This study examines how the polity of Siam was able to re-establish itself and expand its control over the areas that extended to the Lao Kingdoms in the north and northeast and to the Malay Peninsula in the south within the several decades after the destruction of Ayutthaya by Burmese forces. Existing studies have pointed out that thriving maritime trade, especially with China, was of crucial importance to the recovery of Siamese power. The early Bangkok period saw a frequent dispatch of tributary missions to China with a commercial motivation of unprecedented strength. Along with the dispatch of official tributary missions, private junk trade between the two countries also flourished. By fully exploiting the benefits from such trade, Siam quickly recovered from the devastation caused by the Burmese invasion and became one of the major powers in the region by the early nineteenth century. 1