoring its heros of the past and throughout Thailand one will find numerous bronze statues to these famous Thai people. To enrich your understanding of what you will find and put these people into context with events in Thailand history our links should provide you with a comprehensive study about famous Thai people.
1. Queen Suriyothai of Ayutthaya
- Queen Suriyothai was the wife of King Chakraphat the 16 th King of Ayutthaya between 1548 to 1564 and again partly in 1569 in March and April. She is famous for being a heroine who died in battle against the Burmese whilst mounted on her elephant back in a fight with Prince Prome of Burma to protect her husband whose elephant had collapsed from wounds.
Queen Suriyothai was killed by a scythe at the hand
of Prince Prome. Her body was cremated at Wat Suan Luang in Ayutthaya
where there now remains a stupa containing here ashes. The stupa is
called Si Suriyothai Chedi.
- Her husband King Chakraphat was made King in 1548 at the request of officials having previously being a monk. He returned to the monkhood in 1564 only to be again King in 1569 to again defend against the next Burmese invasion.
- This heroic tale was also recently made into an epic Thai movie and her status as a national heroine is well established. Read more here...
Here is the story of a lady in Korat, who with intelligence and
strength of purpose defeated the invading armies of Laos in 1827.
Tourists to Korat (or Nakhon Ratchasima), will see her monument in
front of the old city wall gate as built in 1934. Read more here.
Famous Thai Men In Thailand History.
1. King Sri Indraditya of Sukhothai
- King Sri Indraditya (Intraditya) as he was ultimately known as was the founder of the Kingdom of Sukhothai and its Phra Ruang Dynasty. Historical records reveal he was the Governor of a place called Bang Yang on the northern edge of the Khmer Empire in Lower North Thailand. He joined forces with the then Governor of another Northern Province of Rad, Khun Pha Mueang, to declare independence from the Khmer Empire. Upon their success in the uprising he declared himself to be known as '' Sri Intraditya '', a Sanskrit name. He was the founder of the first Tai Dynasty, the '' Phra Ruang '' or '' Glorious Prince ''.
- Sri Indraditya ruled from 1238 until 1257. His second son who survived became his successor in 1257 to yet again be followed in 1277 by his third son who he named '' Ramkhamhaeng '' (which means Rama the bold).
- King Ramkhamhaeng The Great ruled from 11277 until 1298. Read more here....
2. King Naresuan of Ayutthaya (1555)
- Naresuan was born in Phitsanulok City on 25 April 1555 and was the son of a future King of Ayutthaya, King Sanpet I (1569). At the time Phisanulok was the capital city of the Ayutthaya Kingdom.
- When Naresuan was seven the Burmese who then controlled Ayutthaya having conquered it in war, took Naresuan as a captive to Pegu Burma (Myanmar), to ensure his father, then a prince, would be compliant to the Burmese. King Bayinnaung, the Burmese King, raised him with the status of a prince and he was trained in the Burmese palace in the martial arts, literature and war strategies. Nine years later at the age of 16 he was swapped as a prisoner with his sister.
- In 1571 his father as King of Ayutthaya appointed him as Governor of Phitsanulok.
1584 The Kingdom of Ayutthaya rejected its vassal status to the Burmese
and soon was invaded again by the Burmese. Naresuan fought the Burmese
and captured Lan Na then another vassal Kingdom of the Burma.
Read more here....
- Here is the story of a Thai General who after the sacking of Ayutthaya and Thailand generally by the invading Burmese in 1767 escaped to reform a new army and to conquer the Burmese and their allies, retake control of Siam and reform a new government. His buildings and bronze monuments can be seen in Thonburi. In recognition of what Taksin accomplished for Thailand The Thai Cabinet resolved to entitle him as '' King Taksin the Great '', and since 1954 there has been an annual state ceremony to remember and pay homage to his memory.
- Taksin (originally named '' Sin '') was born in 1733. His father was a Chinese migrant from China named Haihong of the Teochiu ethnic group and his mother was a Thai called Nok Lang. The chronicles tell us that originally Sin was a trader who later, in recognition of services he had rendered, was appointed Governor of Tak Province. In 1765, '' Phraya Tak '' as he was then called, came to Ayutthaya to help defend the city from the burmese. In recognition of his work he was promoted to the title and rank of Phraya Wachira Prakan, Governor of Kamphaeng Phet. Kamphaeng Phet was a fortified out post city.
- During the encirclement of Ayutthaya by the Burmese, General Taksin and his army escaped and with armies and supplies from vassal states in East Thailand was able to regain independence for the Siamese within 6 months. The Kingdom of Siam was fragmented but after the establishment by Taksin of the new capital in Bangkok Taksin was able to wrest control back to the new Kingdom of Siam. Taksin tackled the problems of consolidation of the Siam Empire, wars with Cambodia and Burma, as well as domestic economic and administrative issues. This Taksin did as well as restore national identity with religion and the arts.
- Taksin selected Bangkok as the new capital as it was impossible to restore Ayutthaya to its original condition and secure its defences for the future. Bangkok had excellent forts and its location was an important point of entry for foreign trade (and weapons). In 1773 King Taksin commanded the renovation of the city and named it Krung Thonburi. Thonburi remained the capital for 15 years. Read more here....
- Chao Kavila was responsible, with others, for the defeat of the Burmese in Lan Na and the resurrection of Chiang Mai and other places in Lan Na back to the Tai of Lan Na. Kavila was born the eldest son of Prince Chai Kaew of Lampang in 1742. Kavila grew up to become its ruler and then joined forces with the ruler of Chiang Mai, Prince Chaban and Taksin in Thonburi to wage war to remove the Burmese from Upper Northern Thailand.
- Taksin's General sent on this mission was Chao Phraya Chakri. In 1774 they defeated the Burmese at Lampang and later in Chiang Mai in1776. Chiang Mai City was subsequently abandoned with counter attacks from the Burmese and it was not until March 1796 did he reoccupy Chiang Mai City. By this time in 1782 Chao Phraya Chakri was King Rama 1 and Kavila was supported in the task of rebuilding the fortifications and repairing the temples.
- In 1802 Kavila was made ruler of Chiang Mai. His wars with the Burmese continued and his brothers were made rulers of other Northern Cities and his second son later became the 6th ruler of Chiang Mai. Kavila died in 1815 aged 73.
- Today part of Chiang Mai suburbs is named Kavila and his statue will be seen as you drive along the east bang of the Ping River in Chiang Mai. Read more here....
- As explained elsewhere on Thailandsworld, the practice of rulers changing names can be confusing. King Rama 1 was born as Thong Duang in March 1737. His father was a Mon and a noble man in the Kingdom of Ayutthaya. His mother mother was part Chinese and Tai. His father later was appointed to Phitsanulok and named Chao Phraya Chakri Phitsanulok. Rama 1 was sent to serve King Uthumphon in Ayutthaya and here befriended Tak Sin (later King Taksin The Great).
- After the destruction of Ayutthaya by the Burmese, Taksin and his two close generals, Phraya Pichai and Chao Phraya Chakri retook Siam back for the Tai from the Burmese and established the Kingdom of Taksin. During this period Taksin sent Chao Phraya Chakri to conquer Laos and sack Vientiane (Viang Chang). There he '' souvenired '' the famous Emerald Buddha which to this day resides in the Emerald Buddha Temple constructed at his direction in Bangkok. Read more here....
The Kings and leaders of Sukhothai Kingdom
Sri Indraditya (
Ban Muang (1257 to
Ramkhamhaeng the Great (1277 to
King Loethai (1298 to
King Nguanamthom (1347)
Lithai or Thammaracha I (1347 to
King Thammaracha II or Phya Sai Leu Thai (1368 to
King Thammaracha III or Phya Sai Luthai (1399 to
King Thammaracha IV (1419 to 1438)
- Rama I Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke (1782 to 1809)
- Rama II Buddha Loetla Nabhalai (1809 to 1824)
- Rama III Nangklao (1824 to 1851)
- Rama IV Mongkut (1851 to 1868)
- Rama V Chulalongkom (1868 to 1910)
- Rama VI Vajiravudh (1910 to 1925)
- Rama VII Prajahipok (1925 to 1935)
- Rama VIII Ananda Mahidol (1935 to 1946)
- Rama IX Bhumibol Adulyadei (1946 until the present)