Can you feel this tender July night?..
Can you see the twilight painting the sky in crimson colours?..
It is the time for legends and stories, my dear friend!
And today I will tell you about the two girls that became the heroines of Phuket.
...Many years ago in one respected Thai family there were born two charming twin-sisters. They were called Chan and Mook. The girls’ father was the Governor of Thalang. He was known as an honest and just man. Later he left his position and in order to strengthen the power and increase his fortune, he got her daughter married to an official from Phang Nga Province. Chan married the unloved man without any protest and they even had two children. However, after 10 years, she fell in love with the Governor of Chumphon - Phaya Pimon - and left her husband.
A couple of years later the nine Burmese armies attacked Thailand. Their goal was to get power over the kingdom. The King called all the commanders and they started to prepare to resist the enemy. Phaya Pimon was among the military leaders who were summoned by the King. But the Governor ignored the King’s order and announced Phuket an independent island. He was hoping that in the atmosphere of chaos he would be able to get hold of all the local lands. General Chakri, the King’s man, found out about his cunning plans and sent a punitive troop to kill Phaya Pimon who went too far. So, the island was left without a governor and its people - without the support of the King’s army.
The widowed Chan did not run away from the Burmese invaders. She decided to stay and protect the island and save the people of her motherland. Together with the sister they came up with a witty plan on how to resist the numerous army. The girls gathered about 1000 people and they all began to prepare for the siege - they built a fortress in Thalang, raised earthworks and armed the local men and women.
Mook, Chan’s sister, ordered to make moulages of muskets and cannons from palm branches and leaves to confuse the enemy. The people worked days and nights to save their lives and families. Chan and Mook told everyone to wear men’s clothes and made women cut their hair so that they would look like men-warriors. At night they were patrolling the fortress’s perimeter and moved around all the time which created an illusion of a big army. During the day time women were placed in the third and second rows, so that it would be impossible to distinguish them from men.
About 3000 Burmese soldiers surrounded the fort hoping for an easy victory. But they realized that it would be difficult to take the fortress. The watchmen saw a big army and numerous cannons behind the fortress walls and the Burmese commanders didn’t dare to attack. The invaders were waiting which was a lucky situation for Chan and Mook who skilfully managed their fake army. At night the men penetrated into the enemy’s camp and killed the Burmese soldiers in the dark.
The siege lasted a little longer than three months. The enemy troops grew thinner. During the siege they undertook only two attacks which were unsuccessful. The hungry and exhausted Burmese soldiers started to revolt as they had understood that they couldn’t get the Thais out of the fortress. 13 March 1786 the Burmese troops left Thalang. The two gentle women could win in such unequal battle and save thousands of lives.
King Taksin died during the war and the throne was taken by Rama I who did not remind Chan about her late husband’s fault and rewarded the two women with honorable titles for their courage and valor when defending the island from the enemy. The 13th of March became the Victory Day which is still celebrated today pompously. There are parades and fireworks and the festival lasts several days.
The monument in the honor of the two sisters was built. The monument symbolizes the courage and valor of famous Chan and Mook - you can visit it in the central street of Phuket.