Lao Textile Museum

Lao Textile Museum

Private antique textile collection

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The Lao Textile Museum is an exquisite private collection of antique textiles in a gorgeous, elegant traditional building that brings Travelfish says: ">Jim Thompson’s House to mind. Though the family speak some English, there is no signage or interpretation. Therefore, this place would only be of interest to textile enthusiasts or true aficionados.

Underneath the raised house there are old looms and antique spinners that you would not find in use anywhere today. Upstairs, textiles are hung on the walls or are simply stacked in cupboards. The collection has some stunning pieces, with several made by different ethnic minority groups. Unfortunately, the textiles don’t have proper storage or display conditions and many of them are deteriorating.

There is also a studio where they produce silk pieces for their shop and a glossy cultural education centre with professional displays on natural dyes and indigo pots (clearly there has been NGO funding and involvement). The educational centre is largely used as a showroom for large tour groups and it isn’t an active, working, living craft centre you can just drop in on. If you want to see a lively place with production and get hands on experience, take a workshop at Houey Hong, which is in the same part of town. In fact, you may want to combine the two as a day trip.

Transport information

The Lao Textile Museum is in Ban Nongtha Tai, four kilometres from the city. If you’re on a bicycle or motorbike, head out on Chao Anou Road. After approximately 1.5 kilometres, the road will fork at the Lao National Circus, also sometimes referred to on maps as the Russian Circus. Go right and continue straight for 2.5 kilometres until you come to a T intersection. Go right onto the dirt road, the gate will be on your right hand side. The ride is brutal on a hot day. Alternatively, go to their boutique in town, Kanchana - The Beauty of Lao Silk, at That Dam stupa. The shop can then give instructions to a tuk tuk driver on where to take you.

Contact details for Lao Textile Museum

Address: Ban Nongtha Tai, 4 km from downtown, Vientiane
Coordinates (for GPS): 102º37'0.43" E, 18º0'2.92" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Admission: 30,000 kip

Reviewed by

Cindy Fan is a Canadian writer/photographer and author of So Many Miles, a website that chronicles the love of adventure, food and culture. After falling in love with sticky rice and Mekong sunsets, in 2011 she uprooted her life in Toronto to live la vida Laos. She’s travelled to over 40 countries and harbours a deep affection for Africa and Southeast Asia. In between jaunts around the world, she calls Laos and Vietnam home where you’ll find her traipsing through rice paddies, standing beside broken-down buses and in villages laughing with the locals.

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