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Ngam Meuang (งำเมือง)

King of Phayao during the Lan Na period, who lived from 1238 until 1298 AD and had the title of phaya. He was the son of Phaya Ming Meuang and was born on a Thursday. When he was 14 years old, he went to study the Vedas with a reusi, i.e. a hermit, at Doi Duan (ดอยด้วน). Afer studying for two years and at age 16, he went to study liberal arts with the reusi Suktantha, a former Buddhist monk turned hermit who was at the time a great teacher and the top guru of the city of Lavo, i.e. present day Lopburi, who resided in a cave at Mt. Thammik Banphot (เขาธรรมิกบรรพต). Here, he was a co-student with the then princes Mengrai and Ramkamhaeng (fig.), with whom he became lifelong friends. Later, as the ruler of Phayao, a post he held for 40 years, from 1258 until his death in 1298 AD, he made a pact with them after they had become the rulers of Chiang Mai and Sukhothai, respectively, in order to preserve authority in the North against the Khmer and Burmese, and to consolidate his power. However, despite their royal friendship, his territory was in 1262 attacked by troops of Mengrai over a border dispute that ended with the border towns of Phan (พาน), Chiang Khian (เชียงเคี่ยน), Theung (เทิง), and Chiang Khong (เชียงของ) being conceded to King Mengrai, while Ramkamhaeng, smitten with a beautiful royal princess in the court of Ngam Meuang had disguised himself as the latter in a attempt to flee with her, yet failed and King Mengrai was called in to mediate in the ensuing quarrel between the two royal friends. After an apology and payment of nine gold bia, i.e. cowries, the three rulers vowed to be friends again forever. See also list of Thai kings. Today a memorial (map - fig.) dedicated to this king is located in a park facing Kwahn Phayao (map - fig.).