Travel: Exploring Dvaravati

(From the Nation)

The U Thong National Museum in Suphan Buri takes the visitor back through the millennia to an ancient Mon Kingdom

Dvaravati Buddha head

Dvaravati Buddha head

Suphan Buri province, 130 kilometres northwest of Bangkok, never lack ideas to attract visitors. The province continuously promotes various activities and attractions, among them the Suphan Buri Flower Festival showcasing tulips and other cold–climate flowers, the Promise of Love to celebrate Valentine’s Day and the Candle Festival marking the Buddhist Lent. Those wanting to escape Bangkok for the weekend can enjoy the 100-year-old Samchuk Market, Wat Pa Lelai Worawihan, an old temple that is mentioned in the famous Thai literary work “Khun Chang Khun Pan” and the recently built Dragon Descendants Museum, which symbolises the close relationship between the Thais and Chinese.

It is also home to one of Thailand’s less famous gems, the U Thong National Museum, which sits solemnly and largely unadvertised on Malaiman Road in U Thong district. Established in 1966, it houses precious artefacts from the Buddhist kingdom of Dvaravati.

Compared to the busy National Museum in Bangkok, which sees swarms of Chinese and European tourists, the U Thong National Museum is peaceful and laid back. The lack of tourists allows visitors to appreciate the artefacts at their own pace and there are no restrictions on photographs though the flash is not allowed.

The significance of U Thong, which literally means golden cradle, was recognised when Prince Damrong Rajanubhab, the Father of Thai History, visited Suphan Buri in 1903. He surveyed the ancient city of U Thong and later wrote about it in his official report and in his book, “Nithan Borankhadee”. Read more

Demon heads

Demon heads



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