The city of Luang Prabang was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995. This alone will tell visitors that the city is filled with beautiful historical structures that are worth seeing.
Among these structures is Haw Kham in Luang Prabang – Laos, the former residence of the country’s Royal Family.
Haw Kham in Luang Prabang – Laos is situated along Sisavangvong Road right at heart of the heritage district of the city.
To get into Luang Prabang, the fastest way is to fly in via the airport located right in the city. There are flights from Vientiane and several parts of Thailand. You can also arrive via a bus ride from other cities in Laos.
To get to Haw Kham in Luang Prabang – Laos, your best option is to go there on foot as the main tourist attractions in town, including the Royal Palace are within walking distance from the major hotels here.
There are also tuk-tuks that can take you to the palace if it is a bit far off from your hotel or from wherever in town you are staying at.
What to See and Do
Haw Kham in Luang Prabang – Laos now serves as a national museum. Exploring the interiors of the palace, you can visit the rooms where you can see beautiful murals adorning the walls.
The murals depict the traditional life in the country as interpreted by French painter, Alix de Fauntereau.
The most interesting room however is one situated just at the front, right corner of the palace. This room is where you can find the palace’s treasures including the statue of Phra Bang, the country’s palladium.
The statue stands at eighty-three centimeters high and is cast in bronze and then covered in gold.
As you walk around the palace, you will also come across the secretary’s room which displays numerous paintings, silverware and china that were given to the country by various countries including Thailand, Poland, Russia, Japan, the United States and Canada, among many others.
In the Queen’s reception room, you can see portraits of the Royal Family. Inside the throne room, you can see displays of the Crown Jewels.
Finally, as you end your tour of the palace, you can check out the royal quarters as well as the bedrooms which have been kept in their original state since 1975, when the palace ceased being the residence of the Royal Family.
Haw Kham in Luang Prabang – Laos was constructed in the year 1904 and completed five years later, in 1909. It was constructed for King Sisavang Vong and his family during the French colonial period.
The strategic location of the palace allowed official guests arriving via the boat to disembark and be immediately welcomed into the palace.
When the King died, his son, Crown Prince Savang Vatthana took over and became King.
The prince and his family were the last to reside in the palace. The monarchy was overpowered by the communists in the year 1975 and the Royal Family was forced out of the palace and placed inside “re-education camps.”
The cost to visit Haw Kham in Luang Prabang – Laos is 30,000 kip per person.
Haw Kham in Luang Prabang – Laos is open from Monday to Saturday, from 8:30 up to 11 in the morning. The opening hours however could change without prior notice so it’s best to check the current visiting hours at the time of your visit to Luang Prabang prior to going to the palace.