A trip to the Royal Palace Museum - Laos travel guide

A trip to the Royal Palace Museum

If you are a scholar of Laos’ history and culture, do not miss a chance to visit the Royal Palace Museum in Luang Prabang, which is also known as Haw Kham. With the main entrance on the Thanon Sisavangvong – one of the main boulevards in Luang Prabang’s, this impressive building, which was constructed in 1904 during the French colonial era for King Sisavang Vong and his family, can be visited on your river voyage. To get more information, you can click: Laos holidays

The Royal Palace Museum

The Royal Palace Museum- source: internet

In the construction, once being the Laos’ Royal Palace and now turning into a museum, you will admire the evoking traditional Lao and French beaux-arts styles, see the most historically resonant single treasure in Laos – the 83cm-tall gold-alloy Phra Bang, kept in a richly ornamented shrine together with a lot of interesting historical items, each of which tells a different story.

The front wing

Statue of King Sisavang Vong

Statue of King Sisavang Vong- source: internet

The former reception halls at the front of the Palace, whose rooms are decorated with murals depicting scenes of daily life in Luang Prabang during the early 20th century, now displays busts and paintings of the Lao monarchy. Here, you can also find a number of Buddha statues; statues of the last three Laotian Kings; gifts from various heads of state to the Lao monarchy; a collection of the palace’s most prized art including a cast of the prized Pha Bang buddha statue in gold, silver and bronze as well as paintings of King Savang Vatthana, Queen Khamphoui and the crown Prince Vong Savang displayed in the room, which was once the Queen’s reception room. Indochina travel Laos

The throne hall

Inside the museum

Inside the museum- source: internet

Topped with a Laos style spire, the throne hall, which is the meeting point of the reception wing and the residential wing, is proudly standing at the center of the Palace. Stepping into the mirrored Throne Hall, you will be amazed by not only the red painted walls decorated with cut glass tile mosaics similar to those seen in Wat Xieng Thong – the town’s oldest temple, but also by the crown jewels of Laos’ king and queen; the king’s elephant chair; a glass case containing a lot of crystal Buddha images dating back to the 15th and 16th centuries that were removed from Wat That Makmo, the stupa of the Wat Wisunalat temple and the original furniture of the Royal bedrooms, dining room and library.

The Back Wing (residential area)

The mixed design of both Lao traditional and French colonial architecture

The mixed design of both Lao traditional and French colonial architecture- source: internet

In the last main part of the palace building – the back wing, you can see the royal family’s living quarter and a music and dance exhibit area displaying traditional Lao masks and music instruments.

On the palace’s grounds, you can also find other buildings such as: the former Royal theatre, which presents occasional performances of the epic Ramayana story and traditional Lao dance; the Royal stables; the Royal Barge Shelter, which keeps the Royal barges; a conference hall; a garage, which houses a small collection of the 1950s – 1970s cars used by the Royals; gardens with a large pond as well as a statue of King Sisavang Phoulivong; a gallery for rotating exhibitions and an ornate pavilion.

How to get to the Royal Palace Museum

Tuk tuk to the Royal Palace Museum

Tuk tuk to the Royal Palace Museum- source: internet

Situated on Thanon Sisavangvong in the city center, just the other side of the road from Phou Si Mountain, the Royal Palace Museum is within walking distance of all the hotels, hostels and guest houses as well as several other buildings in the Luang Prabang downtown area. However, if you want to get to this museum from the suburb or want to ride your own vehicles, catch a taxi or tuk tuk or rent a bicycle or motorcycle is not a bad idea. From the downtown center, expect a tuk tuk or jumbo ride price from 10,000 (USD$ 1.30) to 15,000 Kip (USD $2).

See more: