Songkran draws visitors to new ‘ancient city’

national April 14, 2016 01:00

By THE NATION

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AN “ANCIENT CITY” reflecting the period after King Rama V abolished slavery in 1905 is nearing completion and shows the potential of becoming a new attraction in Kanchanaburi province.



During the Songkran break, many people and tour companies have been visiting this post-1905 city dubbed “Muang Mallika Project” in Sai Yok district every day, while filmmakers and TV series producers are allowed to use the area as a backdrop for period drama, project owner Polsak Prakob, 51, said.
Polsak, who runs many businesses, spent Bt200 million to turn his 60-rai of land into this city of his dreams, which will also serve as a new attraction where people, especially the youth, can learn about Thai lifestyle and culture more than 100 years ago. 
The “ancient city”, comprising traditional Thai houses within 10-metre-tall ancient-looking walls located near a petrol station on Highway No 323 in Tambon Singha, is 80 per cent complete. However, dozens of crewmembers, including children and elderly people clad in clothing of that era – were already at hand to show how people lived in ancient times. 
Polsak explained that being an avid reader of local history books, he wanted to educate the younger generation about this country’s roots and traditional lifestyle. 
In order to materialise this dream, he decided to create the “Muang Mallika Project”, which reflects the time when people were “mostly happy” that slavery had been brought to an end and foreign cultural influences began entering the country. He said the construction kicked off in June last year and a team from Silapakorn University designed the traditional houses. 
The project has some 400 crewmembers, who will act and dress to match the era, so visitors can learn about the days of yore first hand. 
On average Kanchanaburi receives 9 million visitors a year, and this number is growing he said, adding he was confident his “ancient city” will get at least 2 million visitors every year.

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