Mueang Sing Historical Park

Mueang Sing Historical Park is a national park of Thailand located on the bank of Kwai Noi River in Tambon Sing, Amphoe Sai Yok, Kanchanaburi Province. The park, surrounded by mountain ranges, square-shaped area, is situated within the laterite wall (800 meters wide, 850 meters long and 7 meters high). The park has four main entrances and the whole area is surrounded by an irrigation canal, and six freshwater ponds are located within the city wall.

 

History of Mueang Sing Historical Park

Mueang Sing Historical Park was built as a Buddhist monastery of Mahayana. The Fine Arts Department had firstly performed a restoration in 2478 B.E., then performed an official restoration in 2517 B.E. and finished in 2530 B.E. The style of Prasat Mueang Sing is similar to the classical style of architecture and sculpture in the reign of King Jayavarman VII who was regarded as the king who unified the Khmer empire and carried out noteworthy building projects (1720 – 1780 B.E.). According to the exploration of The Fine Arts Department, several pieces of fine arts which are of great historical importance were found around the area; for example, Nak Prok Buddha statutes, the statues of Avalokitesvara, the statues of Prajnaparamita. Moreover, there was a discovery of the statue of Avalokitesvara with the radiated light; the style of this statue is similar to the statues found in Cambodia.

Presently, the authentic statue has been transferred to display at Bangkok National Museum, and the reproduction of the statue is shown to public at Mueang Sing Historical Park main building. From the Preah Khan inscription of Virakumara (a crown prince of Javavarman VII) in Cambodia, there were 23 cities built by the king Javavarman VII; it is believed that one of those is Prasat Mueang Sing.

Additionally, the inscription also recorded the name of “Lavo” or “Lopburi” with Phra Prang Sam Yot as the contemporary antiquity. On the point of view of Assoc. Prof. Sisak Wanliphodom, an assumption based on the similarity of the names of city around Chao Phraya River and the inscribed names without concerning of the principles of geography can literally distort the facts. Generally, Khmer architectures, known as Arokhaya San, are found throughout the northeast of Thailand, and also in some districts in Prachinburi Province (presently, these areas become SaKaeo Province). The style of architecture around the northeast of Thailand is totally different when compared to the architecture found around Chao Phraya River. Likewise, the architectures found alongside the land route lying through Lavo, Phetchaburi, and Prasat Mueang Sing, are unique in style. However, the similarity in style of many religious images, the statues of Avalokitesvara, and the statues of Prajnaparamita can possibly identify the original source of these sculptures—Lavo, and some statues of Avalokitesvara were imported from Angkor in Cambodia. Nevertheless, the empirical evidences support the fact that socio-cultural relations between Lavo and Angkor really existed.

In the reign of King Rama I, Mueang Sing was established as a border town. Then, in the reign of King Rama IV, the city ruler of Mueang Sing was appointed as “Chao Saming Sing Burin”. However, after the change of administration to Monthon Thesaphiban (country subdivision) in the reign of King Rama V, Mueang Sing was degraded from a border town to     a subdistrict.  

 

Archaeological Sites

Archaeological Site 1 

The site is comprised of outstanding architectures that are in great condition located in front of the town. A cross-shaped laterite terrace lies at the front of the castle and a low wall was built surrounding the buildings and the main entrances. Behind the wall, a laterite terrace links the corridor around the castle to the arched entrances. There is a laterite building standing next to the corridor inside the castle, this building was built to keep textbooks and manuscripts. In the middle, the main castle is situated on a square-shaped base with porches pointing out in four directions, the roof top partially collapsed and the statue of Avalokitesvara stands within this main castle.        

Archaeological Site 2

The site is similar to the Archaeological Site No. 1, a small-sized castle in                  a dilapidated condition is situated on a two-layer square-shaped base surrounded by a low wall.  At the front arched entrance, a terrace covers a wide area outside the wall, behind the entrance at the left lies a corridor decorated with well-crafted sculptures at both sides. There are six buildings standing inside; the main castle in the middle, the arched entrances at the left, at the right and behind the castle. Inside the arched entrances appear several religious images located on the platforms. Presently, the restoration reveals a large number of sculptures on the platforms located along the corridor, and also discovers a number of statues influenced by traditional style of Avalokitesvara and Prajnaparamita.

Archaeological Site 3 

Only a small laterite base situated on another square-shaped base stands in the site; however, a number of Buddha medals were found in the area. 

Archaeological Site 4 

The ruin in this site remains only bricks and laterite stones that identify original locations of some buildings.

 

Excavation Site

The excavation site, located on the river bank, has uncovered prehistoric items that are of high archeological value; for example, pieces of ancient bone, ancient tools, bronze wares, earthenware, iron tools, and stone bead and glass bead necklaces. The excavated items identify the origin of the community that was settled before the establishment of Mueang Sing since the discovered bones date back to about 2,000 years ago. It is believed that the ancient people who lived around the area were in the same period as Ban Kao community.

 

More information 

The excavation site opens daily to public at 09.00 a.m. – 4.00 p.m., entry fee charges 10 THB for Thai people, 50 THB per car, and 40 THB for foreigners. Visitors are advised to contact for further information at Tel. No. 0-3458-5052 Ext. 3.

 

Traveling

 

Keep on Highway No. 4 (Phet Kasem Road) to Nakhon Pathom, then keep straight until the overpass with the sign “Kanchanaburi” appears. After that, continue straight on Highway No. 323 for 7 kilometers to the intersection, turn right (turn left to Ban Pong, keep straight to the Khangkhao Cave) to Kanchanaburi. Then, keep straight ahead to Kaeng Sian intersection, and keep on the road to Amphoe Sai Yok about 30 kilometers. At that distance, the sign to Mueang Sing Historical Park will appear, then turn left and continue straight, Mueang Sing Historical Park is located about 10 kilometers away.