The Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre has opened its doors in Luang Prabang, Lao PDR. A private museum, the Centre features exhibits of ethnic artefacts, a museum shop, and the Patio Cafe. The Official Opening was held on 5 July, attended by Kongchanh Khammavong, Chairman of the Lao National Front for Construction, Luang Prabang Province, William Booth, Managing Director of Jim Thompson Thai Silk Company, and over 100 business people, government officials, and tour companies.
The Centre exhibits ethnic clothing, household objects, religious artefacts, and handicrafts, with information in English and Lao languages. The Museum Shop sells books, photos and exclusive handicrafts directly from ethnic communities. The Patio Cafe, run by L'Elephant Restaurant, serves food and drinks with a view of That Chomsi. Guided tours and seminars are available on request. Thongkhoun Soutthivilay, Co-Director of TAEC explains, "Our objective is to help locals and visitors learn about the different ethnic groups of northern Laos. We also want to provide a new and interesting learning experience." Funds from entry fees, donations, and services go to the running of the Centre and developing activities that promote cultural diversity and preservation.