House of history in Songkhla

Panya Phoonsin, 50, has a passion for collecting old items. An engineer, he also loves history. His century-old house on Nakhon Nok Street in the old town of Songkhla is now open as a private museum to display his favourite collections. He calls it "238 Inspiration House".

Starting from a hobby of collecting Buddha amulets and images, he expanded the collection to old Chinese ceramics and textiles found in the South. He was inspired by a talk with Asian textiles expert Paothong Thongchua who told him that no one had collected antique fabrics in the southern part of the Kingdom. Since he settled in Songkhla a decade ago, he took it as his personal responsibility to do so. Starting with purchasing local textiles from elderly ladies in small villages in Songkhla, he visited various places along the border between Thailand and Malaysia.

During the past five years, he has gathered about 1,000 pieces of fabric. He said his textile collections were used or created between 80 to 300 years ago. Some of them had woven patterns like they were created in the North, Central or Northeast of Thailand, or even from India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Myanmar. He says it is because Songkhla was a major trading port in the past.

He also has rare items including the costume of a Malay ruler made of gold threads and armoured bras of Pattani queens.

When asked which one is his favourite, he said: "I love every piece."


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