Episode 8 of the podcast is now available! This episode covers Vietnam from 939 to 1471. During this time two nations existed in the territory of present-day Vietnam (three if you count the Khmers ruling the Mekong delta). Those nations were the Vietnamese state, currently called Dai Viet, and the Indianized state of Champa. The Vietnamese and Chams fought on and off for most of this period, hence the episode name. Who won? Listen to find out!
(Transcript, added 11/19/2019)
Episode 8: The Five Hundred Years War
Greetings, dear listeners! A few days ago, I discovered the History of Southeast Asia Podcast on three new websites: MyTuner, Player.fm, and Podfanatic. Unlike my previous announcements about the podcast spreading, I did not submit the podcast to them, via RSS feed or anything else; someone besides me did it! Indeed, Player.fm was the only one I had heard of previously. Well, I salute whoever is responsible. Now there are eight places online where you can listen to or download the episodes:
If you are listening around the date when I uploaded this episode, November 1, 2016, it is just days before the ballyhooed 2016 US presidential election. Are you tired of hearing about the election in the news all the time? Ready to escape to a simpler, less crazy time? Then you’ve come to the right place. We will begin by going back to the tenth century; hopefully, that will be far enough back in time for you. From there we will cover an on-and-off war that lasted almost five hundred years. And you thought the Hundred Years War between England and France was a long, drawn-out affair!
In Episode 6, we covered the history of Indonesia up to the end of the Middle Ages, and in Episode 7 we did the same thing with Cambodia. Now we will do that for Vietnam. We last looked at Vietnam in Episode 4, so to help those of you who didn’t listen to that episode, and to refresh the memories of those that did, here is a quick recap.
The ancestors of the Vietnamese, then just called Viets, lived in eastern China, near the mouth of the Yangtze River, when they first appeared in history. They lived in a state named Yue during China’s Zhou dynasty, and after Yue was conquered by another state, Chu, the Viets fled southward. Some Viets founded a kingdom named Man Viet, in today’s Fujian province. Other Viets, the ones we are interested in, kept going, and founded another kingdom, Nam Viet, which stretched across the provinces of Guangdong, Guangxi, and northern Vietnam. Because of that last territory, we can now call them Vietnamese. But the Chinese would not leave them alone. In 111 B.C. a Chinese army pushed southward, and conquered both Man Viet and Nam Viet.
The Chinese succeeded in assimilating the people of Man Viet, and their land has been part of China ever since. However, the Vietnamese around the Red River refused to become Chinese. Here we can see a characteristic that has marked the Vietnamese ever since; when under somebody else’s rule, they are willing to fight for as long as it takes to free themselves, and never give up; when the odds against them look hopeless, they resort to unconventional ways of fighting, like guerrilla warfare. They revolted against the Chinese repeatedly, the Chinese put down the revolts every time, but then the Vietnamese tried again later. Finally, after more than a thousand years of on-and-off rebellion, in 938 A.D., the Vietnamese won a naval victory that forced the Chinese out of their land completely.
But the Vietnamese and the Chinese are not the only characters in this story. To start with, there were the various hill tribes, living in the rough terrain that the Vietnamese did not settle because it was not prime farmland. They have always been lurking in the background, playing a role all throughout Vietnam’s history; during the twentieth century, for instance, they were the so-called Montagnards that fought on the side of the Americans and the South Vietnamese government.
On the central Vietnam coast, there were the Chams, who were a civilized people, but very different from the Vietnamese, because they learned the ways of civilization from India, not from China. The Chams were originally Malays who had come across the South China Sea from the Philippines or Indonesia, around 1000 B.C. In 192 A.D. they founded the first of several city-states, and by 400 these city-states came together to form the kingdom of Champa. By this time they had also absorbed so much Indian culture that Hinduism was their chief religion, their art resembled Indian art, and their rulers had Sanskrit names, like the kings of Cambodia. Eventually China conquered Champa, too, but because the Chams were so far to the south, the Chinese could only hold onto their land from 446 to 510, a far shorter time than they ruled over the Vietnamese. Thanks to their Malay ancestors, the Chams were excellent sailors, and their ships would become their strongest asset in the struggles we will be covering today.
By the way, if you check the program notes, on the Blubrry.com page where this episode is hosted, you will see a picture of some pagodalike buildings. This is Po Klong Garai, the best preserved of the brick temples built by the Chams. The temple was built around the year 1300 by Jaya Sinhavarman III, a king we’ll be hearing about later, and it is near the south Vietnamese city of Phan Rang. Because of its excellent condition, a few Hindus still use it as a place of worship today. I mentioned in Episode 4 that the largest collection of Cham temples was built at My Son, near modern Da Nang, but it’s not in good shape; American B-52s bombed the main temple tower in 1969, because during the Vietnam War, the Viet Cong used it for a hideout, and another wartime souvenir on the site — buried landmines — makes the place unsafe to visit even now.
One more thing I need to remind listeners about. The southernmost part of Vietnam, the land around the Mekong River delta and modern Ho Chi Minh City, was ruled by Cambodia’s kings in medieval times. We won’t be talking about the Khmers much here — we already said enough about them in the previous episode — but they will play a part in our narrative.
A minute ago, I mentioned the program notes. If you look at them again, below the picture of the Cham temple is a simple map from Wikipedia, showing the part of Southeast Asia covered in this episode. The Vietnamese kingdom is colored yellow, and Champa is colored green. Most of Champa’s cities are marked with two names: the original Sanskrit name in red, and the modern Vietnamese name in parentheses. To the left of both, in light blue, is the Khmer Empire as it stood around the year 1200. I’m sure everyone who listened to Episode 7 will remember that!
Now that we’re back to where we were when we broke off at the end of Episode 4, let’s get on with the show.
The first of the many wars fought during this period was between the Khmers and Chams. In 944 and 945, the Khmer king, Rajendravarman II, sent troops to raid the region of Kauthara, modern Nha Trang. They came back in 950, pillaged the temple of Po Nagar and carried off the golden statue of Bhagavathi, the temple goddess. Thus, repairing the temple and replacing the statue were the main activities of Jaya Indravaman I, the Cham king at that time.
Meanwhile to the north, the Vietnamese kingdom was getting organized, now that the Chinese had been expelled. Historians distinguish fifteen dynasties in Vietnamese history. The last dynasty ended in 1955, when the South Vietnamese government deposed Emperor Bao Dai — but that’s a subject for another time, we’re getting ahead of ourselves if we talk about it now. Vietnam’s first four dynasties were the short-lived independent governments that revolted against Chinese rule before 939. The next three also had very short careers, numbering in all eight kings over a seventy-year period, because a lot of mistakes were made while the Vietnamese learned to govern themselves again, and the Chinese had not yet given up on the idea that Vietnam belonged to them.
The first dynasty after independence was the Ngo dynasty, and it ruled from 939 to 968. It was founded by Ngo Quyen, the general who had defeated the Chinese at the end of Episode 4. Unfortunately he only lived five more years after his heroic battle; the three kings after him were unable to deal with a dozen revolting military chiefs, and they never secured diplomatic recognition from China. Next came the Dinh dynasty, which barely lasted long enough to be called a dynasty: two kings for an eleven-year period, 968 to 979. Fortunately, the Dinh monarchs established a decent capital for the nation at a town named Hoa Lu; they also defeated the warlords and got the Chinese to accept Vietnamese independence by paying tribute. From the Chinese point of view, the Vietnamese kingdom was now a satellite state of theirs, like Korea. Finally, the Dinh monarchs copied one more Chinese custom, by being the first Vietnamese rulers to call themselves emperors, instead of kings.
The Dinh dynasty was followed by the early Le dynasty, from 979 to 1009. This dynasty’s founder was a very successful emperor named Le Hoan. He defeated a Chinese invasion in 981 by ambushing the Chinese army in Chi Lang Pass and killing its commander. One year later, he began the advance to the south against Champa. He had two reasons for doing this. In 972 the Cham king, Paramesvaravarman I, had sent a fleet to support one of the warlords mentioned a minute ago, but a fierce storm sank many of the ships as it tried to enter the Red River delta from the sea, and forced the rest to return home. Then in 982, Le Hoan sent an ambassador to Indrapura, Champa’s capital, and Paramesvaravarman imprisoned the ambassador. Le Hoan attacked, killed the Cham king, sacked Indrapura, and carried off an enormous amount of loot: women from the king’s entourage, gold, silver, and other precious objects.
Champa sent envoys to China that pleaded for aid against the Vietnamese, but none came. Many Chams escaped the Vietnamese by fleeing across the South China Sea to China. Remarkably, a community of 6,000 Chams still exists on Hainan, the big Chinese-ruled island on the north end of the South China Sea. Nowadays they are called Utsuls, and at some point after they arrived, they converted to Islam; we’ll talk more about that in a future episode. Back on the mainland, the Chams abandoned Indrapura around 1000, moving their capital to Vijaya, modern Binh Dinh. In case you’re keeping score, the Vietnamese won the first round.
Unfortunately, Le Hoan’s talents could not be passed on to the next emperor, Le Long Dinh, who was a sadist and a sexual deviant. Le Long Dinh only ruled for four years, because he was struck down by a disease that killed him at the age of 24. Near the end, he was so sick that he had to lie down when meeting with his officials in court. A palace guard commander named Ly Cong Uan became the next emperor, but he did not gain the throne by seizing power in a coup; he was nominated to sit on it.
Ly Cong Uan’s reign is considered the beginning of a golden age for the Vietnamese. He introduced a Chinese-style civil service bureaucracy, which proved to be more efficient than the warlord system used previously, and a more efficient system than the Mandala monarchies in the rest of Southeast Asia. In case you’re a new listener to this podcast, I described the Mandala system in previous episodes, especially Episode 3. Ly Cong Uan also moved the capital to a site 56 miles north of Hoa Lu, at the apex of the Red River delta. Vietnam’s capital has been here most of the time since then — this is Hanoi. He claimed he picked Hanoi because he saw a dragon going up the Red River on this spot, and this gave the city its other name, Thang Long, or “Soaring Dragon.” Unlike the seven dynasties before it, the Ly dynasty was stable enough to last more than two centuries, from 1009 to 1225.
The Ly monarchs called their country Dai Viet, meaning “Great Viet,” but the Chinese name of Annam, “The Pacified South,” was used everywhere else. The country prospered, and the government encouraged cultural progress by vigorously promoting literature, art, and Mahayana Buddhism. Other reforms included a dike system to protect rice farms from floods, founding the country’s first university to give civil service exams to commoners applying for government jobs, establishing humane treatment of prisoners, and a new system of taxation that was run by the court ladies.
But Dai Viet’s growth was always threatened by external wars. A second Chinese invasion was defeated after a four-year war, from 1057 to 1061. And the feud with Champa was renewed, when the Vietnamese raided the Chams in 1021 and 1026. The Chams thought their new capital was far enough south to keep it out of Vietnamese hands. But in 1044 the Vietnamese sacked Vijaya and killed the Cham king again, along with thirty thousand of his people. Champa now paid tribute to Dai Viet; among the gifts it sent were a white rhinoceros and a white elephant, which were considered very special animals. In 1068 the Cham king Rudravarman III decided it was time for revenge and attacked Dai Viet. He was defeated, and Vijaya was sacked a second time in 1069. Rudravarman III was chased into Cambodia, captured, and deported to Dai Viet. He had to surrender Champa’s three northernmost provinces, the ones Champa took in 780, to regain his freedom. Score another point for the Vietnamese.
The Chams got a new dynasty, their ninth so far, when Harivarman IV became king in 1074. He made peace with Dai Viet and restored the temples at My Son, thus beginning a new period of prosperity for Champa. However, not everything he did worked out, for he also picked a fight with Cambodia. In 1080, the Khmers invaded, sacked the temples and monasteries around Vijaya, and carried away treasure and works of art, before Harivarman was able to defeat them. Thus, he spent the rest of his reign restoring the temples around the capital, too.
The Vietnamese did not get involved in the fight between the Chams and Khmers because they had just fought the Chinese again. This time the main battles were in China. In 1075 the Vietnamese learned that China was preparing yet another invasion, so they struck first, using their army and navy to destroy three Chinese military bases. China struck back in 1076, but at the battle of the Cau River, about 25 miles from Hanoi, the Vietnamese fought them to a standstill. When neither side could win, the Vietnamese proposed a truce, and the Chinese accepted it.
Dai Viet was exhausted for the rest of the eleventh and early twelfth centuries. That encouraged the Chams and Khmers to join forces and invade the southern part of Dai Viet twice, in 1128 and 1132. However, even with the mighty Khmer Empire on their side, led by its great king, Suryavarman II, the Chams could not achieve their main goal, recovering the three lost provinces. Then the Khmer-Cham alliance went sour. The Chams made peace with the Vietnamese, and when Suryavarman came back to fight the Vietnamese again, in 1138, the Cham king refused to join him. Because of that refusal, the next time the Khmers showed up, in 1145, they attacked Champa instead. Suryavarman captured Vijaya, and destroyed the Cham temples at My Son; now the Khmers took Champa’s place in the feud between the Chams & Vietnamese. The disputed provinces ended up under Khmer rule. Score one point for the Khmers; bet you didn’t see that coming!
The Khmer occupation only lasted two years. In 1147 a minor ruler from the southern city of Panduranga, Jaya Harivarman I, liberated Vijaya and had himself crowned king of all Champa. Thirty years later, another Cham king, Jaya Harivarman IV, launched a surprise attack on the Khmers and sacked their capital, Angkor. The Chams succeeded not only because they had the element of surprise, but also because they had a new weapon — the Chinese had taught them how to build and use ballistas, the giant crossbows used in sieges. We already covered this Cham invasion of Cambodia, but I’m giving this point to Champa anyway. Then the Khmers rallied under a new king of their own, Jayavarman VII. Jayavarman did better in the struggle that followed, and Champa ended up as a vassal of the Khmers from 1190 to 1220. That’s another point for the Khmers.
Meanwhile to the north, the Ly dynasty was in decline. In 1224 a powerful court minister named Tran Thu Do persuaded the emperor Ly Hue Tong to bequeath the throne to his daughter, abdicate, and become a monk. With the emperor out of the way, Tran Thu Do arranged a marriage between the daughter and his nephew, Tran Thai Tong, and with that move, the Tran dynasty was founded. Then to secure the new dynasty’s position, Tran Thu Do launched a vicious purge of the Ly family; for instance, he had the ex-emperor killed in 1226 to keep him from making a comeback. One Ly prince, Ly Long Tuong, fled to Korea, where he eventually became a general.
After the purge, the Tran monarchs pursued the same policies that had worked for the Ly dynasty. But now Champa was independent again, and it wanted a rematch over the disputed border provinces, which had gone to the Vietnamese by default when the Khmers withdrew from the area, around 1150. The Chams sent pirate raids on the Vietnamese coast, and the Cham army recovered two of the disputed provinces, Quang Tri and Hue, while the third, Quang Binh, remained in Vietnamese hands. Emperor Tran Thai Tong retaliated with a military expedition in 1252, that captured and brought back the Cham queen, and the king’s concubines. However, that was as far as the feud got, for in the following year, the Mongols conquered Nanzhao, the nation in southwest China that we met in Episode 5. Now Kublai Khan’s army was on Southeast Asia’s doorstep.
Dai Viet and Champa quickly put aside their squabble to meet a threat that could destroy both of them. Fortunately, the Mongols were out of their element; they were used to fighting where the weather was cold and dry, and where the land presented few obstacles to their horses and arrows; the rugged jungles of Southeast Asia are nothing like that. The Mongols attacked and took Hanoi three times (in 1257, 1284, and 1287), and invaded Champa once, in 1283. Both the Vietnamese and Chams abandoned their cities, so the Mongols could not subject them to sieges, and they avoided open field battles. Each time the combination of Vietnamese army and Cham navy inflicted unacceptable losses, and the defenders relied on guerrilla tactics until the Mongols, suffering from heat, illness and a shortage of supplies, gave up and withdrew. The decisive battle was fought at the Bach Dang River in 1288, the same river where the Vietnamese beat the Chinese exactly 350 years earlier, and the Vietnamese commander, Tran Hung Dao, won his battle the same way — by ambushing the Mongol fleet. He celebrated his victory by composing a triumphant poem that declared, “This ancient land shall live forever,” and today, Tran Hung Dao is still venerated as one of the great heroes of Vietnamese history. Nearly seven centuries later, in 1951, the Viet Minh military commander, Vo Nguyen Giap, compared himself with Tran Hung Dao as he launched an attack against the French in the same area. Let’s give a bonus point to both the Vietnamese and the Chams, for defeating Genghis Khan’s grandson. However, in the last years of the thirteenth century, both Vietnam and Champa sent tribute; this allowed the Mongols to think they were the real winners, so they never came back.
Marco Polo, the most famous traveler of the Middle Ages, visited Champa in 1292. It must have been a brief stop, because the chapter on Champa in his book, The Travels of Marco Polo, is a short one. While most of the material in that chapter has been verified with other sources, he also mentioned a Cham custom that seems farfetched. Quote: “You must know that in that kingdom no woman is allowed to marry until the King shall have seen her; if the woman pleases him then he takes her to wife; if she does not, he gives her a dowry to get her a husband.” End Quote. Then in the 1320s another European, a Franciscan friar named Odoric of Pordenone, visited Champa; you may remember I mentioned him visiting Java in Episode 6 of this podcast.
Once Kublai Khan was gone, the king of Champa, Jaya Sinhavarman III, tried to make the new friendship permanent by asking for a Vietnamese princess in marriage. After negotiations that dragged on until 1306, the Vietnamese said they would allow the marriage if Champa gave up the provinces of Quang Tri and Hue. Amazingly, Jaya Sinhavarman accepted. But he died less than a year after the wedding, and the princess, Huyen Tran, returned to Hanoi to avoid joining her husband in death. Remember how I mentioned that the Chams imitated the Indians in as many customs as possible? Unfortunately one of those customs was suttee, the Hindu practice of burning widows on the funeral pyres of their husbands. The two provinces the Cham king had handed over were not returned, and the next king, Jaya Sinhavarman IV, started a new war to take back those provinces. This time the northern kingdom won again; the Cham king was captured in 1312, and he died a prisoner in Hanoi. After that, Champa paid tribute to Dai Viet again. Give another point to the Vietnamese.
A Cham rebellion in 1318 failed, and the Vietnamese replaced the Cham king with a puppet king, a Vietnamese-born officer named Che Anan. However, he had lived much of his adult life in Champa, so he was persuaded to rebel in 1326, and succeeded in liberating the country. The Vietnamese, exhausted and bankrupt from fighting both the Mongols and the Chams, had to let Champa go. Still, the many wars with the northern kingdom were taking their toll on the Chams, too. One sign of this is that their culture looked less Indian, and more like the cultures of other Southeast Asian states. For example, there were eight Cham kings in the rest of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, and only two of them had Sanskrit names; believe it or not, you won’t meet any more kings with names ending in “varman!”
Anyway, the next Cham king tried to take back the city of Hue in 1353, but failed. Then came Champa’s most outstanding king. He ruled from 1360 to 1390 and goes by many names: Po Binasuor in the Cham language, Che Bong Nga in Vietnamese, and Che Bunga in Malay. The series of well-planned raids he made against Dai Viet kept the Vietnamese in a state of terror during his whole reign; Vietnamese stories call him the Red King. In 1371 he even pillaged Hanoi. But wait, there’s more! In 1377 the Vietnamese emperor, Tran Due Tong, personally led an army against Champa. Po Binasuor ambushed that army, killed the emperor, and went on to raid Hanoi again. Not only did all of the disputed territory come under Champa’s rule, but Champa occupied everything up to Thanh Hoa, a town about 90 miles south of Hanoi. That’s another point for Champa.
The Red King’s career ended when he attacked Hanoi for the third time in 1390, and the Vietnamese fired a musket salvo at the royal barge, killing him. Now the Vietnamese launched a counteroffensive, which was so successful that in 1398 the capital was moved from Hanoi to Thanh Hoa, so that the emperor could be closer to the action. By 1402, Vietnamese forces had advanced far enough south to take Indrapura, modern Da Nang.
Then a crisis at home halted Vietnamese progress. Champa’s success in the 1370s and 1380s had shown the Tran dynasty was weak. Ho Qui Ly, the general in charge of Dai Viet’s defenses during that time, forced the last Tran emperor to abdicate in 1400, and took the throne for himself. One year later he also abdicated and crowned his son, Thai Thuong Hoang, but he stuck around to advise him, as the real power behind the throne. Together the emperor and the ex-emperor were capable and bold reformers; the changes they introduced included adding math questions to the civil service examinations, allowing open criticism of Confucian philosophy, using paper money in place of coins, investing in the building of large warships and the new weapons called cannon, and finally, land reform, because the Red River valley was getting overcrowded.
Despite all this, the ousted Tran dynasty still had supporters, and they called on China for help. So did Champa, which needed aid to take back the northern half of its kingdom. China had just begun another glorious age, that of the Ming dynasty, and in 1407 a Chinese army marched into Hanoi and removed the usurper and his son. In the south, the Chams were able to regain Indrapura. But instead of installing a new Vietnamese emperor and going home, the Chinese announced there was no Tran heir, and converted the Vietnamese state into a Chinese province. In doing so they took the national archives and many Vietnamese scholars back to China, a terrible loss to Vietnamese civilization. Nguyen Trai, a poet who lived at this time, had this to say about Chinese behavior. Quote: “Were the water of the Eastern Sea to be exhausted, the stain of their ignominy could not be washed away; all the bamboo of the Southern Mountains would not suffice to provide the paper for recording all their crimes.” End quote.
Evidently the Chinese did not remember what happened the last time they ruled Vietnam. They forced heavy taxes, slave labor, and their language and customs on the Vietnamese, and did it so severely that the Vietnamese revolted almost immediately. As usual, the Vietnamese lost the first battles, but went on to win the war. In 1418 the rebels found a capable leader named Le Loi, a wealthy landowner from Thanh Hoa. He taught the guerrilla tactics of Tran Hung Dao to his followers, and they successfully wore down the Chinese army; ten years later, in 1428, the Chinese got out of Hanoi. Le Loi proclaimed himself emperor, changed his name to Le Thai To, and founded the second Le dynasty, making him yet another one of Vietnam’s all-time national heroes. The previously mentioned Nguyen Trai was his right hand man, and after the 1428 victory Nguyen Trai composed an essay entitled the Great Proclamation Upon the Pacification of the Wu, which over the past six centuries has been considered Vietnam’s second declaration of independence. Here is a sample line from it. Quote: “Our people long ago established Vietnam as an independent nation with its own civilization. We have our own mountains and our own rivers, our own customs and traditions, and these are different from those of the foreign country to the north…We have sometimes been weak and sometimes powerful, but at no time have we suffered from a lack of heroes.” End Quote.
At the same time the new emperor was courteous to the enemy he had just defeated. He provided ships and horses to help the Chinese go home, and afterwards he sent gift-bearing ambassadors to China, to apologize for the “irresponsible behavior” of the guerillas who had ambushed the Chinese army. Whereas previous Vietnamese rulers had mainly been Buddhists, the Le dynasty emperors preferred Confucianism, and gift-giving was in agreement with the teachings of Confucius, preserving harmony and saving the Chinese from too much loss of face, something always important in Asian societies. The Chinese always appreciated that; the Vietnamese, even when independent, DID have Chinese culture.
When the Cham king died in 1441, a civil war broke out among those claiming the throne. Of course the Vietnamese did not pass up this opportunity to make trouble. In 1446 the Vietnamese occupied Vijaya, but not for long, for the Chams soon recovered it. This was Champa’s last victory. Earlier I mentioned that Champa’s biggest advantage was its navy, and now here is the biggest Vietnamese advantage — numbers. We learned in previous episodes of this podcast that the best places in Southeast Asia for farming were the big river valleys, especially the deltas of those rivers. Well, Vietnam has two major river systems, the Red River in the north, and the Mekong River in the south. The Vietnamese controlled the Red River, while the Khmers controlled the Mekong, but the Chams never had a large river in their territory. This meant that Champa could never feed as many people as its rivals, so when it came to population, the Vietnamese always outnumbered the Chams. Fighting larger opponents for generation after generation had taken its toll, and by the fifteenth century, Champa was simply worn out.
Another great emperor, Le Thanh Tong, ruled from 1460 to 1497, and during his reign, the Vietnamese-Cham conflict reached its climax. In 1471, in reaction to a Cham raid two years earlier, he sent a huge fleet southward, followed by a huge army, and they captured and utterly destroyed Vijaya. 60,000 Chams were killed, 30,000 were captured and enslaved. Among the latter was the Cham king, who fell ill and died on the junk that was taking him away. The Vietnamese state annexed the land to the south, all the way to Vijaya, and gave most of it to masses of landless soldiers and peasants, thereby easing the population crunch around Hanoi. All that was left to Champa was a rump state, between Cam Ranh Bay and the Mekong delta, with its capital at Panduranga, modern Phan Rang. Although the Cham kingdom lingered on for almost 250 more years, it never recovered; the centuries-old feud was over.
Okay, that’s enough excitement for this episode. All through the narrative, we have been keeping an imaginary score. What does the scoreboard say at the end? Well, the Vietnamese got the last point for trashing Vijaya in 1471, so here is the final score:
Vietnamese = 5 points.
Chams = 3 points.
Khmers = 2 points.
The Vietnamese win.
Okay, I think the listeners get the idea!
Join me next time as we go to the other side of the Southeast Asian mainland, to see what Burma was doing while the Vietnamese were feuding with the Chams, and the Khmers were building Angkor. I probably should have mentioned it in the previous episode, when I was talking about how impressive the Khmer achievement was, but the Burmese built their own impressive monument at the same time — Bagan, a city containing thousands of pagodas. I look forward to having you with the next tour group, as we visit the first Burmese empire.
Like I have said in the past, if you like what you just heard, consider making a donation, using the Paypal button on the Blubrry.com page where you played or downloaded this episode. That is the only way I have to financially support this podcast, until it gets a sponsor. And if you listen to this podcast on iTunes, consider writing a review. Again, thank you for listening, and come back when the monsoon winds are blowing right!