Cambodian rebellion (1820)

The Cambodian rebellion of 1820, also known as Neak sel Rebellion (lit. "the holy man's rebellion"),[1] was a Cambodian anti-Vietnamese rebellion led by a monk named Kai.

Cambodian rebellion (1820)
Part of Vietnamese invasions of Cambodia
Result Vietnamese victory
Khmer anti-Vietnamese rebels Nguyễn dynasty (Vietnam)
Commanders and leaders
Kai [n 1]
Chaophraya Tei Executed[n 2]
Narin Kol Executed[n 3]
Naike Executed[n 4]
Nguyễn Văn Trí
Nguyễn Văn Thoại
Ang Chan II[n 5]
Phraya Decho (Mu) [n 6]
Chaophraya Tuan (Pho)[n 7]
unknown unknown

In 1819, Khmer labors were forced to reconstruct the Vietnamese Vĩnh Tế Canal. The Khmer labors were heavily exploited by being forced to do hard work, which resulted thousands of deaths from fatigue and consequent disease during the canal's construction.[2] Kai, a monk originally from Wat Sambaur who claimed supernatural powers, revolted against the Vietnamese.[2]

Kai occupied the Khmer holy site Ba Phnom[3] and subsequently declared king. Most of his followers were recruited in the area around Tây Ninh.[4]Many Buddhist monks joined his forces and killed Vietnamese.[5] The rebels marched toward Phnom Penh,[6] three Cambodian generals, Chaophraya Tei (or Somdet Tei, Samdech Tei), Narin Kol and Naike, joined them.[7] King Ang Chan wanted to flee the capital, he sent a letter to Saigon to ask for help. Lê Văn Duyệt, the viceroy of Cochinchina, ordered Nguyễn Văn Thoại and Nguyễn Văn Trí to assemble an expeditionary force. The Vietnamese army defeated the rebels, killed many of them. Kai escaped, [6] but was pursued and killed with many monks in Kampong Cham.[4]Kai's assistance, the novice Kuy, escaped to live among the Lao.[5]

Other leaders had to surrender, including Chaophraya Tei, Narin Kol and Naike. They were put to death in Phnom Penh and Saigon.[3]


  1. ^ In Vietnamese records, he was called Tăng Kế (僧計, lit. "Monk Kế").
  2. ^ In Vietnamese records, he was called Tham Đích Tây (參的西).
  3. ^ In Vietnamese records, he was called Kế Luyện (計練).
  4. ^ In Vietnamese records, he was called Na Côn (那棍).
  5. ^ In Vietnamese records, he was called Nặc Ông Chăn (匿螉禛).
  6. ^ In Vietnamese records, he was called Đức Kiều Mưu (德喬謀).
  7. ^ In Vietnamese records, he was called Chiêu Thùy Đồng Phò (昭錘同扶).
  1. ^ Chandler 1975, pp. 16.
  2. ^ a b Thi Dieu Nguyen (1999). The Mekong River and the struggle for Indochina: water, war, and peace. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 19. ISBN 0-275-96137-0.
  3. ^ a b Chandler 2008, pp. 145.
  4. ^ a b Harris 2005, pp. 44–45.
  5. ^ a b Chandler 1975, pp. 22.
  6. ^ a b Chandler 1975, pp. 19.
  7. ^ Chandler 1975, pp. 18.


See alsoEdit