We drive past it, or around it, most days whilst we live in Phuket. But who are the two ladies who feature in the central statues in the Heroines monument? The monument is perched on a roundabout, approximately in the centre of the island.
It’s also known as the “Thao Thepkasattri and Thao Sri Sunthon Monument”, and is a statue that commemorates the heroism of two sisters Thao Thepkasattri and Thao Sri Sunthon during the invasion of Phuket by Burmese troops in 1785. To this dat it’s considered a popular tourist attraction, as it also reflects the culture, history and heritage of the island. The statue is also the traditional first stop for every incoming Governor when they arrive on the island for the first time.
According to legend, the sisters rallied the inhabitants of Phuket and led them in a successful defense against the Burmese invaders. Thao Thepkasattri, the elder sister, is said to have organised the island’s residents into a militia and led them into battle, while Thao Sri Sunthon, the younger sister, tended to the wounded and served as a liaison between the militia and the island’s governor.
The sisters’ leadership and bravery are credited with saving Phuket from being overrun by the Burmese, and their story has become a symbol of pride and inspiration for the people of Phuket. The statue depicts the sisters standing back to back, with both Thao Thepkasattri and Thao Sri Sunthon holding a traditional Thai swords.
The story of Thao Thepkasattri and Thao Sri Sunthon is a true testament to the strength and resilience of the women. The sisters were able to overcome a significant challenge, and in doing so, they saved their community from certain destruction. They showed that women can take on leadership roles and be just as effective in times of crisis as men.
The sisters’ leadership and bravery were not only limited to the battlefield but also extended to the everyday life of their community. They were also credited with preserving the culture and heritage of Phuket, by promoting the local customs, traditions, and beliefs.
The statue of the heroines is a powerful reminder of the strength and courage of these two sisters and their impact on the island of Phuket. It serves as a source of inspiration for the people of Phuket, as well as for visitors to the island. The statue is a fitting tribute to these two remarkable women, who made such a significant contribution to the history and culture of Phuket.
The story of the two sisters is an important reminder of the role that women have played in shaping the history and culture of Phuket, and it serves as a source of inspiration for future generations.