San Phra Isuan

A handy sight

Photo of , , Kamphaeng Phet

What we say: 2.5 stars

Situated just northeast of the historical park's central zone, this small shrine has a laterite base upon which stands a bronze cast of the Hindu god Shiva.

The statue is a replica -- the original is displayed in the nearby Kamphaeng Phet National Museum. During the reign of King Rama V, the hands and head of the original statue were stolen by a German tourist who took them to Bangkok in 1886 with the intention of carting them back to Germany. It took a request from the king himself to have them returned, and the Thai authorities graciously supplied a copy of the stolen goods to the Museum of Berlin.

According to an ancient inscription on the base, the image "protects all two- and four-legged creatures" in Kamphaeng Phet, and it's still revered by the local townspeople.

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Usually found exploring Bangkok's side streets or south Thailand's islands, David Luekens is an American freelance writer & photographer who finds everyday life in Asia to be extraordinary. You can follow his travails here.

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