Home of a Thai statesman
Published/Last edited or updated: 29th February, 2016
The stilted wood house where he grew up has been painstakingly restored and now stands as a memorial to a man who helped to shape the face of modern Thailand.
Born into a wealthy Chinese-Thai family and educated in France, Pridi was instrumental in Thailand’s 1932 shift from absolute to constitutional monarchy. He then founded Thammasat University and took on several key ministerial posts prior to World War II, when he left the country and organised a “Free Thai” movement to resist the Thai military government’s alliance with Imperial Japan.
Pridi returned to briefly serve as Thai prime minister in 1946 and went on to resist subsequent military governments, taking exile abroad after a failed coup attempt in 1949. In 2000, 17 years after his death, UNESCO named Pridi as one of the world’s great personalities of the 20th century. He is widely credited with introducing constitutional government and democracy (the idea, at least) to Thailand, though some royalists now deride him as anti-monarchy.
Set on stilts and surrounded by gardens overlooking a canal, the house features a statue of Pridi along with info on his life and a case full of books written about him, including several academic works in English. These are kept in a large bureau adorned with exquisite Chinese-style woodcarvings. The house itself also serves as an example of traditional Thai-style architecture.
While we enjoyed the Memorial thanks to our penchant for Thai political history, it’s only worth a stop if you happen to be pedalling by.
Address: Uthong Rd, just west of the Million Toy Museum on the northwest side of the island
Coordinates (for GPS): 100º33'8.24" E, 14º21'37.56" N
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David Luekens first came to Thailand in 2005 when Thai friends from his former home of Burlington, Vermont led him on a life-changing trip. Based in Thailand since 2011, he spends much of his time eating in Bangkok street markets and island hopping the Andaman Sea.
These tours are provided by Travelfish partner GetYourGuide.
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