This is the overview of Lao History in order to help you get better understand about the country today. Their origin is the Kingdom Lan Xang before French colonial control.

BiiG Travel Laos
Lao History

We can say that it is not easy to summarize the overview of Lao History in a few lines … however, it is always interesting to be aware of the major events that have marked the history of the country that we visit. So we try to include periods that fascinate us.

Until the twelfth

The first traces of human occupation in Laos are from the V century BC in the south, especially in the Plain of Jars. A nearby civilization primitive Khmer developed in the country.

– The origin of Laos is a territory occupied by the Khmers who gradually extended their sway over the Mekong basin. Laos was a part of that empire. The earliest inhabitants are Kha (meaning “wild, slave), originally from Indonesia, but they were driven south and east by the waves implantation of Thai and Khmer populations.

– The “Lao” are from members of the Thai population arrived from the north in the eleventh century. These Lao have settled on the left bank of the Mekong, Muong Xua and the capital of Xieng Tong (now Luang Prabang). The population Phuan Lao, meanwhile settled in the East.

The twelfth to the nineteenth

The real Laos foundation dates of the XII century with the arrival of the Tai people of China. The Land of a Million Elephants, Lan Xang, was founded in 1353 with Luang Prabang as its capital.

Buddhism is growing in the country and the capital is transferred to Vientiane in 1560.

In the XVIII century the kingdom breaks up and passes under domination Burmese, Chinese and Siamese. Siam (later Thailand) controls the three kingdoms of the country (Luang Prabang, Vientiane and Champassak) throughout the XIX century.

The period between IX and XX

– In 1893, the French took control of the country. Laos became one of French colonies in 1902. The western part of Laos, the Isan in the west of Mekong remained under control and was still part of Thailand. In 1904, Sisavang Vong came to power.

– During the Japanese occupation during the Second World War, Laos declared independence and the king was overthrown. But in 1946 the French, returning to the Laotian territory and gave autonomy to Laos within the French Union. The King ‘s power is restored.

– But US troops face the Viet Minh in Laos. In 1962, an agreement stipulates the withdrawal of American and Vietnamese troops in Laos but only US run. From 1964 to 1969, Laos will undergo more than 500 000 American air raids.

– Until 1973, the troops of the royal government and the Hmong, supported by the United States, face the Communist troops, supported by the Viet Minh.

– In 1974, a national unity government was in place but since 1975, the Pathet Lao took power by a coup. The King and Queen died in an internment camp.

Between 1975 and 1989, the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party governed without sharing the Lao People’s Democratic Republic. The country was largely dependent on Vietnam and cooperates with the USSR.

– Since 1991, Laos has opened up to the modern economy and normalized its relations with its neighbors, particularly Thailand. Laos became a member of ASEAN in 1997.

– The Pathet Lao, the communist independence movement is gaining more and more influence thanks to its union with the Viet Minh, the country was invaded by the troops Viet Minh in 1953. The French withdrew after the Geneva agreements 1953.