Thai ‘Stonehenge’ draws bewildered crowds to East Pattaya

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Five giant tree trunks set up near Siam Country Club have local residents and tourists thinking England’s Stonehenge has been replanted in Thailand.

Lines of photographers and inquisitive visitors file through Soi Pornpraphanimit 11 daily, asking what it is, why is it there and marveling at its beauty.

The formation is actually the creation of 43-year-old Nongyao Walker, a former food vendor who now offers landscaping, organic fertilizer, ornamental flowers and home-made flower pots at her shop near the trees. She insists she didn’t set out to copy the 4,500-year-old iconic stone formation in Wilshire, England, but can’t deny many people think her creation looks similar.

These giant tree trunks set up near Siam Country Club have local residents and tourists thinking England’s Stonehenge has been replanted in Thailand. These giant tree trunks set up near Siam Country Club have local residents and tourists thinking England’s Stonehenge has been replanted in Thailand.

Walker said she designed the formation to draw people into her store. The wood, called “Pyinkado” – “mai daeng” in Thai and “Xylia xylocarpa” in Latin – sprung from Myanmar, where the trade name was registered, and has about twice the hardness of teak. It has been used for railway cars, flooring, piers and other underwater purposes.

The gardener used the hardwood’s ability to absorb water – it supposedly can be used untreated for 15 years under water – to make her creation, soaking the wood before placing the logs upright in the yard.

It was not a cheap showpiece. Actually native to Thailand, Laos and Myanmar, it’s not as rare as Walker claims, but it is expensive. She said she bought the three trunks from a dealer in Chachoengsao for 80,000 baht each. She sells the wood to hotels for such things as fountains, as well as foreigners building their dream home in Thailand.