26 Facts About Anouvong


Anouvong succeeded to the throne in 1805 upon the death of his brother, Chao Inthavong, Xaiya Setthathirath IV, who had succeeded their father, Ong Bun or Phrachao Siribounyasan Xaiya Setthathirath III.


Anouvong was permitted to take with him the Phra Bang, a gold Buddharupa that had, according to legend had been originally brought from Angkor by Fa Ngum, the first king of Lan Xang, and was taken to Thonburi in 1779.


In 1795, Inthavong was installed as King of Vientiane, with his brother Anouvong assuming the traditional post of oupahat.


Burmese armies invaded Siam in both 1797 and 1802, and Inthavong dispatched several Lao armies under Anouvong to assist in the defense.


Anouvong gained recognition for his bravery and won several major victories at Sipsong Chao Thai.


Inthavong died in 1804, and Anouvong succeeded him as the ruler of Vientiane.


Anouvong called a great council of the sangha, only the third ever held in Laotian history, and it was decided that a new Emerald Buddha would be carved.


Anouvong ordered repairs on the Ho Phra Keo, and ordered several new temples to be established and dedicated to the Emerald Buddha.


In 1819 Anouvong rushed to suppress a rebellion in the Kingdom of Champasak, led by a charismatic monk, who had caused the ruler to flee to Bangkok.


Anouvong had succeeded in uniting two of the three Lao kingdoms under his control.


The temple was a major statement of his authority, since it was oriented so that when Anouvong's vassals came to pledge their annual allegiance, they physically turned their backs on Bangkok.


Anouvong was furious and cut short the traditional obeisance at the Chakri court.


Anouvong wanted the return of the Emerald Buddha, the release of his sister, and the return of the Lao families who had been relocated in Saraburi.


Thai historians write that Anouvong rebelled over a personal slight, since each of his requests was denied and he was told he could return with only one dancer from his retinue.


In 1826, the British had arrived to finalize the Burney Treaty between Siam and the British Empire, and the presence of the British fleet may have led Anouvong to believe that an invasion was imminent.


In December 1826, Anouvong's rebellion began with an army of 10 000 men making its way toward Kalasin, following the path of the Siamese tattooing officials.


Anouvong's planned retreats were slowed by the civilians who occupied the roads and passes.


Anouvong wasted foolishly over a month searching for the governor of Nakhon Ratchasima, who had been a key figure in the tattooing and population transfers.


Anouvong's forces withdrew to Nong Bua Lamphu, the strongest fortress on the Khorat Plateau and traditionally held by the crown prince of Vientiane.


Anouvong sacked the palaces and levelled the city's defences, but he left the monasteries and much of the city intact.


Anouvong then left a small garrison across the river opposite the empty city and returned to the Khorat Plateau.


Anouvong eventually returned with about 1 000 soldiers and 100 Vietnamese observers.


Anouvong was a mild, respectable-looking, old grey-haired man, and did not live long to gratify his tormentors, death having put an end to his sufferings.


Anouvong's body was taken and hung in chains on the bank of the river, about two or three miles below Bangkok.


Anouvong has been credited with the existence of the modern country of Laos, which might have otherwise have been completely incorporated into Thailand, as was the neighboring Tai Yuan kingdom of Lanna.


Anouvong had ordered Wat Si Saket to be built in Vientiane, and his name will always be connected with it.