Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Thailand: Songkhla (宋卡)& Na Songkhla family

Map of Songkhla Province

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Songkhla (Thai: สงขลา, Malay: Singgora) is the one of the southern provinces (changwat) of Thailand. Neighboring provinces are (from east clockwise) Satun, Phatthalung, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Pattani and Yala. To the south it borders Kedah and Perlis of Malaysia. In contrast to most other provinces, the capital Songkhla is not the largest city in the province. The much newer city of Hat Yai, with a population of 194,000, is twice as big as Songkhla. This often leads to the misconception that Hat Yai is the provincial capital. Both cities are part of Greater Hatyai-Songkhla Metropolitan Area.

Songkhla locates on the Malay Peninsula, at the coast of the Gulf of Thailand. The province is about four metres above the sea level and its highest elevation at Khao Mai Kaeo is eight hundred and twenty one metres. It is generally made up of a flat plain in the east, shallow coastline to the north, mountains and forest lands to the west and south which slope gently towards Songkhla Lake.

Songkhla Lake is located between Phatthalung and Songkhla province and is commonly known to Thais as ‘thale sap Songkhla’, where ‘thale sap’ means the lake. Songkhla Lake is the country’s largest natural lake and is also the biggest lake in the Far East. It covers an area of about one thousand and forty square kilometres and has a north-south extent of seventy eight kilometres. The lake divides into four sections, namely Thale Noi, Thale Luang, Thale Sap, and Thale Sap Songkhla. Thale Noi is the northern section of Songkhla Lake, which has freshwater.

Geographically, Songkhla has two main parts. The upper part is called ‘Sathing Phra Peninsula’, which includes Ranot, Krasaesin, Sathing Phra, and Singha Nakhon district. However, the local people prefer to call the area ‘pandin bok’ and call themselves ‘chao bok’. ‘Bok’ is the local word means small elevated area thus ‘pandin bok’ means small elevated land and ‘chao bok’ means people of the small elevated land. The lower and bigger part includes the rest of the administrative districts. These two parts are connected by the Tinnasulanon Bridge, which is named after General Prem Tinnasulanon, the former Prime Minister and the present Elder Statesman and Chief Privy Councellor, who is a native of the area. This bridge spans three kilometres across the Songkhla Lake while intersects through Kor Yor (Yor Island) in the middle of the lake.

The map of Songkhla

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Songkhla Province is subdivided into 16 districts (amphoe), which are further subdivided into 127 subdistricts (tambon) and 987 villages (muban).

The districts of Chana (Malay: Chenok), Thepa (Malay:Tiba) were detached from Mueang Pattani and transferred to Songkhla during the thesaphiban reforms around 1900.

1. Mueang Songkhla (Malay: Singgora)
2. Sathing Phra
3. Chana (Malay: Chenok)
4. Na Thawi (Malay: Nawi)
5. Thepha (Malay: Tiba)
6. Saba Yoi (Malay: Sebayu)
7. Ranot (Malay: Renut)
8. Krasae Sin
9. Rattaphum
10. Sadao (Malay: Sendawa)
11. Hat Yai
12. Na Mom
13. Khuan Niang
14. Bang Klam
15. Singhanakhon
16. Khlong Hoi Khong

Sathing Phra, on the north side of the opening, was an important trading port during the Srivijaya Empire from the seventh to the thirteenth centuries.

Mueang Songkhla
Mueang Songkhla (เมืองสงขลา) is the capital district (Amphoe Mueang) of Songkhla Province, southern Thailand. The name Songkhla is actually the Thai corruption of Singgora,its original name means 'the city of lions' in Malay. This refers to a lion-shaped mountain near the city of Songkhla.

Songkhla, a medieval pirate stronghold, is a historic, albeit sleepy town with a thriving fishing community. Another Srivijaya outpost in Thailands southern region, Songkhla was initially named Sa-thing". Previously a port and a coastal trading post where Indian, Persian and Arabian merchants came to exchange their products, the place was named "Sing Lha" after the 2 lion-shape islands at the mouth of the city's lake. At present, these 2 islands are Koh Nu (Rat Island) and Koh Maeo (Cat Island). The old part of Songkhla is located at the present-day Amphoe Sathing Phra.

Neighboring districts are (from the south clockwise) Chana, Na Mom, Hat Yai and Singhanakhon of Songkhla Province. To the east is the Gulf of Thailand. The northern part of the district is the Songkhla Lake.

The district is subdivided into 6 subdistricts (tambon), which are further subdivided into 46 villages (muban). The city (thesaban nakhon) Songkhla covers the whole tambon Bo Yang. There are further 5 Tambon administrative organizations (TAO).

No. Name(Thai name)
1. Bo Yang(บ่อยาง)
2. Khao Rup Chang(เขารูปช้าง)
3. Ko Taeo(เกาะแต้ว)
4. Phawong (พะวง)
5. Thung Wang(ทุ่งหวัง)
6. Ko Yo (เกาะยอ)

The map of Muang Songkhla

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Early History
Songkhla was the seat of an old Malay Kingdom with heavy Srivijayan influence. In ancient times (200 AD - 1400 AD), Songkhla formed the northern extremity of the Malay Kingdom of Langkasuka. When Burma won the war over Ayutthaya in 1767 A.D., Nakhon Si Thammarat(นครศรีธรรมราช)which was previously called Tambralingga, or Nagara Sri Dhammaraja in Pali language,or called Ligor by the west. It declared independence from Ayutthaya. The ruler of Nakhon Si Thammarat appointed his loyal official, Vithin, to govern Songkhla. The city-state then became a tributary of Nakhon Si Thammarat, suffering damage during several attempts to gain independence. King Taksin the Great then decided to eliminate the power of Nakhon Si Thammarat so he conquered the city and its principal cities, including Songkhla in 1769. The area of Songkhla at that time included the area that is now Muang Songkhla, Hat Yai, and Sathing Phra district. The king appointed a new leader named ‘Yom’, who was a Buddhist monk to govern Songkhla. Since the 18th century, Songkla has been firmly under Thai suzerainty.

Na Songkhla ณ สงคลา family

In the 18th century many Chinese immigrants, especially from Guangdong and Fujian, came to the province. Quickly rising to economic wealth, one of them won the bidding for the major tax farm of the province in 1769, establishing the Na Songkhla (literally means 'from Songkhla') family as the most wealthy and influential. The Na Songkhla family, who are of Thai Chinese heritage and maintained good relations with bureaucratic elites during the 18th and 19th centuries. The Na Songkhla clan traces its origin to Chinese Yiang Sae Hao, Chinese name Wu Rang(呉譲), from family of Wu. The clan founder, who migrated from Fujian province to Siam in 1750 and established political influence in Songkhla Province. In 1777 the family also gained political power, when the old governor was dismissed and Yiang Sae Hao, became the new governor, with the title Luang Inthakhiri. He was the origin of the Na Songkhla clan, which continuously governed Songkhla for about one hundred and twenty six years. The post was inherited in the family and held by 8 of his descendants until 1901, when Phraya Wichiankhiri (Chom) was honorably retired as part of the administrative reforms of Prince Damrong Rajanubhab. The family's former home has been converted into the Songkhla National Museum in 1953.

Mongkol Na Songkhla was as of January 2007 the Minister of Health for Thailand. He was appointed by Thai Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont and sworn into office on October 9, 2006. On February 6, 2008, he was replaced by Chaiya Sasomsab.

Jaroon Na Songkhla was the Military Commissioner, Thai administrator of Malay state Perlis during Japanese occupation,the appointment was on 7-9-1943(source:The Japanese occupation of Malaya: a social and economic history(1997), by Paul H. Kratoska, pg 87)

Songkhla Governor 1777-1901

King Taksin also appointed a Chinese named ‘Yiang Sae Hao’ to be ‘nai arkorn rungnok’ or the person who had the official right to conduct bird’s nest (swiftlet’s nest) business on Kho Si and Kho Ha Islands in the Songkhla Lake. The nest is made from the saliva of the swiftlet. The Chinese are the biggest consumers of the bird’s nest and they believe it is the health food or medicine to improve strength. The consumption of the bird’s nest by the Chinese dates back to the 6th. century A.D.. Because of the very high demand and the limited supply of the bird’s nest, the nest trading is a very good revenue generating business and was usually in the hands of the Chinese or Sino-Thai people since they spoke the language and had better connection with the Chinese importers from China.

Later, the wealthy Yiang Sae Hao, who also had good relationship with King Taksin the Great, was appointed as ‘Luang Suwan Kiri Sombat’ and then ‘Praya Songkhla’ to govern Songkhla. In 1777 , when the old governor was dismissed , Yiang Sae Hao, Chinese name Wu Rang (呉譲) became the new governor. Note: He was the origin of the Na Songkhla clan, which continuously governed Songkhla for about one hundred and twenty six years until 1901.

Songkhla was under the control of Nakhon Si Thammarat(Ligor Kingdom) for about ten years (1767 - 1777 A.D.) and then was under the direct central governing of Thonburi for five years(1778-1782). King Taksin was removed in 1782, and start the Chakri Dynasty by his general, Phraya Chakri, later known as King Ramathibodi or Rama I.

In 1786 the old governor started an uprising, which was however put down after four months.

King Rama I (1782- 1809 A.D.), of Rattanakosin time or Bangkok time, appointed Boonhui Na Songkhla as the second Governor to Songkhla and brought Songkhla under the control of Nakhon Si Thammarat once again. Boonhui Na Songkhla had business talent and he generated lots of revenue, especially from the tin mining and bird’s nest business, and sent the revenue to the king. The roles of the Songkhla Governor and Songkhla were clearly noticeable by the king when he conquered Pattani, one of Thailand’s foreign territories under the control of Songkhla, as Pattani wished to be an independent state. King Rama I then had Songkhla brought directly
under the central governing in Bangkok and the Governor was promoted to be ‘Chao Praya Pichaikiri’, having the highest official ranking.

Chao Praya Pichaikiri passed away in the reign of King Rama II (1809- 1824 A.D.). Then Praya Visetpakdi (Thienjong Na Songkhla) was the third Songkhla Governor. In this period, the role of Nakhon Si Thammarat was far more important than Songkhla. When the Governor to Songkhla failed in his job and did not cooperate with the central government in Bangkok, King Rama II had Praya Soonthorn Nurak (Thienseng Na Songkhla) appointed as the fourth Governor. King Rama III (1824- 1851 A.D.) then gave the new title to Praya Soonthorn Nurak as ‘Praya Vichienkiri’.

List of Songkhla governors from Na Songkhla family

1. Wu Rang (吴让)(b 1717-d 1784)Praya Songkhla Yiang Sae Hao, some called him Wu Wong(吴王).
2. Wu Wenhui(b1745-d1811)Praya Pichaikiri (Boonhui Na Songkhla),son of Wu Rang's first wife
3. Wu Tien-chung, Praya Visetpakdi (Thienjong Na Songkhla), son of Boonheaw, brother of Boonhui
4. Wu Thien-seng (吴志生)Praya Soonthorn Nurak (Thienseng Na Songkhla), 2nd son of Boonheaw, brother of Boonhui
5. Wu Wen-shuang, Chaopraya Vichienkiri (Boonsung Na Songkhla), son of Boonchin, son of Wu Rang's 2nd wife
6. Chaopraya Vichienkiri (Men Na Songkhla), son of Thienjong.
7. Praya Vichienkiri (Choom Na Songkhla), son of Boonsung
8. Praya Vichienkiri (Chom Na Songkhla), grandson of Men, ruled from 1888 to 1901 until he was retired.

1892 Reformation of administration

Beginning in 1892 Prince Damrong as minister of the interior in King Chulalongkorn's reformed government began a reorganization of provincial administration. At that time the country was divided into provinces of four different classes and vassal states. The latter were recognized as quasi-independent under their own hereditary ruling families, and many of the former, although in theory completely subordinate to the capital were in fact ruled by local elite families in which the governorship remained from one generation to the next. Over this structure Prince Damrong established the monthon as a supra-provincial unit headed by an appointed official from the central government bureaucracy, and within a few years was able to replace the old-style hereditary governors with appointed officials changed at frequent intervals. The elite families of the different regions appear to have been affected in different ways. The old rulers of the vassal states kept their nominal positions until death. Many of the governing elite of the southern provinces maintained themselves in the national bureaucracy in positions of comparable rank. The greatest change was in the northeast where the governing elite families lost their old positions and were unable to integrate into the reformed bureaucracy. The Na Ranong family, The Na Songkhla family and other hereditary ruling families come to an end historically. In 1901, Phraya Wichiankhiri (Chom) was honorably retired as part of the administrative reforms of Prince Damrong Rajanubhab.

1896 Monthon Nakhon Si Thammarat(มณฑลนครศรีธรรมราช)
Monthon Nakhon Si Thammarat(มณฑลนครศรีธรรมราช)was established 1896, when the Nakhon Si Thammarat kingdom was abolished and finally incorporated into Siam. The monthon covered those areas on the east coast of the peninsula, i.e. the provinces Songkhla, Nakhon Si Thammarat and Phatthalung. The administration was located in Songkhla in the present-day Songkhla national museum. Monthon Surat was incorporated into Monthon Nakhon Si Thammarat in 1925, Monthon Pattani in 1932. The monthon Nakhon Si Thammarat was dismantled in 1933, Nakhon Si Thammarat become a province.

List of Commissioners

1896-1906 Phraya Sukhumnaiwinit (Pan Sukhum)
1906-1910 Phraya Chonlaburanurak (Charoen Charuchinda)
1910-1925 Prince Lopburi Ramet
1925-1933 ?

1909 Anglo- Siamese Treaty
Another major event in the History of Songkhla is Anglo- Siamese Treaty of 1909 when Songkhla was occupied by Siam according to the treaty with the British ruler.

1932 The Siamese Revolution of 1932 or the Siamese Coup d'état of 1932 (Thai: การปฏิวัติสยาม พ.ศ. 2475 or การเปลี่ยนแปลงการปกครองสยาม พ.ศ. 2475)

The revolution or the coup d'état was a bloodless transition on 24 June 1932, in which the system of government in Siam was changed from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy. The revolution was brought about by a group of military and civilians, who formed Siam's first political party, Khana Ratsadon (Peoples' Party). The revolution ended 150 years of absolutism under the House of Chakri and almost 700 years of absolute rule of Kings over Thai history. The Revolution was a product of global historical change as well as social and political changes domestically. The revolution also resulted in the people of Siam being granted their first Constitution.

The new regime of 1932 was led by a group of colonels headed by Phraya Phahol Pholphayuhasena and Phraya Songsuradej. In December they produced a constitution — Siam's first — which included a National Assembly, half appointed and half indirectly-elected. The people were promised that full democratic elections would be held once half the population had completed primary education — which was expected to be sometime in the 1940s. A prime minister and Cabinet were appointed and a facade of constitutional rule was maintained.

A royalist reaction came in late 1933 when Prince Bovoradej, a grandson of Mongkut and one-time Minister of Defence, led an armed revolt against the government. At the height of the conflict in 1933, the royal couple took refuge at Songkhla. The King's withdrawal from the scene of the fighting was interpreted by the victorious party as a sign that he had failed in his duty. By refusing to give his full support to the government forces, his credibility was undermined

The military become the important force in Thailand's politic.

1941 Japanese Occupation
Thailand was occupied by the Japanese during World War II from the 1941 invasion until Japan's defeat in 1945. The port city of Songkhla was one of the main objectives of Yamashita’s 25th Army. The Japanese landings occurred during the early hours of December 8. Thai garrison at Khao Khor Hong (the 41st Infantry Battalion and the 13th Artillery battalion) immediately occupied positions alongside the roads leading down to Malaya, but were brushed aside into positions the main Japanese advance could ignore. A further clash occurred at Hat Yai. The fighting ceased at noon when orders for an armistice to be arranged was received. The capture of the Songkhla province by the Imperial Japanese Army on 8 December 1941.


吴让原为中国福建漳州府海澄县山塘乡西兴村人氏,生于清康熙丁酉56年(公元1717年)12月26日酉时。1750年移居宋卡,以种菜捕鱼为生。 1770年,郑皇大帝驾临宋卡时,吴让来献其妻孥、奴隶、红烟,以乞四岛、五岛燕窝专采权,愿年纳税银50斤。郑皇仅收所献红烟50箱而允所请,并封为子爵,爵号銮因他奇里颂木。公元1775年,吴让晋京呈献锐金及贡品,郑皇世视为旧臣,并由于为人正直,对郑皇忠心耿耿,乃封为宋卡城主,从此开启了宋卡吴氏王朝的历史

Ban Sattha (บ้านศรัทธา)
Ban Sattha is situated on a hill slope overlooking the Tinsulanond Bridge to Ko Yo(เกาะยอ) , surrounded by coconut plantations. The city people had it built for H.E. Prem Tinsulanond, the Privy Councilor and Statesman, when he was the Prime Minister. Construction was completed. In B.E. 2539(1996), H.E. Prem gave the house back to the people of Songkhla.

General(ret.) Prem Tinsulanonda (เปรม ติณสูลานนท์, born August 26, 1920) is a retired Thai military officer who served as Prime Minister of Thailand from March 3, 1980 to August 4, 1988.Born in Songkhla Province. General Prem is also famous for initiating the negotiation with the members of the Communist Party of Thailand. Consequently the amnesty was declared, many communist cadres, ex-students, returned home. This helped to end the violent fighting between the government and communist guerrillas in 1980s.

Phathammarong Museum (พิพิธภัณฑ์พะธำมะรง)
Phathammarong Museum,on Chana Road near the Songkhla National Museum. It was constructed constructed in the late 80s, built in a Thai style to resemble the birthplace of H.E. Prem Tinsulanond, the former Prime Minister and Statesman who is a Songkhla native. The construction was based on his testimony when his father was the prison warden. Admission is free, open from Tue to Sun, 8:30-16:00, close on public holiday. The tourist information center is at the entrance of the museum. Guilded tour to the museum will be given by the tourist information center personnel who will also hand you a copy of useful Songkhla tourist brochure with a useful map inside.

Samrong Bridge,
In a flat-bottomed wooden boat, it takes about an hour to paddle along the briny four-kilometer length of Khlong Samrong(Samrong Canal) in Songkhla, from the inland sea on one side, to the South China Sea on the other. Besides houses, factories and tidal flats, you pass five poor settlements which have been home to fishermen, net-weavers, dockyard laborers and vendors for half a century. Khlong Samrong is the blackest and most polluted canal in Southern Thailand.

Samrong bridge Inscriptions which are written in Thai, Chinese and -Jawi respectively. Songkhla lies between the Thai Buddhist and Malay Muslim spheres of influence. In the 17th century, the ruler of Songkhla was a Muslim but in the 18th century, the Muslim ruler of Phattalung who had placed Songkhla under his influence converted to Buddhism. Subsequently, the Hokkien Chinese Wu clan came to govern Songkhla. The cultural world of Buddhism and Islam overlapped here before the official demarcation of the Thai-Malay border in 1909 and the emergence of the Thai and Malay nation-states. According to the above Inscriptions, the monuments of the Samrong bridge were built in 1847 through the contribution of the ruler of Songkhla, his clan, and other people. The Samrong bridge was rebuilt as a stone bridge by the Chinese ruler of Songkhla. The Chinese Inscription highlights the Chinese governor's achievements and contains the names of Penang merchants from a long list of donors. The Thai Inscription describes a Buddhist ceremony which was observed by the Siamese, Khaek [Muslims], and Chinese. The Jawi Inscription contains the date of the Thai calendar translated into Malay and is basically similar to the Thai Inscription in terms of content. These Inscriptions help us understand the strong relations between Songkhla and the port-cities of the west coast of the Malay Peninsula in the second half of the 19th century(KURODA Keiko,2002)

The Old Town at the Foot of Khao Daeng Hill,Singhanakhon
Boats leaves from the fresh food market place to the opposite bank of the lake where there are hundreds of household establishments. In the foothills you can see the cemetery of Na Songkhla Family ancestors. The tombs was at Khao Hua Deng.

Twin Pagodas on Khao Daeng Hill: Black Pagoda or Chedi Ong Dam is located on the top of Khao Daeng Hill in Amphoe Singha Nakhon. It was built by Chao Muang Phra Khlang (Dis Bunnag) or Somdet Phraya Ongyai (Somdet Phra Borom Maha Prayoorawong on occasion of a victory over the rebellion of Kedah in 1830. White Pagoda was built by Phraya Sri Phiphat (Thad Bunnag) or Somdet Maha Phichai Yat in memory of the victory over the rebellion of the rulers of Kedah, Patani, and Penang. After suppressing the rebellion, Phraya Sri Phiphat remained in Songkhla for two years, during which time he built the white pagoda or Chedi Ong Khao on top of the hill as a twin of the black one.

Songkhla National Museum(พิพิธภัณฑสถานแห่งชาติสงขลา)
The typically Chiness style building of the present day Songkhla National Museum was built in 1878 at the command of Phraya Sundranuraksa (Mr. Net Na Songkhla), Deputy Governor of Songkhla at that time. After being a house of his family for 16 years, the building then was used as the residence of Phraya Yommaraj (Mr. Pan Sukum), state governor of Nakhon Si Thammarat in 1894 - 1896, the state hall in 1896 - 1897, and the city hall of Songkhla Province in 1917 - 1953, respectively. Afterwards it was neglected for 20 years. On the 6th of July 1973 it was registered as a National Monument. From 1974 it was successively restored by the Fine Arts Department to house cultural material, and has served as Songkhla National Museum

Songkhla National Museum
Vichianchom Road, Bo Yang
Songkhla 90000, Thailand

San Chaopho Lak Muang(ศาลหลักเมืองสงขลา)
City Pillar Shrine Locally called San Chaopho Lak Muang Songkhla, the shrine was erected when the city was first built. It is located on Nang Ngarm Road, the shrine was revered and worshipped by people in Songkhla and from neighboring provinces. Built to commemorate the founding of the city, the Chinese architectural styled shrine has influenced other buildings in the town. Particularly prominent are the Sino - Portuguese styled houses on Nakhon Nai and Nakhon Nork Road

Wat Suwan Khiri

This archaeological site in Singha Nakhon, the old Songkhla at Laem Son, is patronized by Na Songkhla clan. This is another important temple of Songkhla since the early Rattanakosin Era. The Chinese-styled, 7-storied pagoda in front of the ubosot, constructed by Chao Phraya Phichai Khiri(Boonhui Na Songkhla) in 1798(BE 2341), has the same shape and size as its contemporary in Wat Machimawat. The Shrine of Chao Phraya Wichian Khiri : This Chinese pavilion houses the statue of Thuat Hua Khao Daeng, greatly revered locally, especially among fishermen.

Nakhon Nai Road
This is the oldest road in Songkhla. Ancient dwellings along the thoroughfare display distinctive Chinese architectural influence.


宋卡(Songkhla,泰语)位于泰国南部边境,坐落于马来半岛北部东海岸内海的宋卡湖口。今属泰国洛坤省(Province of Nakhon Si Thammarat, now Songkhla province),为宋卡府首邑,自古就是暹罗的重要港口和沿海省份。

清乾隆十五年(1750年),福建省漳州府海澄县山塘乡西兴村人吴让渡海至宋卡谋生,先居巫王素黎曼旧城,翌年迁居乍纳城(Cha Na)童阿旺村,种植蔬菜、蒌叶。1753年,迁宋卡膠井区,买奴4户从事捕鱼。吴让于1758年搬到廉松村经商,娶博他崙女子庄氏为侧室。吞武里王朝郑皇信(Chao Tak Sin)率兵南下征服洛坤一带,吴让趁机于1769年奏请郑皇,以年交税银50斤的代价承包宋卡湖上端四岛、五岛(Ko Si,Ko Ha)的燕窝开采权。吴让经营有方,因此被郑皇封爵銮因他奇里颂木 Luang Inthakhiri Sombat,人称廉松头,或称伯翁。郑皇嘉其忠诚,1775年诏封昭孟(Chao Muang),意为城主,爵号銮素汪奇里颂木‘Luang Suwan Kiri Sombat’,府署设廉松(Laem Son)。吴让卒于1784年,追封昭披耶(Chao Praya)。吴氏子孙世代相继,计传八世,凡129年(1775-1904年)。今泰国北大年、陶公、也拉等三府,及马来西亚吉兰丹、丁加奴、吉打、玻璃市等四州,均受节制。至今宋卡尚存吴王庙、城隍庙、吴氏家族茔墓及神主牌位和三朗桥(Samrong Bridge)石碑等与华侨有关的历史遗迹。




(来源: 闽南日报 2009-11-14)

1. The Thai solar calendar, Suriyakati (Thai: สุริยคติ: Suriya plus kati : way) was adopted by King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) in 1888 as the Siamese version of the Gregorian calendar. It is the official calendar in Thailand, though Thai lunar calendar dates continue in use. Years are counted in the Buddhist Era (póota sàk-gà-râat พุทธศักราช พ.ศ.) that is 543 years greater than the Christian Era (krít sàk-gà-râat คริสต์ศักราช ค.ศ.) As a convenience, calendars typically include the Christian Era (AD) in both Chinese and Arabic numerals.

2. I visited Songkhla in 1983, intended to visit my classmate Pa Kee Soon from Butterworth, who is having family business there, must be a Thai citizen now. But lost the contact. Anyone know him?

Related articles:

1. 华人打造宋卡城,
2. 暹罗宋卡吴国主考略,
4. Wat Matchimawat (Wat Klang), Songkhla,
5. Inscriptions of the Samrong Bridge of Songkhla in South Thailand(2002),(Part1:Aspects of Southeast Asia from the Viewpoint of the Jawi document), by KURODA Keiko, Kagoshima University(鹿児島大学), Japan, Japanese)


  1. I actually enjoyed reading through this posting.Many thanks.

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  2. I've been trying to track down someone I knew when I was stuck in Sadao for about a month back in 1971. His name was George (not sure if that was his actual name - he pronounced it 'Yort', but wrote it as 'George' in English script) Na Songkhla. He spoke perfect English, and would have been a few years older than me, making him in his early seventies now, I guess. His wife also spoke excellent English, and was, I believe, a teacher in the university at Had Yai. When I knew him, he had a son of about 7 years old, twin daughters of about six years old, and a baby (whose sex I don't remember) of about one year; and he lived just outside Sadao on the road that went to the border.

    He was a lovely guy, and I spent many enjoyable evenings at his house, chatting, drinking Mekong Whiskey and watching the tropical fish he bred as a hobby in tanks which lined the lower floor of his house.
    I realise you probably won't know yourself anything about him, but I was wondering if you have any idea where I could start looking. It doesn't matter if the search has to be in Thai language, as my wife is Thai.
    I know I'm grasping at straws here, but I've spent hours looking on Google, with no luck at all.
    Anyway, I hope you get to read this, as I see this is an old post, and if you do, thanks for reading, even if you can't help!
    Many thanks,
    Kevin Jones.