Bolikhamxay faced many invasions from the Siamese throughout its history. The foundation of the provincial capital Pakxan dates from the late 19th century during a time of Siamese control. After 1865, the Chinese Haw pillaged Xieng Khouang and Bolikhamxay. After the Haw retreated in 1874, Siam’s King Rama V ordered the establishment of Muang Bolikhan, which was populated with the survivors of the Haw invasion. Bolikhan was then placed under the authority of Kha Luang Nong Khai.
In the 1890s, French colonials with Christian missionaries arrived on the Mekong River, a few miles from the mouth of the Nam Xan River. They built a church in Pakxan. By 1911, Bolikhan had about 61 villages with a total population of about 4,000. Today’s province was officially established in 1986 from parts of Vientiane and Khamouanne Provinces. Pakxan on the Mekong remains the provincial capital and commercial centre.
Brow, James (1976). Population, Land and Structural Change in Sri Lanka and Thailand.
Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons Papers (1958).