Khai Bang Kung

Bang Kung Camp

THAI NAME: ค่ายบางกุ้ง
LOCATION: Bang Khonthi District in Samut Songkhram
GPS: 13.445671, 99.941294

Bang Kung Camp  is located at Mu 4, Tambon Bang Kung. When arriving at the camp site, visitors will firstly see an imitation wall built in memory of the battle. Here is a historic navy camp site. Following the second defeat of the Ayutthaya kingdom in 1767, King Taksin the Great moved the naval force to set up camp in the district of Bang Kung since Mueang Mae Klong (the city of Mae Klong) was in the way used by the Burmese army. A wall was built to make Wat Bang Kung be in the middle of the camp as a spirit centre for soldiers.

Bang Kung Camp

King Taksin the Great later commanded the Chinese from Rayong, Chon Buri, Ratchaburi, and Kanchanaburi to form a guard unit for the camp. The camp was, therefore, called the ‘Bang Kung Chinese Camp.’ The king named the guards ‘Thahan Phakdi Asa’ or the ‘voluntary loyal soldiers.’ In 1768, the Burmese king of Angwa led an army via Kanchanaburi to surround the camp. King Taksin the Great and Phra Maha Montri (Bunma) jointly fought and defeated the Burmese. It was the first battle against the Burmese after the Kingdom of Thon Buri had been established by King Taksin the Great.

The victory was hailed as moral support to the Thai people while it created a sense of fear among the Burmese army. The camp site was left deserted for almost 200 years. In 1967, the Ministry of Education established a boy scout camp on the site to celebrate King Taksin the Great, and also built a shrine as a memorial to the king. The ceremony to raise the shrine was held on 20 June 1968. Within the camp compound, there is the Ubosot (ordination hall) commonly called as ‘Bot Luangpho Dam,’ which was built in the Ayutthaya period. The hall is wholly covered by four species of ficus plants: Pho (Bodhi), Sai, Krai, and Krang. Therefore, it is also called ‘Bot Prok Pho’ (ordination hall covered by Bodhi trees). The monument of King Taksin the Great is in the nearby area.

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