Beautiful Bargains at Laos Night Market
One of the most popular markets on a visit to Laos is the night market in Luang Prabang. Each night, local vendors set up this portable shopping and souvenir bonanza under a series of tents that stretch the length of the Old Town’s main thoroughfare. For your guests, this night market is a great place to wander around after nightfall when the temperature has reached a pleasant level.
The market has on display a myriad of items for sale: t-shirts and other clothing items; silk fabrics and weavings; handicrafts and jewellery; also wood products and carvings. There are even souvenir bottles of Lao Lao whiskey containing a cobra snake. Most of these products are made in Luang Prabang or nearby villages, although beware that some of the cheaper items may be imported from China.
It is possible to visit these nearby villages, even go inside local homes to see villagers weave the intricate and colorfully patterned textile products for which Luang Prabang is famous. Another way for your travelers to understand the style and source of textile goods on display at the night market is to visit the Traditional Arts & Ethnology Centre in the middle of the city. It’s a very informative and well-organized museum and resource center dedicated to Laos’ many diverse ethnic groups. Year round there are changing exhibits. There is a great boutique shop and restaurant attached to the museum.
For some tourists, this night market may be overwhelming in number and variety of things to buy. It may require a repeated visit to find that special gift or souvenir to take home. Bartering is expected but travelers should only initiate this local custom if they are serious buyers.
Also, for visitors taller than 180 cm, a visit to the night market may require constant stooping under the tent canopy sized for the shorter stature of local people. Laos has an easy remedy, however—a soothing and relaxing massage of sore muscles for a very affordable price!
For more information on the Luang Prabang night market and booking requests, please contact [email protected].