Kingdom of Vientiane

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Kingdom of Vientiane

Flag of the Kingdom of Vientiane (1707 - 1828).svg
Laos - Division territoriala vers 1750 (vuege).png
Status Vassal of Burma (1765-1779) and Siam (1779-1828)
Capital Vientiane
Common languages Lao
Setthathirath II
Ong Long
 1767-1778; 1780 - 21 November 1781
Ong Bun
Phraya Supho (Thai governor)
 21 November 1781 – 2 February 1795
 2 February 1795 – 7 February 1805
Intharavong Setthathirath III
 7 February 1805 – 12 November 1828
  Lan Xang divided
  Burmese vassal
  Siamese vassal
 Annexed by Siam
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Blank.png Lan Xang
Rattanakosin Kingdom Flag of Thailand (1782).svg
Today part of Laos

Kingdom of Vientiane was formed in 1707 as a result of the split of the Kingdom of Lan Xang. The kingdom was a Burmese vassal from 1765 to 1824. [1] It then became a Siamese vassal until 1828 when it was annexed by Siam.



The Emerald Buddha, the current palladium of Thailand and former palladium of the Kingdom of Vientiane. The Emerald Buddha was regarded as the most sacred and culturally significant Buddha image of the Lao monarchy. The image originated in the Kingdom of Lan Na and was brought to the Kingdom of Lan Xang by King Setthathirath in the 16th century, it was taken to Bangkok in the 19th century after the failed rebellion of King Anouvong of Vientiane. Emerald Buddha, August 2012, Bangkok.jpg
The Emerald Buddha, the current palladium of Thailand and former palladium of the Kingdom of Vientiane. The Emerald Buddha was regarded as the most sacred and culturally significant Buddha image of the Lao monarchy. The image originated in the Kingdom of Lan Na and was brought to the Kingdom of Lan Xang by King Setthathirath in the 16th century, it was taken to Bangkok in the 19th century after the failed rebellion of King Anouvong of Vientiane.

In 1779, under the reign of King Setthathirath II of Lan Xang, Kitsarat, an heir of Sourigna Vongsa, declared separation of Luang Prabang. He marched on Vientiane to attack Setthathirath. King Setthathirath II turned to Ayutthaya for help. The Siamese army helped defend Vientiane but cannot stop Kitsarat to form his own kingdom. Kitsarat crowned the king in 1707, creating the Kingdom of Luang Phrabang,converting Lan Xang into the Kingdom of Vientiane. The kingdoms of Champasak and Muang Phuan also seceded during the following years.

In 1773, Vientiane was attacked by Luang Prabang forces. King Ong Bun contacted the Konbaung dynasty for help, turning Vientiane into a Burmese vassal. This angered the Thonburi court. After the Burmese-Siamese War of 1775-76, King Taksin sent General Phraya Chakri (the later King Rama I) to attack Vientiane. In 1779, Siamese forces sacked Vientiane, the city was looted with several important Buddha images, including the Emerald Buddha were taken to Thonburi. King Ong Boun decided to submit to the Siamese and Vientiane became a Siamese dependency. Ong Boun again revolted against Siam. In 1781, he was captured by the Siamese and executed.

The Siamese installed Nanthasen, a son of Ong Bun, as ruler. In 1791, Nanthasen convinced King Rama I that Luang Prabang was secretly plotting a rebellion against Siam. He was permitted to attack Luang Prabang and captured the city in 1792.

In 1791, Vientiane was invaded by the Vietnamese Tây Sơn dynasty to root out Lê dynasty loyalists, Nanthasen had to flee to Siam. Finally, he reached an accommodation with Tây Sơn dynasty. In 1795, Nanthasen was accused of plotting a rebellion with the Lao governor of Nakhon Phanom. He was deposed and taken to Bangkok. His brother Inthavong succeeded.

Inthavong died in 1804, his brother Anouvong succeeded him as the ruler of Vientiane. Anouvong was making military preparations for a rebellion against the Siamese. In December 1826, Anouvong sent an army of 10,000 men toward the cities of the Khorat plateau. He took Nakhon Ratchasima in January but the Siamese quickly organized a massive counterattack. In 1827, Vientiane was ravaged for a second time by the Siamese armies. The city was burned to the ground and was looted of nearly all treasures, its population completely relocated. King Anouvong was captured and put into an iron cage until his death.

The Kingdom of Vientiane was completely obliterated. Khorat Plateau was formally annexed by Siam. The Siamese divided the Lao lands into three administrative regions. In the north, the king of Luang Prabang and a small Siamese garrison controlled Luang Prabang, Sipsong Panna, and Sip Song Chau Tai. The central region was administered from Nong Khai. The southern regions were controlled from Champassak. Fearing Siam influence, Vietnam under the Nguyễn dynasty annexed Muang Phuan and the provinces of Khammoune and Savannakhet, where they fought with Siam during the Siamese–Vietnamese War (1831–1834).

The Siamese forced population transfers of Lao people to the Khorat plateau which left only a fifth of the original population on the east bank of the Mekong. Through the 1830s to the 1890s, the region were devastated by rebellions, bandits, slave raids and the Haw wars. The vacuum of power allowed the French, now already controlled Cambodia and Cochinchina, to push north to the Mekong River, with hope of establishing a waterway to China. Vientiane eventually passed to French rule in 1893. It became the capital of the French protectorate of Laos in 1899.


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Sen Soulintha, Saen Surintha or Sen Sourintha (1511–1582) was born Chane Tian and became King of Lan Xang reigning 1571-1575 and again 1580-1582. Sen Soulintha was not of noble birth, rising from royal page to King Setthatirath’s Chief Minister. During the succession disputes in the Kingdom of Lan Na between King Setthatirath and King Mekuti, Sen Soulintha served Setthatirath as a general and successfully took several cities of Lan Na including Chiang Saen for which he was given the honorific name Lusai meaning “victory.” Sen Soulintha supported Setthatirath in leading the guerrilla campaigns during the Burmese invasions of King Bayinnaung. When Setthatirath died near Attapeu under suspicious circumstances in 1572, Sen Soulintha led the armies of Lan Xang back to Vientiane. A succession dispute erupted, which nearly led to civil war and provided a pretext for another Burmese invasion ordered by Bayinnaung and led by the Chief Minister Binnya Dala. Sen Soulintha defeated the Burmese and Lan Na forces led by Binnya Dala, an event which led to the latter’s exile, only to face a more massive invasion led by Bayinnaug the following year. Sen Soulintha again attempted to resort to guerilla tactics, but lacked popular support from his seizure of the throne. He and his son Ong Lo were captured by Bayinnaung and exiled to Pegu. The Burmese placed Setthathirath’s brother, and former Ouphahat or Viceroy, Prince Tha Heua on the throne. According to the Luang Prabang chronicles it was this brother, who had led a rebellion in Luang Prabang and tried to seize the throne from Setthathirath on the death of their father Photisarath. Prince Tha Heua took the regnal name Voravongsa and reigned under Burmese suzerainty from 1575-1579. Voravongsa was never popular, and drowned with his family while attempting to flee Vientiane in the face of popular uprising. In 1579, Bayinnaung dispatched a sizable army to restore order. According to Lao histories Sen Soulintha was then installed as king a second time in 1580. By that time Sen Soulintha was an old man and reigned only for two years before his son ascended the throne as Nakhon Noi and another succession dispute ensued.

Voravongsa I was king of Lan Xang reigning from 1575–1579 with the regnal name Samdach Brhat-Anya Chao Brhatasena Vora Varman Raja Sri Sadhana Kanayudha but he is commonly referred to in both Lao and Burmese chronicles by his title of Maha Oupahat or Viceroy. Voravongsa was taken prisoner by the Burmese in 1565 during the occupation of Vientiane. In 1575 following the third of a series of Burmese invasions of Lan Xang, Voravongsa was appointed by Bayinnaung as a vassal within the Taungoo Empire. Voravongsa had few supporters even within the Burmese court; he reigned for only four years before facing a popular rebellion which would threaten to overtake the capital in Vientiane. Voravongsa attempted to flee back to Burma, but were killed en route. To reestablish order the Burmese dispatched another army, and would install Sen Soulintha as vassal from 1580-1582.

Nanthasen, also known as Chao Nan, was the 6th king of the Kingdom of Vientiane. He ruled from 1781 to 1795.

Phrachao Siribounyasan, also known as Ong Boun (ອົງບຸນ), Bunsan or Xaiya Setthathirath III, was the 3rd king of the Kingdom of Vientiane.

Chao Kingkitsarat, also known as Kitsarat or Kitsarath, was the king of Luang Phrabang.


  1. 1 2 Tarling, Nicholas. The Cambridge history of South East Asia: From c. 1500 to c. 1800. 1. Cambridge University Press. p. 238. ISBN   978-0-521-66370-0. ISBN   0-521-66370-9.