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Northeast Thailand History

  • Any visit to North East Thailand is enhanced by a prior appreciation of the historical events which influenced the creation of what we see there today. The principal events were the introduction of Hinduism, then Buddhism, the creation of the Kingdom of Funan and then Chenla, the Khmer Empire, the subsequent Tai Empires of Sukhothai, Ayutthaya and Bangkok, the Lao Empire of Lan Xang and the history of Thai-Lao relations over the control of its land and people.
  • The chronology lists events in sequence and the Empires link deals with overriding cultural differences and influences.

The creation of the Kingdom of Funan and then Chenla.

  • The borders of the Kingdom of Chenla are not precise today nor were they ever constant but at its peak Chenla must have included the lower Menam Valley and the Mun Valley in present day Thailand (I 'san) plus what today is Southern Laos and parts of present day North Eastern Cambodia and perhaps at times, stretching to the Annamite Coast (now Vietnam). Chenla was an Empire of the Khmer people distinct from the Cham and the tribes of Funan. Chenla was the precursor to the Khmer Empire. The Khmer came from the Upper Menam Valley and then came down the Mun Valley and then the Mekong to supplant the Cham. 

The Khmer Empire In Northeast Thailand.

  • The first Empire to control Northeast Thailand was that of the Khmer
  • 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.  Read more here...