Royal Palace (Haw Kham)
Royal Palace © Adam Carr
The former Royal Palace is a mixture of French and Lao architecture. It preserves the monarchy's possessions and has an extremely opulent interior, with the Throne Room being the most impressive. A three-headed elephant sheltered by the sacred white parasol sits above the entrance, and is the symbol of Laos' monarchy. The dazzling interior comprises mirrors, mosaics and displays of royal regalia that include glittering swords and the former King's elephant saddle. The Pha Bang (delicate Buddha) is the museum's most prized item, housed in a small, barred shrine that was the King's personal sanctum. Believed to have been crafted in the heavens, it is the country's most sacred image and spiritual protector.