Royal Palace Museum

After our journey to the waterfall we returned to downtown Luang Prabang and split up to do some touristy things, like visit the Royal Palace also known as the National Museum.

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The museum grounds are big with a variety of things to see depending on when you go. I spent the majority of my time in the palace which was built in 1904 and is filled with gifts from other countries. (The USA’s gift was from NASA and included space rock which I thought was super cool) Photos are not allowed in the palace, and you must also take off your shoes, store your bags in a locker and dress a bit more conservative or pay to rent something to cover yourself with. The palace is spacious and quiet, with large paintings that are drawn in a specific way so they change depending on where you’re standing, in a subtle way. They also have a collection of Buddhist paintings that tell a story as you work your way down the hall, though I found myself at the end not sure how the story ended.

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On the grounds there is also a temple, a pond, a royal car exhibit, a statue of King Sisavangvong, and a theater that hosts traditional performances. The National Museum is open from 8:30-11 AM with a break for lunch and then again from 1:30-4 PM (everyday). Tickets into the palace are 30,000 kip.

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