The history of Laos starts with the Lan Xang kingdom created in the 14th century and ended in late 18th century with invasion of Siam (Thailand). In the end of the 19th century, Laos became part of French Indochina. French rule ended with independence in 1946 followed by 30 years of civil war. In 1975 the communist Pathet Lao established a strict socialist regime. However, in 1986 the liberalisation and a gradual return to private enterprise started.