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Müang Sing

Müang Sing

From 1895 until 1998

original document:
NOV 2000
AUG 2019

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Start HGT  →  Forschung / Veröffentlichungen  →  Müang Sing  →  Müang Sing: from 1895 until 1998

From 1895 until 1998

Although the district is situated far away from the economical and political centres, and although there are not many inhabitants, Müang Sing’s history was quite exciting, because exactly here the spheres of political influence of China, England, France and Thailand intersected.

Not later than 1890 Müang Sing was a tributary of Bangkok.

In 1895 British troops, coming from Birma, invaded Müang Sing. Cao Fa Sili Nò fled and finally went to Müang Luang Nam Tha (nowadays the capital of that province), which was already controlled by the French.

In 1895/96 Müang Sing too came under French control (later: protectorate of Luang Prabang).

1897 and following years: The division of the principality of Chiang Khaeng was perfect. Britain got the regions in the west of the river Mekong and France the eastern territories.

French troops were permanently stationed. Near the southern corner of the town they erected a military fort, thereby destroying the wall in that sector. Moreover the colonial administration built an asphalt road from Müang Sing to the Chinese border. Parts of the road were running very close to or directly on the SE front of the town wall. On the outer side of the "China road" they built a market and behind that market a new brick wall. The "urban" population shifted gradually towards this road, the town’s economic lifeline.

The administration of the town owns a photo of the palace, an ectraordinary high wooden house. It was in the centre of the town until the 1920’s.

During the first decades under French rule Müang Sing expanded. In addition to the first monastery, Wat Luang, three other monasteries were founded within the town wall. They were all placed in symmetric rotation to Wat Luang (in relation to the centre of the town). It is obvious, that Müang Sing was built for growth. But as documents show Cao Fa Sili Nò had no success to repatriate people back to Müang Sing who have been deported to Nan several decades ago. The four monasteries belonged to the compartments (Chiang = Siang [laot.])

compartment monastery direction
Ban Siang Cai Wat Luang Southeast
Ban Siang In Wat Chiang In Northeast
Ban Siang Yün Wat Chiang Yün
(destroyed in 1962)
Ban Siang Lae Wat Chiang Lae Northwest
Müang Sing Palast

the old palace

In 1901 (or 1900) Cao Fa Sili Nò died at the age of 56.

Between 1907 and 1911 there were internal conflicts in Müang Sing so that eventually the follower of Sili Nò, Chao Fa (Müang) Mon Onkham, had to flee. Till his dead he fighted against the French from his base Chiang Rung in Sipsong Panna, China.

In 1916 the French officialy removed this last ruler of of Müang Sing/Chiang Khaeng. In the decree of April 6th 1916 they accused him to be "coupable des crimes et délits de droit commun et de crimes politiques". The hitherto special status of Müang Sing was abolished and the district came under direct control of the colonial administration.

In 1946 the Chinese Kuomintang attacked Müang Sing. There must have been a heavy battle, as the market and the brick wall behind were completely destroyed. The vital importance of the "China Road", however, did not decline. Although the brick wall was never repaired, the market was. Since 1954 the newly built market of Müang Sing has been again attracting traders from far and near.

In 1954 the French had to leave the kingdom of Laos.

Wat Chiang Yün was destroyed on April 4th, 1962 during an exchange of artillery fire between troops of the Vientiane government, which controlled Müang Sing at that time, and Pathet Lao forces who operated near Luang Nam Tha. Thus at present only three monasteries have survived.

Today MüangSing is part of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic.

Recently the German Society for Technical Cooperation (GTZ) has erected a second market hall as a shelter for hill tribe people who until then had to sell their products in sun and rain.

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1) since 2010 GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit)

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