Lan Xang - Early Years

Early Years

The early years of Fa Ngum's rule were uneventful. The years 1362 to 1368, however, were troubled by conflict between Fa Ngum's Mahayana Buddhism as it had been practiced where he had been raised, and the region's encroaching Theravada Buddhism. He severely repressed popular resistance to the change, and had many temples torn down.

In 1368, Fa Ngum's Khmer wife died. He then married a daughter of a king of Ayutthaya, who seems to have had a pacifying influence on her husband. She was instrumental in welcoming a religious and artistic mission that brought a carved figure of the Buddha, the Phra Bang, for which the capital was renamed Luang Prabang. Popular resentment continued to build, however, and in 1373 Fa Ngum withdrew to Muang Nan. His son, Oun Heuan, who had been in exile in southern Yunnan, returned as Regent of the kingdom his father had created. Oun Heuan, unlike his father a peaceful ruler, succeeded in 1393 on death of his father as King Samsenethai (300,000 Thai) at the time that Mongol domination of the middle Mekong Valley was on the wane.

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