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Chao Anou
Reign Kingdom of Vientiane
1805 - 1828
Full name Xaiya-Setthathirath V
Born 1767 (1767)
Died 1829 (1830)
Place of death Bangkok, Siam
Predecessor Xaiya-Setthathirath IV

Chao Anouvong (Lao: ເຈົ້າອານຸວົງສ໌; Thai: เจ้าอนุวงศ์; RTGS: Chao Anuwong), or regnal name Xaiya Setthathirath V (Lao: ໄຊຍະເສດຖາທິຣາຊທີ່ຫ້າ; Thai: ไชยเชษฐาธิราชที่ห้า; RTGS: Chaiya Chetthathirat Thi Ha), (1767 – 1829), led the Laotian Rebellion (1826 – 1829) as the last monarch of the Lao Kingdom of Vientiane. Anouvong succeeded to the throne in 1805 upon the death his brother, Chao Inthavong (Lao: ເຈົ້າອິນທະວົງສ໌; เจ้าอินทวงศ์), Xaiya Setthathirath IV, who had succeeded their father, Phrachao Siribounyasan (Lao: ພຣະເຈົ້າສິຣິບຸນຍະສາຣ; พระเจ้าสิริบุญสาร) Xaiya Setthathirath III. Anou was known by his father's regnal number until recently discovered records disclosed that his father and brother had the same regnal name.

Background to conflict[edit]

From the time of the first Burmese–Siamese War (1548–49), the region had been afflicted by Burmese and Thai imposition of corvée labour, slave raids and the forced migration of entire communities to replenish their manpower. This brought about frequent shifting of alliances as both rulers and peoples sought their best advantage. Phrachao Siribounyasan sought a middle ground in the conflicts between Burma and Siam, but he only succeeded in angering King Taksin. In 1778 Somdet Chao Phraya Mahakasatseuk (later Rama I) was ordered to subdue the Lao states. He drove Siribounyasan into exile and ordered the destruction of Vientiane's provisions, orchards and fields to prevent his return, taking his three sons, Nanthasèn, Inthavong and Anouvong, as hostages. In 1782, King Rama I ordered Nanthasèn to take his father's place, and he ruled until 1793. Two years later, he rebelled, was defeated and was imprisoned in Bangkok. He was replaced by Prince Inthavong, who was then titled Phrachao Xaiyasetthathirath, with Anouvong as his assistant. On the death of his brother in 1805, Anouvong ascended the Vientiane throne as Xaiya Setthathirath IV.[1]


Prince Anou recognized the suzerainty of the Siamese and assisted the Thai armies in their campaigns against the Burmese. In 1819, he suppressed a revolt in Champasak. Champasak's aged ruler had died while taking refuge in Bangkok. With the support of Krommeunchetsadabodin (later King Rama III), Anouvong persuaded King Rama II to appoint Anouvong's son, Prince Ratxabout, to the now vacant throne in Champasak.[2]

The decisive British victory in the first Anglo-Burmese War (1824–1826) ended with Tenasserim, the main Burmese invasion route, under British control. Furthermore, the 1826 Burney Treaty made Siam appear to be weak. Anouvong decided to rebel and gain complete independence from Thailand. He decided to invade Thailand and remove all of the ethnic Laos to his side of the Mekong River .[3]

He advanced into Thai territory and captured the fortified city of Korat with little resistance. However his plan to repatriate the Lao living in Korat, and to relocate many other Korat residents to Vientiane, misfired with a mutiny among the non-Lao members of the travelling party, which he was unable to subdue. According to local legend, the mutiny was led by Lady Mo, wife of the deputy governor. Advancing as far as Saraburi, Anouvong learned the Siamese now were ready for him. He ordered his army to fall back. It was pursued and overtaken near Vientiane, where Anouvong was defeated in three days of fighting by General Sing Singhaseni (สิงห์ สิงหเสนี, at the time styled Phraya Rajsuphawadi.) In retaliation for Anouvong's disloyalty, King Rama III ordered Anouvong's capital to be sacked. Anouvong gained Vietnamese assistance and soon recovered Vientiane, wiping out its small Thai garrison. His Lao and Vietnamese troops were then defeated in combat by the Thai army and Anouvong himself captured. The now furious Thai monarch ordered Vientiane completely destroyed; only the Buddhist temple Wat Si Saket was spared.[4] Anouvong was brought to Bangkok to face the man he had rebelled against. Rama III ordered him to be kept in an iron cage, where he remained until his death the following year at age 61.


In Thailand nationalists have erected monuments to Lady Mo and General Sing. The government also established schools and a museum in honour of the victorious general. Modern Lao nationalist movements, on the other hand, have turned Anouvong into a hero, even though the rebellion caused the end of the kingdom of Lan Xang Vientiane (Million Elephants,) destruction of Vientiane, and a permanent division of the Lao people between the country of Laos and the Lao-speaking provinces of northeastern Thailand.

Anouvong had ordered the building of Wat Si Saket in Vientiane. An elephant howdah that belonged to him is now on display in the Lao National Museum in Vientiane.

In 2010, to coincide with the 450th Anniversary celebrations of Vientiane, the Lao government created the Chao Anouvong Park, complete with a large bronze statue of the locally revered King.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Suwaphat Sregongsang (2010). "A Study of Thailand and Laos relations through the perspective of the Vientiane Sisaket Temple and The Rattanakosin emerald Buddha temple" (1.72 MB secured). Architectural Heritage Management and Tourism (International Program). Silpakorn University. pp. 22, 24. Retrieved February 25, 2012. "Abstract The study of Thailand and Laos relations through the perspectives of Vientiane Sisaket temple and Rattanakosin Emerald Buddha is to investigate (1) the relations between the Siam and Lao kingdoms in the Sukhothai period, the Ayutthaya period, and early Rattanakosin period (Kings Rama I-III) ...." 
  2. ^ Suwaphat, p. 30
  3. ^ Chandler, David P.; Roff, William R.; Smail, John R.W.; Steinberg, David Joel; Taylor, Robert H.; Woodside, Alexander & Wyatt, David K. (1987) [1971]. "13 Siam, 1767–1868". In David, Steinberg. In search of Southeast Asia (Revised ed.). Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. pp. 113–117. ISBN 0-8248-1110-0. OCLC 500095794. Lay summary (Jan 8, 2008). 
  4. ^ Tomlin, Jacob (1831). Journal of a nine months' residence in Siam. London: Frederick Westley and A.H. Davis. p. 103. 

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