via Bangkok Post, 30 May 2019: Archaeological treasures from Surat Thani and Phangnga provinces in the south of Thailand. I say, these brick structures look remarkably similar to the Bujang Valley in Kedah. I wonder if anyone’s looked into any connection between them.
Chaiya National Museum was founded in 1932 to display the collections of the late abbot of Wat Phra Borommathat Chaiya in Surat Thani before being taken over by the Fine Arts Department. Most of the artefacts on display date back to the Srivijaya period, according to Kitti Chincharoentham, head of the museum. The highlight is the extensive collection excavated from Khao Phra Narai, including a stone dhamma wheel, broken ceramics, linga and Buddha amulets. Chaiya National Museum also has stone tools, ancient bronze drums, a wooden gable from the old ordination hall of the nearby temple and a Bodhisattva Buddhist sculpture of Mahayana Buddhism. The museum is open Wednesday to Sunday from 9am to 4pm. Karnjana Karnjanatawe
Visitors can walk up to the top of the hill, about 33m above sea level, to visit the complex of 19 religious sites, believed to be shrines and temples. After a millennium or so, most of what remains are only brick foundations.
“During excavation and renovation, we found artefacts dating back 1,000-1,400 years,” Phanuwat said. Among them were five sculptures of the Hindu god Vishnu. One of these sculptures, still in good condition, is on display at the Bangkok National Museum. A replica can be found at Khao Phra Narai.
Other artefacts found at the site include a Shiva Lingam stone and yoni base, Buddhist amulets, a dhamma wheel, Chinese pottery, Persian turquoise glazed ware and ancient beads. All are on display at Chaiya National Museum in Surat Thani.