Honorary Member and former President of the Siam Society.
Leader: Dr. Piriya Krairiksh
Ninety years ago, on Sunday 18th November 1923, the Siam Society organized a group of nearly 70 members to visit Nakhon Pathom for the first time. At that time there was no good road linking Bangkok with Nakhon Pathom, so the group had to go by train. On this trip 90 years later we will be able to go by road.
Nakhon Pathom city is reputed to be Thailand’s oldest city, dating back to the Dvaravati period (6th – 11th century). However, for most people the main attraction of this city is Phra Pathom Chedi. Standing 127 meters high it is the tallest Buddhist monument in the world, and is a few feet higher than the Shwedagon Chedi in Myanmar. It is believed that the first chedi on this site was erected in the 6th century, but the large chedi we see today was built in 1860, and encases the ruins of the original. It also marks the first centre of Buddhist learning on the Thai peninsula. For several decades Nakhon Pathom has been an important site for investigations by Thai and foreign scholars.
Today, the importance of Nakhon Pathom in the early history of Thailand is well recognized because of the large number of archaeological remains found there – ruins of chedis or stupa foundations, large and small stone and bronze sculptures, terracotta and stucco artefacts, stone inscriptions, stone “Wheels of the Law” and a stele representing the Buddha preaching, a large number of votive tablets, etc. New archaeological discoveries have been made and excavations are being carried out. How much do we know about this? How much information is available in the museum and where are those ancient ruins are located, etc.? Hopefuly, these questions will be answered on this trip.
Dr. Piriya Krairiksh, art historian from Harvard University, a senior research scholar by the Thailand Research Fund, author of the book “The Roots of Thai Art”, former Director of Thai Khadi Institute, Honorary member and former President of the Siam Society, will lead Society members to study arts, history and archaeology of Nakhon Pathom. Members will spend all day visiting museums and many archaeological sites in Nakhon Pathom province. The group will depart by bus from the Siam Society at 8:00 a.m. and is expected to return to the Society on the same day at 6:30 p.m.
A contribution of Bt. 1,850 per person (Bt.2,050 for non-members) will cover transportation, entrance fees to museums and monuments, lunch, a donation to the Siam Society, and all arrangements to make the trip possible. Please pay by cash or cheque (payable to ‘The Siam Society’). Alternatively you can deposit/transfer the money to the Siam Society travel account at the Thai Military Bank, Asoke Branch saving account no. 053-2-18000-7. Please fax or e-mail the deposit or transfer docket to us. There is a 4% surcharge for credit/debit card payment to cover bank charges.
The Siam Society reserves the right to change the programme as necessary. Seats are limited. Please book your place as soon as possible. For further information and bookings please contact Khun Prasert (ext.504) or Khun Ekkarin (ext.506) on 0-2661-6470-7 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Office hours: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday (except holidays).