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

Chao Anouvong (Lao: ເຈົ້າອານຸວົງສ໌; Thai: เจ้าอนุวงศ์; rtgsChao Anuwong);Khmer: អនុវង្ស, or regnal name Xaiya Setthathirath V (Lao: ໄຊຍະເສດຖາທິຣາຊທີ່ຫ້າ; Thai: ไชยเชษฐาธิราชที่ห้า; rtgsChaiya Chetthathirat Thi Ha;Khmer: ជ័យជេដ្ឋាធិរាជទី៥), (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 upper Mekhong region had been subject to both Burmese and Siamese imposition of corvée labour, slave raids and the forced migration of entire communities as they sought to replenish their manpower. This caused a frequent shifting of alliances as rulers and people sought their best advantage. Pra Chao Siribounyasan sought a middle ground in the conflicts between Burma and Siam, but he only succeeded in angering King Taksin of Thonburi. 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, holding hostage his three sons, Nanthasèn, Inthavong and Anouvong. In 1782, King Rama I ordered Prince 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 older 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 by a "mad monk" 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 vacant throne in Champasak.[2]

The decisive British victory in the first Anglo-Burmese War (1824–1826) placed Tenasserim, the main Burmese invasion route, under British control. Moreover, the 1826 Burney Treaty made Siam appear to Anouvong to be weak. Increased Siamese incursion into Vientiane territory and politics, such as replacing all significant governing post made by Vientiane with those only loyal to Bangkok, taking of Lao slaves, He decided to rebel and gain complete independence from Thailand. He intended to retake all territory lost to Siam, reinstate control over Korat which as been increasingly become under the control of Bangkok and move all of the captured Lao families back to Lao region.[3]

King Anouvong's army advanced into the fortified city of Korat which has long been the main border city between Lao Korat and Siamese central Thailand. However, his plan to reinstate Lao control over Korat and to relocate many other Korat residents to Vientiane, misfired with a mutiny among the non-Lao members of the captives. According to local tradition, the mutiny was led by Lady Mo, wife of the deputy governor. Advancing as far as Saraburi, Saraburi being a town entirely created by captured Lao families since the first sacking of Vientiane, Anouvong learned the Siamese now were ready for him and ordered his army to fall back. The Thai army pursued and overtook him near Vientiane. Anouvong was finally defeated after 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, killing its small Thai garrison. However, the Thai army returned, defeating his Lao and Vietnamese troops and capturing Anouvong himself. The furious Thai monarch ordered the Anouvong's capital of Vientiane completely destroyed; only the important Buddhist temple Wat Si Saket was spared.[4] Anouvong was brought to Bangkok to face the man he had rebelled against. King 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 (Thao Suranari) and General Sing. The government also named 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 his rebellion caused the end of the kingdom of Lan Xang Vientiane (Million Elephants,) the destruction of Vientiane, and a permanent division of the Lao people between the country of Laos and the Lao-speaking provinces of northeastern Thailand. His actions however is the point of Lao nationality and identity that persisted and has been given credit for the current Lao state, which may have otherwise been easily incorporated into Thailand as did the kingdom of Lanna.

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 PDR government created 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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