history of Laos
Laos traces its history back to the Lower Pilothic period – stone tools and skulls were discovered in Hofan and Long Prabang provinces. The famous plains jars in Xiang Khwang Province and the stone columns in the Hofan Province are of the Neolithic period. For centuries, the countryside in Laos has gradually grown into the Mekong, which is along the Mekong River.
Kung Fu Ngom (1349–1357) began to incorporate Maeg into a unified Lan Zhang kingdom, the capital city of Xiangdong, which is now known as Luang Prabang. Fa Negom was also a fighter – between 1353 and 1371, he invaded and conquered the present Laos and occupied most of northern and eastern Thailand.
The ‘Golden Age’ of Laos
In 1560, the capital was transferred to Vientiane, during the reign of King Sitharathirath, who built what was known as the symbol of Laos. The warring Burmese occupied the capital from 1575 to seven years, reflecting their dominance over Southeast Asia at that time. In 1591, the 2 Laotian kingdoms in Luang Prabang and Wang Chen reunited under the reign of King Noko Koman.
In the 17th century, under the rule of King Silyawangsa, the kingdom entered its ‘golden age’ and gained increasing attention from Europe. Written by the Dutch businessmen of the East Indian Company, the land of magnificent palaces, temples and amazing religious ceremonies is described. Vientiane was once known as a beautiful city in Southeast Asia.
From Thai to French rule
At the end of the reign of King Silyawangsa, the feudal lords raised the throne. In 1713, the country was divided into three states: Luang Prabang, Vientiane, and Chimpasiak. This rift and division created opportunities for attack from Siam in particular. Until the end of the 18th century, much of Laos was under Semi (Thai) rule, leading to costly warfare in the 1820s. It ended with the extradition of the Thai into all 3 states.
But after the expansion of French Indochina in the late nineteenth century, the Thais eventually separated Laos from the French. In 1893, Laos became a French colony. The French organized the area as a Protectorate, its administrative center was in Vientiane, and it was given authority over local affairs. Indochina was occupied by WWII when the La Cali Resistance Group was formed to prevent the return of the converted Calist Francis.
The modern era of Laos
Freedom was granted in 1953, but the internal dispute between the neutral and the Communist factions continued for several years. When the United States bombed the North Vietnamese troops on the Ho Chi Minh Trail in eastern Laos in 1964, it triggered a dispute between the imperial Venetian government and Communist Petit Lao, who supported northern Vietnam.
A mixed government was formed, but with the fall of Saigon in 1975, most of Imperial France fled. Back Lao took control of the country and in December 1975 established the People’s Democratic Republic of Laos. In the 1980s, Laos maintained friendly relations with the Vietnamese Communists.
Since 1989, the market has made a stride toward the economy, and generally eased sanctions, including the emergence of a young tourism industry. At a historic event, Laos joined hands with its neighbors and became a member of ASEAN in July 1997.