Huay Gwan Memorial

Discussion in 'Touring Northern Thailand - Trip Reports Forum' started by ianyonok, Apr 10, 2014.

  1. 2014-04-07110135.

    This unusual structure is located in the village of Huay Gwan, Bahn Saew district of Chiang Saen. It is on a small flat plain surrounded by hills.


    Granite facia on the base, the tower is clad with stainless steel sheeting and topped with a brass finial.


    The plaque on this side tells the story of the cowardly incident in 1970.



    Clearly, something bad happened here and these are important people.

    The Phu Wa, Governor of Chiang Rai

    The Phon Tumruat, Police Chief of Chiang Rai

    A young looking army officer.

    Intrigued by this memorial, I got a translation;

    The three slain persons include then Chiang Rai Governor Prayad Samarnmit, Chiang Rai Police Chief Pol COL Sridet Phumipraman, and 3[sup]rd[/sup] Army Assistant Intelligence Chief COL Chamnian Meesa-nga, all were ambushed by an armed group under the (now-defunct) Communist Party of Thailand at Ban Huay Kwan Nua, Tambon Ban Saeo, Chiang Saen District, Chiang Rai, September 20, 1970.

    Governor Prayad was earlier approached by local CPT group through a village headman for accepting the surrender of a group of CPT members scheduled for September 20, 1970, at Doi Luang Prae Muang, the mountain bordering Chiang Saen and Chiang Khong districts. The Governor along with his civil servant, military and police counterparts, totaling 9, were unarmed as a gesture of good faith to the would-be CPT defector group. Soon after they got off the helicopter and walked further for about 200 meter the group came under attack by the hidden CPT armed men killing the Governor, police chief and the senior army intel officer.

    The memorial for the three officers was later built in 2004 at the location of the ambush during the time of then Chiang Rai Governor Mr. Narin Panichakit to commemorate the heroic act of leaders of the combined civil servant-police-military peace-keeping force.

    This memorial can be reached from the west, by turning off the 1129 (Chiang Saen - Chiang Khong) and taking the 4037 from near Bahn Saew through the village of Pah Tung. A couple of klms later, as the road goes up the mountain, take the left turn on the concrete road and go past the waterfall, then continue for about 15 klms to the village of Huay Gwan. The last 2 klms is a flat dirt road.
    From Huay Gwan you can continue north on easy dirt roads to finally come back on to the 1129 near Bahn Rai.
  2. Now that's a nice little piece of local history - thanks for digging it out, researching & posting.
  3. You live in an area steeped in ancient and recent history Ian and its splendid that you have such an interest in it all. A fascinating find this one.
  4. You certainly find these little gems when you go out and about exploring.

    Another one on the list when out that way next.

  5. A pretty Brutal Time the 70's in Northern Thailand. Hard to imagine when We are riding around now? Seems so Peaceful. I am sure the Violence isn't to far under the Surface if the occasion ever merited it's return? Human's are so easily influenced into Choosing sides for better or Worse? The Current Political Crisis being a fine Example! Like the Saying goes: "Can't see the forest for all the Trees"!
  6. #6 DavidFL, Jun 26, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2017
    UPDATE 16 June 2015


    I finally made it with the Destination Thailand TV crew to the Huay Kwan memorial, despite the lack of signs; & indeed it really is a bit of a secret hidden place to find, but Ian's directions above work + the road there now is all concrete all the way.

    306043=22825-GTR-HuayKwan-Memorial-02. ]



    It's a real interesting story; we managed track down the village headman & his 80 year old Mum for a chat & their version of the story; & as to be expected it's not quite the same as the "official other side."

    The village head man's Mum who was around at the time of the massacre.

    a sweet dear little old lady if she ever was.

    how the film clip comes out & what they present I don't know, but watch here for the latest when it happens
    On the road with Destination Thailand TV part 8

    The Huay Kwan road

    how it looks coming in off the Mekong from Ban Saew
  7. Every 20th September there is a memorial service at the Huay Kwan Memorial for the officials killed.


    IMG_9371. Huay Kwan Memorial - Chiang Saen

    IMG_4969. Huay Kwan Memorial - Chiang Saen

    Hundreds of officials come to pay their respect.  A sala is set up


    IMG_9346. Huay Kwan Memorial service- Chiang Saen

    IMG_9321. Huay Kwan Memorial service- Chiang Saen

    Men & women participate

    IMG_9324. Huay Kwan Memorial service- Chiang Saen



    IMG_9350. Huay Kwan Memorial service- Chiang Saen

    civil servants

    IMG_9336. Huay Kwan Memorial service- Chiang Saen

    IMG_9338. Huay Kwan Memorial service- Chiang Saen

    IMG_9339. Huay Kwan Memorial service- Chiang Saen

    It's a Buddhist ceremony


    IMG_9341. Huay Kwan Memorial service- Chiang Saen


    There are so many people that the service is done twice. One starting at 9am & then a 2nd service around 10am.

    After the service it is time for photos around the shrine.

    IMG_9353. Huay Kwan Memorial service- Chiang Saen

    IMG_9364. Huay Kwan Memorial service- Chiang Saen

    The gf thought it was all pretty cool, especially when she was invited in for some photos.

    IMG_9359. Huay Kwan Memorial service- Chiang Saen

    Huay Kwan is a special out of the way place & worthy of a visit to tick that box, been there done that.

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