Thao Suranari Monument

Nakhon Ratchasima (Khorat)

Thao Suranari, wife of the assistant governor during Rama III's reign, is something of a Wonder Woman in these parts. Ya Mo (Grandma Mo), as she’s affectionately called, became a hero in 1826 by organising a successful prisoner revolt after Chao Anou of Vientiane had conquered Khorat during his rebellion against Siam. One version of the legend says she convinced the women to seduce the Lao soldiers (another says she got them drunk) and then the Thai men launched a surprise attack, saving the city.

Her exploits have probably been greatly exaggerated, some say completely concocted, to instill a sense of Thai-ness in the ethnically Lao people of the province, but locals and visiting Thais dismiss all of this entirely and flock to the monument in adoring droves to burn incense and leave offerings of flowers and food. Those whose supplications have been honoured hire singers to perform pleng koh·râht (Khorat folk song) on small stages.

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