Lan Na in the Shadow of the Mongols
Satellite Towns – an old system revived
CHIANG MAI, Thailand – 11 Mar 2003 - People say that history is how we learn the future. Examining the past is how we see what to do next, claim others. Cynics state that history teaches only that humans never learn. Perhaps a little of each is true for all of us, and everyone has the opportunity to learn from everyone else, at personal, regional, and national levels. How many of us do?
On 23rd April AD 1281, marching triumphantly into Hariphunchai (Lamphun), King Mengrai entered a city-state far different from those of Chiang Rai and the Mae Kok basin. Hariphunchai was a model administration for his growing kingdom, one that he would adapt, and use. Hariphunchai was small; one central city and several satellite towns – within half a day’s march of each other, plus dozens of smaller villages. Only the latter were unfortified. The basic military advantage, of scattered strong points dependent upon and defendant of each other, is a style still used today. Yet, their placement was not only military.