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

Anouvong, Chao Anou or Čhao Anu (Lao: ເຈົ້າອານຸວົງ; Thai: เจ้าอนุวงศ์ — เจ้าอนุ) regnal name Chaiya Sethathirath V (Thai: ไชยเชษฐาธิราชที่ 5, RTGS: Chaichetthathirat Ti 5) (1767 – 1829) led the Laotian Rebellion (1826 – 1829) as the last king of the Lao Kingdom of Vientiane. Anouvong succeeded to the throne in 1805 upon the death his brother, Chao Intawong (เจ้าอินทวงศ์), Chaiya Sethathirath IV, who had succeeded their father, Phrachao Siribunsan (พระเจ้าสิริบุญสาร) Chaiya Sethathirath III. Anu was known by his father's regnal number until recently discovered records disclosed that his father and brother had the same regnal name.

From the time of the first Burmese–Siamese War (1548–49), the region had been afflicted by Burmese and Thai imposition of corvée labor, slave raids and forced migration of entire communities to replenish their manpower. This brought about frequent shifting of alliances as both rulers and peoples sought their best advantage. Anu had recognized the suzerainty of the Siamese and assisted the Thais in their campaigns against the Burmese. In return, when the ruler of Champassak died while on a visit to Bangkok, the Thai King Rama III had appointed Anu's son to the position.

However, the British decisive victory in the first Anglo-Burmese War (1824–1826) ended with Tenasserim, the main route for Burmese invasion, under British control. Furthermore, the 1826 Burney Treaty (formal name, Treaty of Amity and Commerce (Siam–UK) made Siam appear to be weak, and Anu took it as an opportunity to rebel against Siam in an attempt to regain complete independence.[1] He initially captured the stronghold of Korat by a ruse, but Lady Mo, the wife of the deputy governor, is credited with harassing the invading force as it withdrew. After approaching as near to Bangkok as Saraburi, Anouvong's army retreated. It was pursued and defeated in three days of fighting near Vientiane by General Sing Singhaseni (สิงห์ สิงหเสนี, at the time styled Phraya Rajsupawadi.) In retaliation for Anouvong's disloyalty, King Rama III ordered his troops to sack Anouvong's capital of Vientiane. Anouvong soon returned with Vietnamese assistance, but was again defeated and this time captured. The now furious Thai monarch ordered Vientiane completely destroyed and only the temple at Wat Si Saket was spared.[2] Anouvong himself was brought to Bangkok as a prisoner in to face the man against whom he had rebelled. Rama III ordered him kept in an iron cage, where the Lao ruler remained until his death the following year at the age of 61.



In Thailand nationalists have erected monuments to Lady Mo and General Sing. The government also established 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 strategic and tactical mistakes combined with his hot temper led to the end of the kingdom of Lan Xang (Million Elephants,) destruction of Vientiane, and a permanent division of the Lao people between the country of Laos and the Lao-speaking provinces of northeastern Thailand.

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 government created the Chao Anouvong Park, complete with a large bronze statue of the locally revered King.


  1. ^ 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 08, 2008) 
  2. ^ Tomlin, Jacob (1831). Journal of a nine months' residence in Siam. London: Frederick Westley and A.H. Davis. p. 103. 

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