The Royal Palace (official name "Haw Kham") in Luang Prabang, Laos, was built in 1904 during the French colonial era for King Sisavang Vong and his family. The site for the palace was chosen so that official visitors to Luang Prabang could disembark from their river voyages directly below the palace and be received there. After the death of King Sisavang Vong, the Crown PrinceSavang Vatthana and his family were the last to occupy the grounds. In 1975, the monarchy was overthrown by the communists and the Royal Family were taken to re-education camps. The palace was then converted into a national museum.
Luang Prabang (also Louangphabang, Lao ຫລວງພະບາງ) is a province of Laos, located in the north of the country. Its capital of the same name, Luang Prabang, was the capital of Lane Xang Kingdom during the 13th to 16th centuries. It is listed since 1975 by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site for unique architectural, religious and cultural heritage, a blend of the rural and urban developments over several centuries, including the French colonial influences during the 19th and 20th centuries. The province has 12 districts, Luang Prabang, Xieng Ngeun, Nan, Pak Ou, Nambak, Ngoi, Pakseng, Phonxay, Chomphet, Viengkham and Phoukhouny. The Royal Palace, the national museum in the capital city, and the Phou Loei Protected Reserve are important sites. Notable temples in the province are the Wat Xieng Thong, Wat Wisunarat, Wat Sen, Wat Xieng Muan, and Wat Manorom. The Lao New Year is celebrated in April as The Bun Pi Mai.