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Museums in Vientiane

When we talk about the museum, we usually think about the history and the vital
occurrence in the past. Someone say that learning from today to struggle for a better
future is more important than focus learning things from the past. As being one of Lao
youth, I think Lao adolescences like learning form the past. Whether we know and
understand things from the past, we will know how to do for a bright future and not to do
a mistake like the past. Nowadays, the number of Lao youth, who is interested in learning
history, increases a lot because of government. Lao government seriously encourages Lao
adolescents to gain their awareness of Lao history by establishing so many museums in
Vientiane and other provinces. Within this article, I will introduce you 5 museums in
Vientiane. Lets get to the point.
The first museum is the Lao National Museum, which is located in Vientiane,
Laos. It was established as the national museum which emphasizing the revolution of the
1970s. The building was designed as the typical of French colonial architecture. This
museum, which was originally built in 1925 as the French governors residence. This
building was also the place where independence was declared in 1945. Since then, this
building was refurbished and used for various reasons including the Headquarters of the
Lao government, housing for the King when visiting from Luangprabang, and the Prime
Ministers office. On December 1st, 1980, the building was converted into the Lao
Exhibition Hall of the Revolution. This museum presents the history of Laos,
highlighting the Laotian peoples struggle to free the country from foreign occupiers and
imperialist forces. Inside the museum, it presents paleontology, archaeology, history and
ethnology such as exhibition of Dinosaurs era, Prehistoric period, Lane Xang period,
Colonial and Independence period, Lao present development, and Ethnic groups. Beside
the exhibition, the Lao National Museum also provides various facilities such as a
museum shop, a conference room, and a large free parking area. There are lots of interest
exhibition, but I could not take photos inside the museum. Whether you want to visit this
museum, it is located on Samsenthai road, opposite the Cultural Hall.
The second museum is the president Kaison Phomviharn museum. This museum was
established in 1997 and officially opened on December 2000. The president Kaison
Phomviharn museum was constructed to give an honor to Laos great revolutionary
leader and the former president, Kaison Phomviharn. The outside of the building is
designed in Lao traditional style whereas the inside of the building is similarly designed
to the Ho Chi Minh Museum in Ha Noi, Vietnam. When I walked into this museum, I felt
like I was in the 1980 era. There are so many various of exhibition including traditional
house in the past, some important documents of the president, traditional customs of
people in the past, and a photo exhibition that tells the story about his life and the Lao
revolutionary history. Beside the exhibition, there is a conference room and books &
souvenirs shop on the first floor. If you are interested in this memorial museum, it is
located on Kaisone Phomvihane Road.

The next museum is the Memorial of President Souphanouvong. This museum


was officially opened on November 30, 2005 as a memory of President Souphanouvongs
impressive accomplishments. President Souphanouvong was a great intellectual, which
was one of the most outstanding leaders of the party and the state. He is also a respected
leader who did a lot of good actions for party, for nation and for Lao people. In our
history, we consider Souphanouvong president as the role model for following and for
people to emulate his good deeds. This museum used to be the presidents residence, he
lived and worked in this place for 19 years from October 1976 to January 1995. By
writing this article led me to see the presidents office and his old documents as well as
learning more about the President Souphanouvong actions and achievements. Plus, I saw
a lot of photo exhibition of his activities in the revolution movements. I think this
museum will be another imperative place to send the revolutionary moral and values of
President Souphanouvong to the younger generations.
Another museum is the Peoples Security Museum. This museum is the new
museum constructing in Vientiane. The construction cost of Peoples Security Museum
was a total worth of US$75.9 billion, which was a sole budget of Lao government. It is
officially opened on April 5th, 2011. This museum was established as a remembrance of
the 50th anniversary of founding the Lao Peoples Security Forces since 1961 and to
appreciate the devotion of Lao leaders and combatants who struggled for the nation. This
museum is a valueable place for local people including government officials, military,
police, students, and others who want to see and learn about Lao history and
accomplishment of the security force. By visiting this museum, I have learnt lot of the
past activities in polical-social and reagional peace as well as the international
relationship with other international organization. Well, I saw so many weapons and
transportation trucks from the past in this museum. I think this article gave me a lot of
knowledge and remind me a lot about the history that I have learnt since I was a child. If
you want to visit this museum, it is located on Kaisone Phomvihane road and 800 meter
far away from Pa Tu Xay Monument.
The last museum that I would like to introduce is the Lao Peoples Army History
Museum. This museum was constructed in 1976 as a small museum. Until 1996, the Lao
People Army History was extended as a big museum and it is officially opened in 2000.
This museum is describing events during the revolutionary period from 1950 until the
independence of the Lao peoples Democratic Republic. Inside this museum, I saw
various kind of weapons, tools and the galleries of Lao Peoples Army. Also, there is a
display of heroes and important person in Lao history. The exterior of the museum
provides an exhibition of troop vehicles and warplanes that were used during the war. If
you are interested in this museum, you can find it easily. It is located closed to the
Ministry of defense on Kaison Phomvihane road and it is 600 meter far away from That
Luang Stupa.
Serving as a historical preserving venue, a museum regardless of its main focus,
still holds in it priceless evidences of a nation revolvement. The Lao National Museum,
Kaison Phomviharn Museum, Memorial of President Souphanouvong, Peoples Security
Museum, Lao Peoples Army History Museum are all wonderful resources for students

and scholars to learn and do researches. I personally think that Lao youth should spare
more time exploring these museums to learn about how our previous generations had to
fight for our countrys goodness. By doing that, we can pass on the Lao history from
generations to generations no matter how many years go by. Moreover, when we
understand our countrys history thoroughly, we can be confident to introduce Lao culture
to the global community in a better way. Join with me and help promoting Laos beauty
to the rest of the world!