"Royal Palace Museum" Luang Prabang Things to Do Tip by Willettsworld

Luang Prabang Things to Do: 461 reviews and 1,015 photos

Referred to as the Palace Museum, Royal Palace Museum or the National Museum, this museum, known to locals as Haw Kham (Golden Hall), was constructed between 1904 an 1909 as a new residence for Luang Prabang's Royalty. Their previous digs were destroyed during the Black Flag invasion. Following the dissolution of the monarchy in 1975, the residence became a museum and it has remained in that role ever since.

While built to house Lao royalty, the Museum was built during Laos' French period and its construction reflects the blend of two very distinctive styles. The plans originally held for a more European-styled building, including a spire over the throne room, but King Sisavangvong drew the line there and opted for a more traditional Lao style. I actually found it to be very plain inside except for the first main central room which is the Throne Room which features glass figures on the walls with the highlight being the King's elephant chair. The entrance hallway is given over to religious displays and is flanked by rooms to the left and right (the Secretary's reception and the King's reception rooms respectively). The former is filled with past gifts from foreign states, while the latter contains royal busts. Behind the throne hall are a number of residential rooms left largely in state from when the royals departed.

No cameras or bags are allowed inside with secure storage available free at the door. Respectable dress required - knees and shoulders must be covered.

Open: 8.30am-10.30am & 2-4pm. Admission: 30,000 kip.

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Apr 22, 2010
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