- During the period between 250 BC and 250 AD, a maritime sea
route existed between Alexandra in Northern Africa and China.
As trade took place along this route, a number of kingdoms rose
to power, flush with finances from trade. These kingdoms all
came into being around the same time, and all waned around the
- In Vietnam, the Funan Kingdom was active during the time
that the Ancient Trade Route was operating.
- It is thought by some that the kingdom of Funan was founded
early in the first century A.D. In Cambodia (Siam), i the kingdom
of Funan was established in the Mekong delta, which today is
Vietnamese territory. The founders of this kingdom were most
likely Indian merchants. In subsequent centuries, Funan developed
into a seafaring merchant power, but it did not become a formal
state with a large land area. It was strategically located to
become a trading power ships travelled almost exclusively close
to the coastline. The Mekong delta was also an important stop
over on the sea route between China and the Malay Peninsula.
In the 6th century the kingdom of Funan dissolved. According
to the Chinese sources, Funan was founded by a brahmin from India
called Kaundinya. He met and married a local princess, Soma,
daughter of the naga king and founded the first Kingdom called
the phnoni, introducing Hindu customs, legal traditions and the
Sanskrit language. Modern historians refer to it as Funan, the
first Khmer Kingdom, and the oldest State in the Southeast Asia.
- The capital city, Oc-eo is currently found about 6 miles
(10 km) inland from Rach Gia. It was an important port at the
height of the ancient Kingdom of Funan from the 1st - 6th centuries
AD. It lay submerged for centuries until it was rediscovered
in the 1940s.
- Internet Links with information on ancient Vietnam
- Also check out the following pages on Nabataea.net: