Friday, September 2, 2011

Along Came Mr. Crocodile

*Thai updates continue... courtesy of HT Sarah! Today, Phichit's famous building (shaped like a giant crocodile) is explored and explained.*

Before I even got to Phichit I heard rumors of a legend involving a crocodile man. This was after I heard that Phichit was famous for crocodiles. Finding out that I would be moving to an area with crocodiles was a little scary, but I was assured by the coordinators that there weren’t any more crocodiles in the wild, only on farms. I felt a little assured by this. Since I have seen no living crocodiles since I’ve been here I inclined to believe them.

What I have seen, and what I assume makes Phichit so famous for its crocodiles, are statues commemorating the Legend of Chalawan. Here’s how the story goes (at least as far as I’ve been able to determine)….

Chalawan the Crocodile King has the power to turn into a human. He uses this power to slip into the village at night and steal away the women. He rules over them in his lair. One day he sees two beautiful sisters walking by and is entranced by them. He steals away the older sister and disappears. Turns out that the father of these two girls is a millionaire. He offers a huge monetary reward and the hand of his other daughter in marriage to anyone who can kill Chalawan. Enter our hero, Krai Thong. He uses his super strength, cunning, and knowledge of magical arts to go and kill Chalawan and free all the women. He then gets the money and the daughter and eternal fame in the city I now call home. The end.

When I was first told about this legend I was also told that there was a giant crocodile in Phichit that is used as a meeting hall. I knew I had to see this magical wonder. And so we went on a bike ride to the crocodile this past week. We also found a park of bronze statues, waterfalls, random sand beaches, and gazebos for mutant fish feeding. Here’s the proof:

Crocodile!!! We couldn't get in because the door was padlocked but I got proof that there is a door.

Krai Thong statue.

Little version of Chalawan with his harem.



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