MUEANG TRAI TRUENG (เมืองไตรตรึงษ์)
Mueang Trai Trueng is located 16 Km south of old Kamphaeng Phet along the route Khamphaeng Phet - Khlong Lan in Trai Trueng Sub-district of
Kamphaeng Phet. The ancient town situated on the west bank of the Ping River, dates from the Dvaravati period (6-11th century A.D.). A large number of
Dvaravati objects such as glass beads, fragments of earthenware lamps and unglazed pottery were found. Especially the fragments of the lamps, being the
same type as those mostly found in the Chao Phraya Basin suggest the prehistoric settlements of Kamphaeng Phet were located on an ancient route between
the central plains and areas of land in Hariphunchai (Lamphun). [1]
(Photographs taken on 3 May 2015. At the time of visit restoration works at the site were
ongoing under supervision of the Fine Arts Department - Sukhothai.)
Mueang Trai Trueng was an ancient town, established by Prince Chaisiri. Prince Chaisiri was the son of Prince Promarat, ruling over the principality of Chai
Prakan (Umongsela or Fang), and a daughter of Phya Ruankaeo, ruling over Vieng Chainarai, both important towns in the dominion of Chiang Saen (Yonok
Chaiya Buri) under King Pankarat. In the latter part of the twelfth century Chai Prakan was invaded by a Thai prince of the Shan branch in Burma, Khun Sua
Khan Fah, from the east. Prince Chaisiri withstood the enemy for seven months. Finally seeing that the town could not withstand any longer, he ordered the
town to be burnt down and evacuated the inhabitants towards the southeast, to a place called Bang Yang. Here they broke up into two groups; one went to
Sukhothai and later founded the Sukhothai Kingdom, while the other group under Prince Chaisiri went down to Kamphaeng Phet area and settled down in
Trai Trueng. Prince Chaisiri stayed briefly at Trai Trueng before moving further south to Nakhon Pathom. King Khun Sua Khan Fah withdrew after seeing
Chai Prakan burnt down and left the rest of Chieng Saen intact. [2]          

Mueang Trai Trueng became a vassal to Sukhothai once that kingdom had become an independent Thai state in the middle of the thirteenth century. The city
is said to be the home of the mother of King U-Thong. The princess was expelled from the city by her father, the King of Trai Trueng, after having married a
commoner. They both left the city and established
Thep Nakhon in 1319 on the opposite side of the Ping River. In 1344, their son U-Thong became king
and established afterwards the capital of Ayudhya in 1351. (1)[3][4]

The folktale of
Thao Saen Pom tells the story of a young man whose body was covered with hundred thousand nodules. He sold some egg-plants to
Princess U-sa, the lovely daughter of the King of Trai Trueng, who became pregnant shortly after. The king wanted to know who fathered the baby and
organised a selection ceremony in which the commoner Sean Pom became chosen. This brought great shame to the royal house and the King ordered his
daughter and grandson along with Sean Pom to sit on a raft floated in the Ping River. The God Indra disguised in a monkey offered Sean Pom a drum that
could fulfill three wishes after being beaten. Saen Pom's first wish was to get rid of its nodules; second was to be a ruler of a city, upon was offered Thep
Nakhon and as last he wished a golden cot for the baby-boy. The boy was named U-Thong after the cot and after the death of his father he continued to rule
Thep Nakhon for a number of years before moving his capital to Ayutthaya. A shrine for Thao Saen Pom is situated next to the bridge over the Ping River
who leads to
Wat Wang Phra That. [5]

Most of the sites within the ancient city have fallen into ruin and only Wat Wang Phra That on the banks of the Ping River still remains mostly intact. Found
here is a large pagoda in the shape of a lotus bud, a popular Sukhothai architectural style.

The remnants of Mueang Trai Trueng are located in Geo Coord: 16° 22' 32.47" N,  99° 33' 26.48" E. End 2014 the Fine Arts Department - Region 6
started restoration works on the site of Mueang Trai Trueng. The works are planned to be finalized on 21 October 2015. The budget is 15.3 Million Baht.

Footnotes:

(1) The background of U-Thong, the later King Ramathibodhi I, is a matter of controversy. The origin of U-Thong (above) as described in the
Culayuddhakaravamsa was followed by Somdet Krom Phra Paramanuchit in his Phra Ratcha Phongsawadan Sangkhep written in 1850 (Phongsawadan
historiography). The Tamnan historiography describes U-Thong's origin in different places ranging from Sawankhalok, Ayodhya, and Phetburi, to Kamboja
Pradesa.

References:

[1] Ref: Guide to Sukhothai, Si Satchanali and Kamphaeng Phet Historical Parks - Fine Arts Department (1999)
[2] M.L. Manich Jumsai - History of Laos - page 29-30.
[3] Based on the work of Somdet Phra Wannarat, the Culayuddhakaravamsa.
[4] Charnvit Kasetsiri - The Rise of Ayudhya - Oxford University Press, London, 1976.
[5] Thanapol (Lamduan) Chadchaidee - Fascinating Folktales of Thailand - Booksmango.
(Terracotta lamp  - Dvaravati art (10-11th century)
excavated at Trai Trueng -  - exhibitioned at the
Kamphaeng Phet National Museum)
(Glass beads - Dvaravati art (8-10th century)
excavated at Wat Jet Yot - Trai Trueng  - exhibitioned
at the Kamphaeng Phet National Museum)
(Grinding stone - Lopburi art (11-12th century)
excavated at Trai Trueng - exhibitioned at the
Kamphaeng Phet National Museum)
Text, map and photographs by Tricky Vandenberg - January 2015
Updated May 2015