Royal Palace Museum
- Location: Haw Kham, Luang Prabang, Laos
- Opening Hours: 8:00-11:30, 14:00-16:00. Closed on Tuesdays
- Entrance Ticket: 30000Kip per person
Royal Palace Museum is the best place to become the first stop of the Luang Prabang tour. It is a must-see attraction in this city. This museum is located on Sisavangvong Street in the central area of the historic district in Luang Prabang.
History of Royal Palace Museum
The history of this building is not long. The Royal Palace Museum was built in the year 1904 by King Sisavang Vong. It was originally the residence of King Sisavang Vong, and then had been the residence of the kings of all generations. After the king died in 1959, his son inherited the throne. The revolution overthrew the monarchy in 1975. The last king, Sisavang Vatthana, disappeared after he went into exile. The kingdom of Lan Xang was destroyed, and the royal palace was converted into a museum. This is how the Royal Palace Museum came from.
What to See in Royal Palace Museum
The palace is located between Phousi Hill and the Mekong River, and shows the history of this area. The architectural style of the museum combines Lao's classical traditional charm and French Beaux Arts. It is a cross-shaped building built on a multi-layer platform, which makes this palace look splendid and magnificent. Decoration in the palace is in a quaint and luxurious style.
Here you can see many precious antiques and cultural relics of the kingdom of Lan Xang, as well as the most precious national treasure of Lao - Phra Bang Golden Buddha. The palace is very luxurious. The council room, study room, reception room, collection room, living room, etc. can be seen in the palace. There are also a considerable number of ancient paintings and historical photos in the museum. The exhibits on display include centuries of royal religious supplies, weapons, sculptures, paintings, and gifts from various countries. This museum is a must-see place for learning the history of Luang Prabang and the royal family.
The main entrance of the palace is located on West Sawanvon Street. When people enter the main entrance, the first thing they see is the statue of King Sisavang Vong, which is a masterpiece of a Russian sculptor in the 1960s. Then you will be attracted by a golden Buddha. This golden Buddha statue is 83 centimeters high and weighs 54 kilograms. Eighty percent of it is made of pure gold. This statue was a precious gift given by the Khmer Kingdom to the founding king of Lan Xang in 1356. It is named "Phra Bang ", from which the city of Luang Prabang got its name. The golden Buddha is carried out every April in Laotian New Year for the public to worship.
Best Time to Visit Royal Palace Museum
Tourists can have different experiences to visit Luang Prabang during the dry and rainy seasons. But we recommend tourists to visit in the dry season (November to March of the following year).
How to Get to Royal Palace Museum
Royal Palace Museum is located in the central area of the historic district in Luang Prabang city, the most suggested way to go there is by walking. Alternative transport is by Tuk Tuk, which will cost about 15000Kip, or by renting a bike, then cycle to the museum.
Do's and Don'ts in Royal Palace Museum
♦ No photos inside the palace.
♦ Visitors are required to take off your shoes and hats.
♦ Visitors are not allowed to take their backpacks into the museum. You need to give your backpack to the staff and ask them to store it. At the main entrance to the museum is at the disposal of visitors a free luggage storage service, where you can store shoes and backpacks. (We suggest tourists not leave the cameras or video or any item of value in luggage, it is allowed to take your camera or video inside, but cannot be used).
♦ Pleases dress appropriately. Visitors need to have yourselves covered from knees to arms. Sleeveless or short sleeve shirts, short skirt and short trousers are not allowed to wear. If your dressing does not meet the requirements, you can rent Lao long skirts at the entrance.
♦ The most important item on display in the museum is the Golden Buddha in Luang Prabang. You can't miss it!
♦ In addition to the emperor's robes, gold and silver swords, and king's elephant saddles displayed in the main Hall, there are also diplomatic gifts donated by countries such as Myanmar, Cambodia, Japan, China, France, and the United States in the reception room. You can't miss them too. China's gifts from the 1960s were displayed as treasures in bullet-proof glass. The gifts of the United States were the most special. It is the Laotian flag brought back from the moon.