The Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre, located in the heart of Luang Prabang, is dedicated to preserving the arts, crafts and history of Laos’ diverse population. Founded in 2006, the museum’s permanent collections showcase the various cultures and traditions of the country’s people, including those of the Hmong, Akha, Khmu and Tai Dam people.
Housed in a 1920s UNESCO-protected historical building, the center’s displays are well-marked and translations are available in a variety of languages, making exhibits easily accessible to all visitors. Learn about the New Year festivities of the Hmong people, discover the embroidery techniques and patterns of the Mien Yao and see the Taoist religious ceremonies of the Mun Yao. There are a variety of religious artifacts, ethnic clothing pieces and household wares to see, and visitors can purchase textiles and handicrafts at the museum’s shop, which offers fair prices with 50 percent of revenue returning to the community.
A trip to the site is beneficial because travelers can learn about Laos’ diversity before venturing out into one of the traditional villages. The museum allows ethnic minorities to preserve their artisanal heritage by spreading awareness, increasing understanding and supporting their craft.
The center is located at the foot of Phou Si Hill, behind Dala Market off of Kitsalat Road, between Kingkitsarath and Sisavangvong Roads. It is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. Entry is 25,000 kip per person. Exhibits are in Lao and English, and tours are available for an additional charge.