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Mon 24 Apr 2017
The Story of "Phra Aphai Mani"
Written by M.L. Manich Jumsai   
Friday, 09 February 2007 02:18
Phra Aphai Mani and his brother, Sisuwan were princes who were sent to study by their father as he hoped they could use the knowledge gained to rule the country, but Phra Aphai came back with the knowledge of playing the pipe and his brother at sword-fighting. Their father was angry and drove them away. But the pipe Aphai had learned was a magic one. Its sound could put people to sleep and take the soul out of the body causing death. One day while the others were lulled tosleep by the sound of the pipe, a giant came and took Aphai away to her cave where she transformed herself into a beautiful girl. He lived with her until she bore a son, Sinsamut. When Aphai found out that his wife was really the giant, Nang Phisua Samut, he fled with his son. He was assisted by a family of mermaids, father, mother and a daughter. The father and mother were caught and eaten by the giant. The daughter took Aphai and Sinsamut to Kokaew Phitsadan (Wonder Island) where a hermit saved them from the giant. The young mermaid later bore a son with Aphai, called Sutsakhon. One day a ship went by the island. In the ship were King Silarat of Phleuk with his daughter, Princess Suwannamali. She was engaged to marry Prince Usaren of Lanka. Aphai and Sinsamut asked to go with them on the ship, but on the way the giant attacked them and killed King Silarat. Aphai escaped to the shore and had to blow the pipe which killed the giant. Sinsamut swam with the princess to an island. They continued their journey and met Sisuwan and his daughter, Arun Rasami. They went on in search of Phra Aphai. Phra Aphai met Usaren who came out looking for his fiancee, Suwannamali. They went together until they met Sinsamut and Suwannamali. She refused to go to Usaren. There was a fight, Usaren fled back to Lanka. Phra Aphai came to Phleuk where the queen asked him to rule the country. Suwannamali was still angry at Phra Aphai for daring to give her up to Usaren, so she fled to become a nun. With the trick of a maid, Nang Wali, Suwannamali left the nunhood to marry Phra Aphai. She bore him twin daughters named Soisuwan and Chantasuda. Usaren and his father came back to attack Phleuk. The father was killed and Usaren died heart-broken. The throne of Lanka fell to his sister, nang Laweng. A very beautiful Laweng decided to take revenge and she declared to all the princes in countries around that whoever could kill King Aphai would have her and her Kingdom. Nine armies moved to surround Phleuk. Aphai followed Laweng and won her love but the war continued until a hermit came and helped to stop the war between them.

Information from: "History of Thai Literature" by M.L. Manich Jumsai.

You can see statues of these characters if you visit Puektian Beach in Phetchaburi Province.