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Tai Kingdoms Northeast Thailand

  • The first Empire to control Northeast Thailand was that of the Khmer. The Kingdom of Sukhothai controlled part of the region for a while but the first significant Tai move came with the Tai Lao headed by King Fan in 1353 who absorbed part of North East Thailand into the Kingdom of Lang Xang.
  • At the end of the 12th century the Khmer (Cambodians) dominated Northeast Thailand and up to Vientiane (the French name), on the Laos side of the Mekhong River. It was then called Wiang Chan. Wiang of course being the Tai name for a fortification.
  • In the last years of the 13th century King Rama Khamhaeng (of Sukhothai) eized Wiang Chan but for the next half century the Khmer controlled the south of North East Thailand. Meanwhile at Angkor the Khmer Court sponsored a Tai Lao prince, Fa Ngum, gave him an army and a Khmer Princess as wife and he returned to Laos to conquer territory, negotiate borders with the Kings of domains that today include Vietnam, China and North Thailand.
  • Then after conquering Wiang Chan he took control of the Korat Plateau in what is today Isan. He pushed the borders south. By the time of his coronation in 1353 as King of Xan Lan all the Tai Kings, in Lan na, Ayutthaya and China (Sip Son Panna) had reached a consensus of brotherhood with him and agreed on territories. The King of Ayutthaya offered him a daughter as an additional wife.
  • From the historical perspective about Isan these events were important in that they consolidated into the area, Tai Lao population and Singhalese Buddhism through the intermediary of Cambodia.