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Visiting this professionally presented three-room museum is a must to learn about northern Laos' various hill-tribe cultures, especially if planning a trek. There's just enough to inform without overloading a beginner, including a range of ethnic costumes and a brilliant new exhibition, Seeds of Culture: From Living Plants to Handicrafts. TAEC sits within a former French judge's mansion that was among the city's most opulent buildings of the 1920s. There's a cafe and a shop selling handicrafts and pictorials.
The shop has a second branch in town. Sign up at either location for half-day workshops (from US$12) on Kmhmu bamboo weaving, Hmong embroidery or Katu backstrap weaving.