Tracing Hồ Chí Minh’s Sojourn in Siam
* ธัญญาทิพย์ ศรีพนา, Institute of Asian Studies, Chulalongkorn University, Phyathai Road, Pathumwan,
Bangkok 10800, Thailand
Hồ Chí Minh, the Vietnamese revolutionary leader who sacrificed his life for his country’s independence, was in Siam from 1928–29 and briefly from March–April 1930. Siam was well placed to serve as an anti-colonial base for the Vietnamese fighting for independence in the west of central Vietnam, especially after the repression of the Chinese communists in Guangdong by Chiang Kai Shek in 1927. Northern Siam is connected to central Vietnam by land via Laos, while southern China is also accessible from Bangkok by sea routes.
Hồ Chí Minh arrived in Bangkok in 1928. He went to Ban Dong in Phichit and then to Udon Thani, Nong Khai, Sakon Nakhon, and Nakhon Phanom in the northeast of Siam. The paper studies when and how Hồ Chí Minh arrived in Siam; his mission there; the places he visited; and his activities during his sojourn. We also enquire how Hồ Chí Minh carried out his mission: who accompanied him in Siam; what pseudonyms he and his collaborators used; and what strategies he used to elude arrest by local authorities.
It cannot be denied that the instruction Hồ Chí Minh imparted to his compatriots during his stay contributed tremendously to the struggle for Vietnamese independence. By the end of the 1920s and the beginning of the 1930s, he had accomplished his task of reorganizing and strengthening the network, and educating the Vietnamese anticolonial and revolutionary movement in Siam. In addition, he contributed to the founding of the communist party in the region, which was the task assigned to him by the Comintern.
Nonetheless, we should recognize that his mission in Siam was facilitated and supported by Đặng Thúc Hứa, who, prior to Hồ’s arrival, had gathered the Vietnamese into communities and set up several bases for long-term anti-colonial movements with the help of his compatriots.
Hồ Chí Minh’s presence in Siam has been commemorated by the Thai and Vietnamese through the Thai-Vietnamese Friendship Village and the memorial houses built after 2000 in Nakhon Phanom and Udon Thani in northeastern Thailand. These memorials have become a symbol of the good relationship between Thailand and Vietnam.
Hồ Chí Minh in Siam, Hồ Chí Minh’s sojourn in Siam, Hồ Chí Minh in Nakhon Phanom, Hồ Chí Minh’s pseudonym in Siam, Đặng Thúc Hứa, Đặng Quỳnh Anh, Việt Kiều in Thailand, Hồ Chí Minh’s memorial houses in Thailand, Vietnamese anti-colonial movement in Siam
Southeast Asian Studies, Vol. 2, No. 3, December 2013, pp. 527–558
©Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University