It is accepted around the world as a good manner to greet the host when you arrive at their place. This is also true in Chumphon. Thai visitors take it as a must to stop by the Prince Chumphon Shrine near the beautiful Hat Sai Ri and pay respect to an important historical figure, Kromluang Chumphon Khet Udomsak.
Apart from being referred to as the Father of the Royal Thai Navy, Prince Chumphon is also known as “Sadej Tia” or the “Royal Father” for the Chumphon people and many that respect him. How highly he is revered can be seen from the number of the shrines and statues dedicated to him across the country – there are over 200 – but the one in Chumphon seems to be the most significant.
During his time as the Deputy Commander of the Navy Department, Prince Chumphon brought so much advancement and modernization to the Royal Thai Navy. He also had a special interest in herbal medicine and helped people regardless of their social statuses. The herb garden located near the shrine was established by the Ministry of Public Health to commemorate his talent and generosity. In addition, the decommissioned Royal Warship “Chumphon” was brought here in 1979 for visitors to appreciate as well.
It is not an unusual thing anymore to hear a supernatural story related to Prince Chumphon or about a miracle that happens to people after they visit this place. When the catastrophic Tsunami destroyed the east coast of Thailand in 2004, Prince Chumphon was proved sacred by the media and the survivors because though the area around was crushed flat by the waves, the shrine remained untouched and the people sheltered in there all survived the disaster.
From Chumphon city center, follow Highway No. 4001for 20 kilometers toward Hat Sai Ri. Once you reach the beach, it is impossible to miss the large warship near the shrine.