Luang Prabang has been listed as a world heritage Site since 2 December 1995. UNESCO inscribed the town of Luang Prabang onto the world Heritage list for its outstanding universal value, founded in the harmonious relationship between the natural and built environment; the juxtaposition of Lao and village and French colonial urban morphology and the fusion of traditional Lao and French architecture of the 19th-early 20th centuries. The historical and cultural heart of the city straddles a peninsula measuring 1 km long by 250 m wide at the confluence of the Nam khan and the Mekong Rivers. The main heritage features are civil traditional architecture (wood mixed with bamboo houses on piles), civil colonial architecture, religious architecture (temples), the juxtaposition of the French colonial urban layout and Lao traditional village, and the close relationship between the natural and cultural heritage, most notably a network of urban wetlands.
To help conserve and protect the precious heritage found in Luang Prabang, the Lao Government, UNESCO and a number of partners have established the world heritage house. Commonly known as ‘Heritage House’, this institution provides architectural advice and surveying for world Heritage Site protection and enhancement; the Luang Prabang Heritage plan and Urban Master Plan were created with technical assistance from heritage house. Heritage House also assists local stakeholders with urban cultural and natural project management and provides technical advice for the conception and execution of cultural and natural heritage conservation and protection initiatives.