Chaiya District ( th|ไชยา, ) is a district (''amphoe
'') and town in Surat Thani Province
in southern Thailand
. The main town is Talat Chaiya
Neighboring districts are (from the south clockwise): Tha Chang
of Ranong Province
of Chumphon Province
, and Tha Chana
in Surat Thani. To the east is the Gulf of Thailand
, with Cape Sui marking the northern end of the Bandon Bay
The eastern part of the district consists of mostly flat low coastal areas, while to the west are the mountains of the Phuket mountain range
, including Kaeng Krung National Park
Laem Pho Beach in the district is thought to have been a Srivijaya|Srivijaya Kingdom
seaport in the 7th to 13th centuries. Srivijaya was an Indonesian city-state that grew to become an influential maritime power in what is now Southeast Asia
. Tang Dynasty
(7th–10th centuries) ceramics have been found in the area as well as pottery from India and glassware from Persia
. Similar finds have been made in Ban Thung Tuek, Takua Pa District
, Phang Nga Province
on the other side of the isthmus
, 200 km distant, indicating that there may have been an overland route connecting the Gulf of Thailand with the Andaman Sea
coast. This route would have enabled traders to avoid piracy in the narrow Strait of Malacca
The name ''Chaiya'' might be derived from its original Malay name ''cahaya'', meaning 'light', 'gleam', or 'glow'. Some scholars identify Chai-ya as coming from Sri-vi- ''ja-ya''.
Wat Phra Borommathat is centered on a reconstructed stupa
The nearby branch of the National Museum
has several relics of that time on display. Two more former stupas nearby are now only brick mounds.
Inscription 23, as it was labeled by Prince Damrong
in his ''Collected Inscriptions of Siam'', is now attributed to Wat Hua Wiang in Chaiya. Dated to the year 697 of the Mahasakkarat era
(i.e., 775 CE), the inscription on a Bai Sema
shaped stone tells about the King of Srivijaya having erected three stupas at that site and possibly the one at Wat Phra Borom That.
Another important temple near Chaiya is Wat Suan Mohkha Phalaram (also known by the short name Suan Mok, or Wat Than Nam Lai 'Monastery of Flowing Water'), a forest temple. The temple was founded in 1932 by Phra Buddhadasa
(1906-1993), a revered Buddhist teacher. In 1959 the temple was relocated to the present 380 rai
; 0.6 km2
) site. These temples
are believed to have been used to store rice in large quantities, due to the invading Japanese
. These large Buddhist rice temples are rare in the region and only one has been officially labeled as a rice storage temple.
Chaiya is on the southern railway line, Chaiya Railway Station
is the main railway station of the district. Asian highway AH2
(Thailand Route 41
) also passes the city.
Chaiya District is divided into nine sub-districts (''tambon
s''). These are further divided into 54 villages (''muban
s''). There are three sub-district municipalities (''thesaban tambon
s''): Talat Chaiya
includes most of ''tambon'' Talat Chaiya and parts of Lamet; Phumriang
the entire ''tambon'' Phumriang; Wiang
the entire ''tambon'' of Wiang. The other six sub-districts each have a tambon administrative organization
as their local government.
200px|Map of Tambon
External linksChaiya National MuseumSuan Mokkh - The garden of liberationChaiya City WebsiteChaiya Witthaya School