Connect with us

Thai Life

Looking Back: A brief history of Thongdee

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: During the late Ayutthaya period, around the year 1750, there lived a boy named Joi in the district of Pichai. His father was a farmer and often tasked him with taking care of the family’s buffalo. Joi was intelligent and fearless. Although slightly small in stature, he was not easily intimidated and often got into fights with bigger kids. He loved boxing and martial arts.

When Joi was eight years old, his father sent him away to Mahathat Temple in Pichai for his education. At the temple, he was taught to read and write by the abbot. Every day after his classes, Joi would practice Thai boxing by using a banana tree’s trunk as his assault target and by kicking tiny lemons suspended from a branch. His passion for Thai boxing was unparalleled.

One day, the governor of Pichai visited Mahathat Temple with his son. The governor wanted the abbot to educate his son along with the other boys, to which the abbot agreed.

Joi and the governor’s son did not get along however. One day a fist fight broke out between the two boys. Joi ended up beating the governor’s son to the ground. Afraid that he would get into a lot of trouble, Joi ran away from the temple.

He wanted to go to Thasao, where there was a famous Thai boxing camp, to learn Thai boxing from the masters there. On the way, however, he met a Thai boxing master named Thiang, who agreed to train him as long as he was willing to help him with various chores. Seeing that this was a new life for him, Joi changed his name to Thongdee.

By the time he was 18, Thongdee was an expert boxer. He began to teach students and take part in competitions. One day, a Chinese traveller on his way to Tak province stopped by Thongdee’s camp. When he observed Thongdee’s skills, he was very impressed. He told Thongdee that Phraya Tak Sin, the governor of Tak, was also passionate about Thai boxing. He invited Thongdee to visit Tak and promised to introduce him to the governor, to which Thongdee agreed.

When they reached Tak, the governor organized a boxing tournament. Thongdee was pitched against some of the best Thai boxing masters of Tak. To everyone’s amazement, the young Thongdee was able to knock out some of the best boxers in Tak.

Phraya Tak was very impressed by the young boy’s talent. He promised to take Thongdee into his service.

Thongdee was grateful for the opportunity to serve under the governor. A young, hardworking man with integrity, he soon became one of Tak Sin’s favorite officers. When Thongdee was 21 years old, Phraya Tak bestowed upon him the title of Luang Pichai Asa. Thongdee was now responsible for training Phraya Tak’s soldiers.

In the year 1766, Phraya Tak received a royal degree from King Ekkathat, which elevated him to Lord of Kamphaeng-phet. However before he could be properly vested in this new position, the Burmese invaded Siam.

Siam under King Ekkathat was in turmoil. It had lost control of most of its vassal cities. The king seemed more interested in his luxurious lifestyle than political affairs. A Dutch source even said that the Siamese court was on the verge of bankruptcy. When the Burmese invaded in 1766, they easily subjugated city after city in Siam until they finally reached Ayutthaya and laid siege to it.

Outnumbered and unprepared, Ayutthaya was in grave danger. King Ekkathat desperately tried to counter the Burmese army, but the Siamese were easily crushed.

Finally, King Ekkathat called upon Phraya Tak to come to Ayutthaya’s rescue. He wanted Phraya Tak to lead his troops and attack the Burmese army laying siege to the capital.

Phraya Tak, however, knew that this would be nothing short of a suicide mission and that Ayutthaya was beyond rescue. He had no choice but to let fate take its course.

On April 7, 1767, Ayutthaya fell. The Burmese looted and plundered the golden city. Any movable valuables were taken back to Burma and the rest torched. It was one of the darkest hours in the history of the Siamese people.

— Anand Singh


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Tourism8 mins ago

Travel data to Thailand for 106 million people unprotected online

Thailand15 hours ago

Thailand News Today | OnlyFans content creators arrested on pornography charges | September 21

Thailand16 hours ago

Soldier allegedly assaults neighbours following horn honking

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Thailand17 hours ago

Border agencies instructed to look out for gun smuggling along Myanmar border

Coronavirus (Covid-19)17 hours ago

Tuesday Covid Update: 10,919 new cases; provincial totals

Thailand18 hours ago

Officials clarify Korat police van stopped at the beach after collecting murder suspect

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Crime18 hours ago

OnlyFans content creators arrested by Thai police on pornography charges

Thailand18 hours ago

Comments Galore! feat. Golf | Thaiger Bites | September 21

Cambodia19 hours ago

Scientists study bats in Cambodia to find clues about Covid

News20 hours ago

Update: government official that allegedly stole from fund meant for the disabled spent all the money on gambling

Thailand21 hours ago

Morning Top Stories | Reopening of entertainment venues, Manny Pacquiao for president | September 21 |

World21 hours ago

Flight restrictions to the US to ease in November – US government

Thailand22 hours ago

Bangkok re-opening Criteria, Thai Airways keeps Struggling | Good Morning Thailand | Episode 93

Thailand22 hours ago

Government warns that posting pornographic material is illegal following OnlyFans creator being questioned by police

Indonesia22 hours ago

Bali to re-open for international yachts with fully vaccinated crew, passengers

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14 | Thaiger
Thailand1 week ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism7 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11