Historic museum in Luang Prabang

Royal Palace

Visit the Royal Palace of Luang Prabang, now a museum with exhibits on Lao culture and history.

In the heart of Luang Prabang, the Royal Palace, also known as Haw Kham, is an important part of Laos' history and culture. Constructed in 1904 during the French colonial period for King Sisavang Vong and his family, this palace is a mix of traditional Lao and French Beaux-Arts architecture. After the monarchy was overthrown in 1975, the palace was turned into a museum, offering a look into the royal past.

The Royal Palace is a key stop for those looking to understand the lifestyle of the Laos monarchy. The building, with its extensive roofs and detailed work, shows the cultural mix that is characteristic of Luang Prabang. Upon entering, visitors see a throne hall covered in mosaics, which starts the introduction to the interior's elegance. The mosaic, made with Japanese glass, depicts the Tree of Life, showing the skilled workmanship of that period.

Rooms within the palace have been kept as they were when the royal family lived there, each telling history through its contents. The king's reception room is notable, containing unique international gifts, including a piece of moon rock given by the United States after the Apollo 11 mission.

The Palace also contains the Prabang sacred Buddhas, which give the town its name. Stored in a special chamber, these figures are central to understanding Lao spirituality and the role of Buddhism in daily life.

The palace grounds feature the royal garage, presenting a collection of old American and French cars that were owned by the royal family. Its position makes it easy to reach other attractions in Luang Prabang, with Mount Phousi and the Mekong River both close by.

Note: Cameras and bags must be left at the entrance, and visitors are required to dress modestly. Opening hours are usually from 8:30 am to 11:30 am and from 1:30 pm to 4 pm, but it's a good idea to check before going as times can vary. The entrance fee is around 30,000 LAK (approximately 3 USD / 2.40 GBP) for adults.

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