Lao Wieng

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Lao Wieng
Total population
Regions with significant populations
Lao, Thai
Theravada Buddhism

The Lao Wieng (Thai: ลาวเวียง  [laːw wiːəŋ]), are a Tai sub-ethnic group of the Isan region. Of the approximately 50,000[1] proclaimed Lao Wieng live in villages through the region, especially the provinces of Prachinburi, Udon Thani, Nakhon Pathom, Chai Nat, Lopburi, Saraburi, Phetchaburi and Roi Et with a significant number in Bangkok as migrant labourers or in search of better economic opportunities.

Alternate Names[edit]

The Lao Wieng are also referred to as Tai Wieng (ไทเวียง), Lao Vientiane (ลาวเวียงจันทน์), Tai Vientiane (ไทเวียงจันทน์) or simply as Wieng (เวียง). These names are also used in Laos to refer to the inhabitants of Vientiane or its descendants in Thailand. Many who are in fact Lao Wieng may only consider themselves Isan or Lao.


The Lao Wieng, as their name suggests, are descendants of Lao people from the Vientiane region (Thai: เวียงจันทน์) in modern-day Laos. After the fall of Lanxang, the three successor kingdoms were overrun by Siam and forced population transfers by the Siamese into Isan were undertaken. Much of Isan was settled this way, and is one of the main reasons for the shared Lao culture of Laos and Isan.[2] Originally slaves and forced into providing corvée labour, the Lao Wieng were freed and integrated into the general Isan population.


The Lao Wieng are a sub-group of the general Isan (ethnic Lao of northeastern Thailand) distinguished from other Isan people by the location of their ancestors. Most have assumed either Thai or Isan identity, but some maintain their distinctiveness. Like their neighbours, they share Theravada Buddhism, Isan language, and rice farming, with only slight differences in traditional clothing and dialect.[3]


  1. ^ Joshua Project - Lao Wieng Ethnic People in all Countries[dead link]
  2. ^ Setthakan, Krasuand. (1930). Siam: Nature and Industry. Bangkok: Bangkok Times Press, Ltd.
  3. ^ Hattaway, Paul. (2004). Peoples of the Buddhist World: A Christian Prayer Guide. Pasadena: William Carey Library