Nestled in the foothills of a Sattahip subdistrict stands an army of Thai military heroes and legendary figures, all crafted by a retired bureaucrat turned sculptor.
Sermchat Jirasattatham, 68, created his Siam Ancients Garden five years before retiring from government service in 2000. His hero is the father of the modern Thai navy, Adm. Prince Abhakara Kiartivongse, the Prince of Chumphon.
On 10 rai he owns in Plutaluang, Sermchat has spent the past 25 years sculpting hundreds of stucco figures despite never studying art or sculpture. He said his goal was to preserve Thai history for future generations and charges no money for entrance to his garden.
Prince Chumphon, the 28th child of King Chulalongkorn, was the first member of Thai royal family to study naval warfare in England. He returned home and served in the Siamese navy and contributed significantly to its advancement and modernization. Today there are hundreds of statues nationwide honoring the prince and the Sattahip Naval Base was built on land he once owned.
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