Luang Prabang, or Louangphrabang, is a city located in north central Laos, on the Mekong River about 425 km north of Vientiane, and the capital of Louangphrabang Province. The current population of the city is about 22,000. The city was formerly the capital of a kingdom of the same name. Until the communist takeover in 1975, it was the royal capital and seat of government of the Kingdom of Laos. The city is also notable as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.