Chonburi celebrated 18th century legend King Taksin 250 years after he led the campaign to expel Burmese invaders.
Gov. Pakarathorn Thienchai led the annual Dec. 28 commemoration for King Taksin the Great with government workers, soldiers, teachers, students and the public at the provincial hall.
Participants placed flowers at the monument to the revered king and the governor handed out scholarships to students in 19 schools.
Preschool and primary school students were granted 110 stipends worth 1,000 baht each while 49 high schoolers received 1,500 baht each. Three vocational school students received 2,000 baht each while 13 advanced vocational and university students received 3,000 baht each. One lucky law students received a 25,000-baht scholarship.
Somdet Phrachao Taksin Maharaj was born April 17, 1734 and became the only king of the Thonburi Kingdom, taking the throne Dec. 28, 1768 and reigning until his death – and the start of the current Chakri Dynasty in 1782. He is greatly revered by Thais for leadership in liberating Siam from Burmese occupation after the second fall of capital Ayutthaya in 1767, and the subsequent unification of Siam after it fell under various warlords.
He established the city of Thonburi, across the Chao Phraya River from the current Bangkok, as the new capital, as Ayutthaya has been almost completely destroyed by invaders.
Upon coronation at age 34, he assumed the official name of Boromraja IV, but is known in Thai history as King Taksin, a combination of his popular name, Phya Tak, and his first name, Sin, or the King of Thonburi.