The Kingdom of Thailand established diplomatic relations with Laos on 19 December 1950. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand proposed, through the Thai Charge d’Affaires in Saigon, to establish a Royal Thai Consulate in Vientiane. Laos approved the proposal and recommended that Thailand send officials to Vientiane to seek for suitable Chancery buildings and purchase land. The approval Note, dated 26 June 1951, was signed by Mr. Ngon Chananikorn.
On 20 July 1951, Mr. Vikrom Ninnad, Vice-Consul in charge of the Consulate in Vientiane, together with Mr. Sanguan Rujidesa, departed to Vientiane by train and assumed their duties. The Consulate employed only two local staffs as clerk and gardener.
During the early years of operation, the consulate was situated in a private house. Although the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand would like to purchase a plot of land and build a chancery but an appropriate plot could not be found. In 1953 and 1955, The Royal Thai Consulate was elevated to Royal Thai Legation and Royal Thai Embassy respectively. Brigadier General Samai Vaewprasert was designated the first Thai Ambassador.
The Chancery Building
The First Land Purchase
Mr. Vikrom Ninnad
On 25 May 1956, Brigadier General Samai Vaewprasert, on behalf of the Royal Thai Embassy, purchased a 1.5 acre plot of land on De Latter de Tassigny Street
(eventually changed to Phonekeng Road and Kaysone Phomvihane Avenue respectively),
Ban Naraideaw, Watjan Sub District, Vientiane from Mr.Bong Suvannavongs at the cost of 200,000 baht or 714,286 kip.
On 1 August 1956, The Royal Thai Embassy commissioned Damrong Construction Company, a Thai firm, to construct two buildings. The first one, a two-storey Thai style building, is the residence of the Ambassador and cost 1.74 million baht. The chancery was built behind the residence and cost 404,000 baht. The construction of both buildings was completed on 11 March 1957.
In the same year, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs approved 469,900 baht for the construction of the Embassy’s guesthouse and a small shelter for local staff (already demolished).
The Second Land Purchase
In 1997, Mr.Samphand Kokilanon, the then Thai Ambassador, purchased a 0.5 acre piece of land on the opposite side of the former office at the price of 13 million baht. It is intended to be the site of either the new Ambassador’s Residence or the new chancery. However, due to the economic crisis in 1997, the project has been postponed until today.
During the coup d’etat on 31 January to 4 February 1965, every building in the Embassy premise was heavily damaged by artillery shells, which also caused the unfortunate death of Mr.Choti Pornsophon, Second Secretary. The incident necessitated The Royal Thai Embassy to renovate all buildings.
In fiscal year 2000, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, endorsed 7.12 million baht for the renovation of the three buildings and the construction of a garage and a house for local staff. Sakol Village Company (a Thai firm registered in Lao PDR) was selected to undertake this project which was completed in March 2001.
The latest project to maintain the glory of the Ambassador’s Residence started in September 2007 when Joe&Tinnakorn Company was chosen to redesign the interior of this charming building. Until today, the Royal Thai Embassy in Vientiane has welcomed thousands of dignitaries that include royalties, ministers, businessmen and artists. An annual event held in the lush garden of the Embassy every 5 December is the celebration to commemorate the Birthday Anniversary of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej and the Thai National Day.
Royal Thai Embassy, Vientiane, Lao PDR.