Home > Bangkok, FAM (Familiarization) Tour, General, Thailand, Thailand FAM > Pig Memorial, Pi Kun Bridge, Old City Moat, Bangkok

Pig Memorial, Pi Kun Bridge, Old City Moat, Bangkok

Pig Memorial

Pi Kun Bridge, Old City Moat, Bangkok

Also see: FAM tour of Thailand

Bangkok, a city known for its night life and shopping, has some very unusual memorials and monuments. The Democracy Monument, Victory Monument, Monument to the Expeditionary Force and October 14 Memorial are some of the well known monuments and memorials of Bangkok.

Pig Memorial, Bangkok

Pig Memorial, Bangkok

But Bangkok’s most unusual memorial is the Pig Memorial. Unlike the previous mentioned memorial the Pig Memorial does not lie on a regular tourist trail, so hardly visited by tourist.

Pi Kun Bridge

Pi Kun Bridge

The memorial consists of an oversized metal cast pig was built in 1913 to commemorate the 50th birthday of Queen Phatcharinthra, wife of King Rama V.

It may seem a strange idea but the Queen, along with the three sponsors of the memorial were born on the Year of Pig.

The three sponsors were Prince Narissara Nuwattiwong, Phraya Phipat Kosa (Celestino Xavier) and Phraya Ratcha Songkhram (Kon Hongsakun).

Prince Narissara Nuwattiwong, who was known for his artistic talent, was also the designer of the memorial. The main pig statue is protected by a canopy and sits high up on a stone plinth at the base of which there are also some smaller pig statues.

Pi Kun Bridge, over the Old City Moat

Pi Kun Bridge, over the Old City Moat

The memorial is also known as Sahachat Memorial (literally means the memorial of those who were born in the same year). I visited the Pig Memorial on 15 July 2018, during some festivals. The memorial was beautifully decorated. Flowers and food was offered on a table before the pig statue.

The memorial located next to the Pi Kun Bridge, which spans over the Old City Moat. The old city moat dates back to the Thonburi period of 1771 and was constructive for defensive purpose.

The moat covered both side of the Chao Phraya River. It had six different names, three each on Thonburi and Bangkok side. In 1982 the Thai government decide to combine all the six under the single name of Old City Moat (Khlong Khu Mueang Doem).

Old City Moat, from Pa Kun Bridge, Bangkok

Old City Moat, from Pa Kun Bridge, Bangkok

In 1911 (which was the year of the pig) a pedestrian bridge was built across the Old City Moat to commemorate the 48th birthday (4 cycle) of Queen Phatcharinthra. It is to be noted that the Thai calendar follows a 12 years cycle with each year being named after an animal. The four corners of the bridge are marked with decorative pillars representing the birthday candles of the four cycles.

Initially the bridge had no name but two years later in 1913, when the Pig memorial came up next to it, the bridge came to be known as Saphan Mu (Pig Bridge) or Saphan Pi Kun Mu (Year of Pig Bridge). Ever since it is popularly known as Pi Kun Bridge.

Note: I visited Thailand as part of a FAM trip organized by Tourism authority of Thailand (TAT) and Thai Airways.

Special Thanks:

  • Aso Lori (TAT, New Delhi) and Sajid Khan (Thai Airways, Kolkata)
  • My fellow FAM participants Amit Sachdev (Unique Air Travels), Sanjay Kr Kothari (Just Holidays), Vandana Arya (Gainwell Leisure Holidays), Piyush Banerjee (Discovery Holidays), Asif Alim (Neptune Holidaays) and Nandini Gangully (T2, The Telegraph)
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  1. August 1, 2018 at 7:40 PM

    Really awesome place. The four corners of the bridge are marked with decorative pillars representing the birthday candles of the four cycles. Thanks for sharing.

  2. August 2, 2018 at 10:25 AM

    Hi sir,

    Very informative article. Thanks for sharing.

    Thanks
    Ruma

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