The Three Kingdoms Park, which comprises an area of 36 rai or 14 acres, is laid out in a semi-circle or arc facing south. The central 36 meter main structure is flanked by two companion pagodas, each 18 meters tall, the Kwan Yin Pagoda to the southeast and the Multi-purpose Family Pagoda to the southwest. The twin, arcing covered walkways that connect the main pagoda to these structures represent the embracing, protective arms of the progenitor. Taken together, the three buildings invoke the three generations of Khun Kiarti’s family; the three aspects of time (past, present, and future); and the three dimensions of Heaven, Earth, and Hell, which Thais believe are alternate realities existing simultaneously.
The octagonal Main Pagoda sits upon three, tray-like bases and is divided into three key segments (basement, central section, and roof). The stylized finial atop the 36 meter structure combines Thai teardrop and lotus motifs, the highest elevation holding tremendous significance in Asian architectural custom. Meanwhile, the design of the roof according to Chinese principles, the four, stacked canopies signifies great wealth and status.
The lobby level contains exhibits of Khun Kiarti’s life, a family museum, the History and Design of the memorial, and a recap of the Three Kingdoms epic, embellished by near life-size porcelain statues of the leading characters. Visitors are greeted by a bronze statue of Khun Kiarti, against a backdrop of massive granite walls engraved with his parting letter, written as a legacy to help guide his descendants in life and business. This floor open up all the way to the uppermost skylight roof, as a means of displaying the majesty of the building and of providing light and ventilation. The three sets of glass doors at front and sides are etched with traditional Chinese soldiers, protecting the entrance. Above the doors are two sets of paintings, one of magical gods from the Ramayana and the other by the Chinese artist, Siow Kang, depicting Chinese soldiers.
Two upper floors of the central pagoda are adorned with 16 superbly painted cloth panels, stretching over 100 meters long. These focus mainly on Kongming and portray his role in the Three Kingdoms epic. Khun Kiarti wished to commemorate the lessons he had learned from this character, whom he held as mentor and role model. He felt the story of Kongming educated and prepared him in the ways of life, and he attributed his success in part to this learning.
The fourth or top floor houses Buddha relics and statue in the Mahayana style, specially designed and sculpted for this venue. The purpose of this floor is for worship, in addition to providing visitors with a breathtaking view. Clear glass doors on all sides lead to an open terrace which bestows a 360 degree view of the surrounding hills, golf courses, Pattaya town by the sea, Laem Chabang port and Mount Chi Jan (Wat Yan.)
Holy remains of the Lord Buddha atop the main pagoda
When the Buddha died, his followers cremated the Great Master. When unenlightened beings are cremated, their bodies turn to ash. However, the Buddha, as an enlightened being, was transformed into pearlescent, colorful, translucent stones. These relics were collected and venerated by the Buddha’s followers, and then, shortly afterward, divided between the rulers of eight countries, so that as many people as possible might have access to them. The relics bear the energy of the Buddha and reveal that enlightenment occurs not only in the mind, but also in the body.
For some two thousand years, Buddhists have venerated relics as part of their practice. For many, the relics make the Buddha’s compassion real, and enable them to be aware of the Buddha’s continued presence. Some believe that veneration of these relics can lead not only to spiritual wealth, but also to prosperity in daily life.
The Buddha relics in the Srifuengfung Family pagoda are housed in traditional Thai fashion atop the Main Pagoda and open to the public for worship. They were presented to the family by Dr. Woraphat Phuchareon and were found in a cave in Lamphoon, northern Thailand.
The Family's Multi Purpose Pagoda
The interior is decorated with a collection of statues of 18 enlightened Buddha disciples from China. The statues of Hok, Lok, Sew (all gods of success in their different ways) as well as Phra Sanghatjai (the enlightened being who is known for giving luck, fertility, intellect, mercy and popularity) are also situated in here. The multi-purpose hall is a venue for different activities and exhibitions, as well as charitable events organized by the family. The mezzanine exhibit holds bronze busts of Srifuengfung family members (still under construction.)
Kuan Yin Pagoda
The solid marble likeness of the Bodhisattva Kuan Yim was carved in China and is among the largest such statues in the world, measuring 405 cms high, 127 cms wide and weighs 12 tons. Around the statue are near life-size porcelain statues of her main disciples. According to traditional belief, these represent master angels guarding heaven and tasked with protecting the world in all four directions. These Gangsai were imported from Jiang xi, China.
In Buddhist symbology, Kuan Yin represents the endless mercy of the Buddha, and it is believed that she answers prayers swiftly. In the statue at the Three Kingdoms Park, with her flowing white robes, seated upon a white lotus with great modesty, she embodies purity and virtue, and she has on her face an expression of infinite mercy and justice. She employs the rosary around her neck—the beads of which represent all living beings—to call upon the Buddha for mercy. Her left hand bears a vase containing the nectar of compassion and wisdom. Kuan Yin devotees frequent this pagoda for regular worship, quiet meditation as well as for special ceremonies.
Petrified Wood Assembly
A magnificent display of naturally petrified wood, the exhibits are beautifully arranged to blend well with their surrounding. This petrified wood at the Three Kingdoms Park was collected by Mr. Kiarti Srifuengfung and assembled here by his son, Mr. Chaikiri to represent and symbolize the longevity and durability of family.
Petrified wood is almost impervious to weathering, because it has been transformed into rock over the course of millions of years. In ancient forests, trees were uprooted and swept into great rivers. Traveling downstream, they eventually were buried in deep layers--in some places hundreds of feet thick--of silt, mud, and volcanic ash. The high mineral content of the ash was responsible for the transformation of the wood. As the ash underwent chemical decomposition, it seeped into the wood, triggering the creation of quartz crystals, which replaced the molecules of the logs. Gradually, as the crystallization continued, the wood became completely transformed into rock. Eventually, the layers of dirt and sediment around the logs were worn away exposing the now brightly colored, petrified wood to the surface.
Depending on the mineral content of the original ash, the resulting rock has different colors, ranging from the white or gray caused by silica to the black of carbon and manganese oxide, or yellows, brownish oranges, and reds, caused by iron oxides. Not only can visitors see the wood's grain preserved in the rocks, but also grains of rice in the middle of some of the petrified logs.
The Shrine of Guan Yu
The Shrine of Guan–Yu, the god of courage, honesty and loyalty, is located to in front of the Bodhisattva Kuan Yin Pagoda, next to the east end of the southern ceramic corridor. The statue rests on an elevated platform in accord with fengshui precepts showing Guan Yu’s god-like status, is made of resin fiberglass and bears his likeness, especially his fearsome countenance. His hands hold weapons made of engraved teakwood. The Guan Yu shrine, which protects the Three Kingdoms Park and was constructed at the behest of the feng-shui master responsible for situating the buildings.
Guan Yu is renowned for his fierce commitment to Liu Bei (Liu Xuande) and Zhang Fei, the brothers to whom he had sworn eternal allegiance in the Peach Garden. Thus, Guan Yu has become known in Chinese folklore as the personification of loyalty. Regarded as a deity by both Chinese and Thais, the shrine is popular amongst CEO's who often bring their key executives here to swear allegiance to the company.
Story-Telling Ceramic Corridors
Two extended covered corridors along the southern boundary of the site house multi-colored ceramic murals showing 56 scenes from the novel. Taken together, the seven sections of murals, crafted by Chinese-Malaysian artist Chiam Tow Im and Luo Gui from Kangsai in China, are the longest of their sort in the world, measuring 223.8 meters and made up of a staggering 11,936 separate tiles.
Starting on the east and ending on the furthest west side, a 30-minute leisurely stroll will enable the visitor to get a general overview of the entire novel's most picturesque, exciting, and popular scenes as depicted on the meticulously hand-painted tiles. This story-telling corridor provides an easy introduction to the timeless epic and is widely popular amongst families and friends who like to debate their favorite controversial episodes.
At the intersection of the main and secondary walkways, two marble balls roll by natural water force on an elevated plane designated as the Yin-Yang Courtyard. Its function is to accentuate the entrance of the main pagoda, as well as offer alternate approaches to the Guan-Yin and Family Pagodas via the east-west stone walkway. This feature was meant to be symbolic of all the various aspects of nature that are in balance, according to the beliefs of Chinese Buddhists.
The themes of Yin and Yang are repeatedly embodied in the contrasting yet balanced use of materials throughout the Three Kingdoms Park. For example, the walkway cobblestones are made of both natural and modern materials: modern composite concrete and two types of natural stone, silalang, the reddish porous stone and the quarried grey Mount Koh stone. Indeed the entire complex conveys a feeling of timelessness, of harmony and tradition, while also being modern and unique.