Khun Chang Khun Paen (ขุนช้างขุนแผน)
A classic of Thai literature written in verse by King
Phra Phutta Leut La, the second monarch of the
Chakri Dynasty. The story is
and relates an
eternal love triangle involving
Khun Paen (Khun Phaen), the dashing lover and skilled
Khun Chang, the comic but faithful husband,
Phimphilalai), the bigamous heroin who
vacillated between true love and respectability.
The narrative is believed to be based on a true story from the
Period. Since then it has been handed down as a folk narrative.
Damrong Rachanuphaap, the Father of
Thai history, assumed that its origins lay in a chronicle called the
Testimony given by the People of the Ancient City, known in Thai as
Kham Hai Kaan Chao Krung Kao. These
three characters were from
Suphanburi, where today life-sized
statues of Khun Paen and Wanthong can be found at Wat
Worawihaan (วัดป่าเลไลยก์วรวิหาร). Wanthong and Khun Phaen were involved in a
secret love affair but were not yet married when Khun Paen was
conscripted for war. Khun Chang then made every attempt to win
Wanthong as his wife. When Khun Paen returned from the war, he
abducted Wanthong. Khun Chang then went to search for her, only to
be hurt by Khun Paen. A plan was devised to track them down and,
after their arrest, Wanthong was executed as a troublemaker, because
of her indecisive love for the two men.
In 2011, the some of the main characters and scenes from the story
were depicted on a set of 4 postage stamps, issued to mark the
National Children's Day.
Also transcribed Khun Chang Khun Phaen.
Sala Taeng Ngae,
Wat Khae (fig.), and
POSTAGE STAMPS (1),