Almost Unseen Thonburi I : Talad Plu… Open My Mouth to Eat, Open My Ear to Learn
The most popular spot in the old town of Thonburi is unagruably Talad Plu (Plu Market). It was built when our great grandparents were still alive and kicking. Now, it is an umissable street food haven. You can eat as much as you want to piss off your personal fitness trainer. But Talad Plu is not only a place to eat. This old town is a historical location that you will keep yelling "Shut Up" when you know the story.
How to get there without getting sweaty
For those who come to Talad Plu by the BTS, when reaching the station with the same name, you'll know that you are nowhere near any market. It is becase the market is far from the station. You are left with 3 options. One: Distance Proves the Horse, Time Proves Your Hunger, which mean you have to walk there. The sidewalk along Ratchad Pisek - Ta Phra Road will guide you to the bridge of Talad Plu. It is one kilometer away from the station. Be careful your armpit may sweat. Two: Travel like the local by getting in the red mini bus (Rod Song Taew) that goes to Wat Pak Nam. and Three: Fast Travel with the orange-vest motorcycle taxi.
We all know that Talad Plu is famous street food, but does anyone ever know about its history? Along Thoet Thai Road that goes through the market, there are three historic temples located. They are called according to their location as Wat Bang Yi Ruea Nuea or Wat Rajkrueh, Wat Bang Yi Ruea Klang or Wat Chan Tha Ram and Wat Bang Yi Ruea Tai or Wat In Tha Ram.The story of the three temples dates back to Thonburi period.
Wat In Tha Ram, a superstar temple in Thonburi Era. The temple was renovated in the reign of King Taksin. It was used as the Royal Cremation Ceremony for the king's mother, which was the biggest social event in that era. Also, the king himself went to this temple to meditate occasionally, where the historical evidence of the king's appearance at the temple still remains until today.
The chaos at the end of Thonburi era put this temple into the historical spotlight. After King Taksin was beheaded at Wichaiprasit Fort, the body was brought to bury at this place. The body was buried during the political turmoil for two years. Then, the body was dug out for the royal cremation ceremony.
According to some historical wiritings (which are indeed heavily censored), when the King Rama I and his brother went to Wat In Tha Ram for the royal cremation ceremony, during the ceremony, the royal concubines who had served King Taksin cried mournfully for the late king. That angered the new king and his brother. Then, you know what would happen, right? The king ordered the royal concubines to get whipped in the back, all of them.
You may want to know where the King Taksin's body was buried. Actually, nobody knows. But it has been believed that the body of King Taksin was burnt at the same spot as the location of the main hall, which was built in the reign of King Rama III.
The most valuable historical evidence in this temple is in the King Taksin Shrine. It is the actual bench that the King Taksin used when the king meditated. is kept in mint condition even though the bench is over 200 years old.
Adjecent to the shrine, there is an old main ceremonial hall. In front of the main hall, the pogada that contains the ash of King Taksin and the queen is situated.
For the supernatural power believer who are badly in debt, you are highly recommended to pray at the shrine. How to Pray? No worry. The staff here are willing to assist you throughout the ritual with all the equipment needed. It is definitely popular among the Thais..To be continued