While many people helped to liberate the country of Laos from the imperialistic countries that ruled the nation for generations, if you have played a more prominent role in gaining that freedom than Kaysone Phomvihane. From 1955 until his death in 1992, this great revolutionary lead the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party, the group that eventually liberated the country from the French protectorate in 1975.
While Souphanouvong ruled the country as its president from 1975 to 1991, few believed that anyone but Kaysone Phomvihane was really in charge. He was to Prime Minister during the same time., and then served as president from 1991 until his death. He truly was one of the most significant figures in the long history of the Southeast Asian nation.
In commemoration of the incredible role that he played in gaining independence for Laos and helping to create the stable government that still rules today, the Kaysone Phomvihane Museum was built as a testament to his vital role in the development of this great land. The museum, located in Vientiane, open in the year 2000 and was paid for primarily through financing from the government in Vietnam, who recognized the great leadership of this great man.
The exterior of the building was designed and created using traditional Lao style of architecture, while the interior was designed much in the same way that the Ho Chi Minh Museum is in Hanoi, Vietnam. Inside the building there are two floors, with the upper floor containing a large number of photo exhibits about the life and character of this great man, while the lower floor contains exhibits about the party and his significant role in helping it to be founded and its rise to power. There are also meeting rooms and souvenir shops in the lower level of the museum.
Just as a note to travelers, many of the exhibits that are displayed do not provide translations in either English or French, however, there are two are guides that will show you around the museum who are versed in other languages, allowing you the ability to gain a full perspective of the life of Kaysone Phomvihane.