On your Laos tour, you will have a chance to visit temples and pagodas or participating in festival activities. Besides, another way for you to learn more about the history, culture, and people of this country is to visit museums. Let’s discover the best museums in Laos of all time!

1. Royal Palace Museum Luang Prabang

This museum is otherwise known as “Haw Kham” or “Hall of Gold”. That is to say, it houses a large number of interesting historical objects which tell the story of Laos during the royalty. It was built in 1904 for King Sisavang Vong. This museum symbolizes the mixture of traditional Lao style and French influence from the colonial era.

Top 7 Best Museums in Laos That You Should Not Miss!

Royal Palace Museum Luang Prabang

In addition, this palace is made up of several buildings. It includes the room for the royal barge, a conference room, and the Haw Pha Bang (flower pavilion) which houses the Prabang (standing Buddha) statue. There are many interesting objects there for you to discover. They are marble staircases, collections of weapons, priceless pieces of art, murals (representing the Ramayana and scenes of local life), jewelry, collection of American cars that belonged to the last king of Laos and of course the crown.

Besides, this building can be divided into three sections:

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  • The front wing: housing the large hall, the reception hall for the king and queen, the old secretariat, and an adjoining room filled with rare art objects.
  • The throne room: where rest the thrones of the overlord of yesteryear and display cases filled with Buddhist statuettes.
  • The rear wing: this is the part where the residential area of ​​the royal family is located. On-site there are bedrooms, a library, a dining room, and a music room.

Useful information

  • Adresse: Route Sisavangvong, Luang Phrang, Laos
  • Opening hours: every day except Tuesday, 8:30 a.m. – 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Entrance fee (Haw Pha Bang Museum and temple): 30,000 kips/foreigner (around 3 euros)

2. Lao National Museum

The museum is located in a large administrative building in Vientiane dating from the 1920s. This tourist site is fascinating, especially for history buffs. It traces the entire period of colonization, revolution, and the country’s struggle. Similarly, the aim was to assert its own identity, through numerous photos, displayed in chronological order.

Top 7 Best Museums in Laos That You Should Not Miss!

Lao National Museum

Therefore, this museum offers a wide variety of objects. From weapons of war used by French colonials, to baskets and tools from Laotian resistance fighters.

  • The ground floor exhibits ancient pieces of early regional history. There are dinosaur bones, stone tools, pottery fragments, cave paintings, Khmer sculptures, and Buddha statues.
  • Also, upstairs you will find information related to the modern history of Laos from the Siamese invasions and the French colonial period to the present day. There are some photographs of old prisons, soldiers, the secret war and a reminder of the difficulties encountered by the country during colonization.

Useful information

  • Address: Rue Samsenthai, Vientiane, Laos
  • Opening hours: 8 a.m. – 12 p.m., 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. every day; closed on public holidays
  • Price: 10,000 Kip / person (around 1.03 euro)

3. Lao Textile Museum

Laos is very famous for its textile products. People fall in love with the fabrics for their beauty and quality. Are you curious about the manufacturing process? You can find the answers to these questions and more at the Lao Textile Museum, one of top museums in Laos for your vacations.

Top 7 Best Museums in Laos That You Should Not Miss!

Stunning textile samples hanging inside Lao Textile Museum

This site is the first private museum in Laos where tourists can see old housewives producing fabrics.

  • On the ground floor, you will find traditional looms and other machines used over the last century. Your guide can show you how to operate. Also, there are both seated and standing looms from different parts of the country. Moreover, you will see various types of textiles and patterns for the multitude of Lao ethnic tribes.
  • On the upper floor, there are complex clothes, tapestries, and textiles. At the end of the tour, you can buy traditional Lao silk textiles or exclusive designer clothes at the souvenir shops.

Useful information

  • Address: Vientiane, Laos
  • Opening hours: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Price: 30,000 Kip / person (around 3 euros)

4. Ock Pop Tok Living Craft Center

Ock Pop Tok is a social and united company that works mainly in the field of Laotian textiles, crafts, and design. Meaning “East meets West”, Ock Pop Tok reveals the fascinating world of Laotian traditional crafts to visitors. The arts and crafts center is beautifully located in a tropical garden on the banks of the Mekong. It will take you just ten minutes to get here from downtown Luang Prabang.

Weaving loom in Ock Pop Tok Living Craft Center

Weaving loom in Ock Pop Tok Living Craft Center

A visit to the Ock Pop Tok weaving center presents the backstage of the weaver’s trade and the whole process of making pieces of silk fabric in a vast tropical garden. As a result, you can observe all the stages of realization of the caterpillar with the manufactured scarf. This tour takes 30 minutes with a local English-speaking guide. Leaflets in French are given to customers so that they can understand the explanations. This very interesting visit of yours to this one of the top museums in Laos revolves around 6 workshops:

  • Firstly, the breeding of silkworms
  • Secondly, dyeing processes with natural colors
  • Thirdly, the weavers at their trade
  • Fourthly, the batik technique
  • Fifthly, learning activities provided by the center
  • Finally, the community project that brings together many weavers from Laos

Besides, this center has a charming café decorated with exquisite taste and superbly open to the majestic Mekong. During the day, you can enjoy Laotian cuisine full of flavors made from ultra-fresh ingredients from the vegetable patch.

Useful information

  • Adresse: Route Phothisalath, Luang Prabang, Laos
  • Opening hours: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Price: free

5. Center for Traditional Arts and Ethnology

Inaugurated in 2006, this private museum is one of the must-see museums in Laos for culture lovers. It is devoted to the culture of the ethnic minorities of Laos. Hmong costumes, akhas, tais read and khmus, tools and utensils of daily use underline the specificities of each tribal group. Exhibitions include traditional textiles and clothing, valuable jewelry, multiple spiritual items, handcrafted tools, basic baskets, skillful photography, and useful household items.

Center for Traditional Arts and Ethnology

Center for Traditional Arts and Ethnology

Moreover, quotes, photos, and videos from this museum will help you better understand the cultural diversity of Laos. Despite quite modest of the size, these surprising and informative rooms are organized according to international standards. Do not forget to visit the gift shop and support artisans from different regions of Laos by buying their work.

Useful information

  • Address: Luang Prabang, Laos
  • Opening hours: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., Tuesday to Sunday
  • Price: 25,000 Kip / person (around 2.5 euros)

6. Savannakhet Dinosaur Museum

This one of the best museums in Laos is located in the town of Kaysone Phomvihane, Savannakhet. In the lobby, you will find a huge collection of dinosaur fossils called large lizard bones in Laos. They were searched from 1930 to the present day.

There are three types of dinosaur bones: Pode, Iguanodon, and Sauropod. Even the museum keeps fragments of a meteorite falling to the earth over 100 million years ago. Especially the first mammals that existed around 200 million years ago and rare stones are also on display in the museum. It is one of the most interesting museums in Laos.

Are you a dinosaurs fan - Go check Savannakhet Dinosaur Museum!

Are you a dinosaurs fan? Go check Savannakhet Dinosaur Museum!

Useful information

  • Address: Savannakhet, Laos
  • Opening hours: 8 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. Monday to Friday
  • Price: 10,000 Kips / person (around 1.03 euro)

7. National Institute of Fine Arts

If you are interested and eager to learn Lao arts, this museum is the best place to learn and discover the current art scene in Laos. The National Institute of Fine Arts contains the works of current and former student artists who study painting, engraving, and sculpture. You can admire the large paintings on display in the hall, visit the sculpture gallery and buy original works of art.

National Institute of Fine Arts in Laos

National Institute of Fine Arts in Laos

If you wish to participate in one of the visual arts, this site offers courses on request at 50,000 kips/hour ($8).

Useful information

  • Address: Vientiane, Laos
  • Opening hours: 8 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. Monday to Friday

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Bich Ngoc

As a true Vietnamese enthusiast of music, books and coffee, Bich Ngoc loves researching into those typical cultural characteristics of Vietnam as well as exploring further destinations in the country of thousand years of civilization.

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