This shop had the most beautifully crafted timber products, many of which were made from mulberry tree timber. From small carvings, boxes, Buddha images to larger pieces of furniture, the workmanship was excellent. All locally made around Luang Prabang.
What to buy: Depends on the amount of shopping space in luggage!
What to pay: A fair price for the handcrafting skills.
Por la noche cortan el tráfico en la calle principal y montan un mercado nocturno donde la gente de las distintas etnias con sus trajes tradicionales pasan allí las horas dándole un colorido y una tranquilidad e intentando vender sus artesanias
Es una escena realmente inolvidable
At night they cut the traffic in the main street and they install a night market where the people of the different ethnic groups wit their traditional costumes spend there the hours giving to it colour and peace and trying to sell their handicrafts
It is a picture difficult to forget
Every night one end of the main street in Luang Prabang transforms into an extensive market featuring local handicrafts, fermenting insects and reptiles, and cheap t-shirts. Lovely silk weavings and wood carvings can be had at dirt cheap prices. Although it's fun to haggle, and usually expected, it's important to keep it good natured. We overheard many Westerners aggressively haggling, literally, over pennies - please remember that those pennies mean A LOT more to these people than to you, the tourist.
What to buy: silk weavings, wood carvings
What to buy: This special drink including the scoprio inside, is a memoble gift to take back.
I wonder though who will appreciate such a gift or whom would you like to serve such drink!
At least neither of my fellow travellers dared to taste...
Another popular local craft is Saa paper. Which the pulp is driven through screens to make the paper-flowers or other items are added to it later. From the paper, they make lovely photo albums, writing paper, lanterns and other items.
I think Luang Prabang has one of the nicest night markets in Southeast Asia. It's made up of mostly crafts and handmade items, not dvds and pirated goods. You can find Laotion scarves, saa paper, quilted items, tshirts and other items. The night market starts at Sisavong Street near the Royal Palace Museum. It starts at dark and goes to 9ish.
It's probably the best place anywhere to buy stuff made by the people of Northern Laos. It may be the most uptempo place anywhere in Laos and even then it is laid back. The place is mostly occupied by tourists and it lasts from around 4pm until 10pm daily.
You can get also get items such as t-shirts and duvet covers. It is possible to get really good deals even if you aren't that skilled a bargainer. The thing that I like about the place is how laid back the Laotian sellers generally are so try to be fair to them as you can go ridiculously low in price.
In the evenings, Luang Prabang's main street turns into a giant night market of some 300m. One market stall comes after the next, all of them selling very beautiful weavings and other Laotian crafts. I would propose to just stroll around the first night and compare the designs; on the second night you should start buying. Remember that prices are a matter of good bargaining skills - the competition is enormous, so you should be able to get everything for a fair price.
What to buy: There's a hell lot of things to buy: scarfs, tableclothes, handbags, shirts, all kinds of souvenirs... whatever you wish! I got a very beautiful tablecloth for less than $ 10.
What to pay: Depends on what you buy and your bargaining skills - anything above $10 seems to be too much to pay
At the corner of Xiang Thong Rd and Setthathilat there is a marketplace where the local Hmong gather to sell their local wares. A browse throught this small streetside marketplace can be very rewarding. If you take the time to take your time, you may find something small yet valuable in your own eyes. I especially enjoyed some of the little stalls where they sold brass, silver and gold trinkets. There was an old lady selling teeth that came from a very large feline, and gold hoop nose rings the size of saucers. From her, I picked up a brass bracelet engraved and antique looking for just a few bucks.
What to buy: textiles, local crafts, antiques, trinkets, jewelry
What to pay: Have fun bargaining and get used to the "lucky you by this today, sir" girls...
The whole night market is an experience. Just remember to bring your mosquito spray and a wap of Kip. Negotiate and be patient, but you won't find much better prices than here.
What to buy: Anything made from silk.
What to pay: You will be amazed if you haven't travelled here before.
What to buy:
Kai paen is dried river moss and has a consistency much like nori, a Japanese seaweed wrap used in sushi. When fried in seasoned oil, it becomes more crunchy and can be used like chips to dip into another local delicacy, jaew bawng. This tasty sauce is made from chilies and dried buffalo skin. It all sounds pretty putrid but actually was quite tasty. It might be better if you did not know what it was. ;)
What to pay: It tended to be a bit expensive at the cafes, but you could buy a huge roll of it very cheaply in the market. It was a bit chewy right out of the package, though. It was 15000 Kip ($2) for the moss and a sauce.
Luang Prabang has its fair share of markets and casual shopping is one of the draws in this relaxed town. Not only will you find things at a fraction of what they cost back home but you will get to interact with locals and contribute to their economy.
What to buy: One of our favorite things to buy is fruit. You can get lots of exotic produce like dragon fruit. This is a magenta fruit that looks much like its name and the inside resembles a kiwi in both appearance and flavor.
What to pay: Dragon fruit is one of the more expensive items so expect to pay more than for something like bananas. We paid 7000 Kip (90 cents) for a very big one but later in Vietnam, we got three for a dollar with some hard bargaining. Not sure it it was just more here or we were the new kids on the block who got taken. At any rate, it was not too expensive. On returning to Munich, we found them at the market for about ten Euros apiece!
The night market in LP is 'specially' made for tourist. You can hardly see local buying the handicrafts. Most of the items sold are bed sheet, pillow casing, pants, laos t-shirt etc.. very standard for this kind of shopping places.
The night market is the central for the whole night life. At least this is what a traveller like me see. Not as crowded as Chiang Mai night bazaar although a Thai with me said that they are similar..
The night market ends around 9 something.. surprisingly.. and this is the laotian life.. peace and easily satisfied.
I think this shop is the biggest shop in Luang Prabang where have so many styles of postcards and stamps for collector. They also offered phonecards,phonebooth and post box for clients. It's a one stop shop for sender.
What to buy: -Stamps both for send and collect.
Local craft stall shop along the main road of Luang Prabang where I always visited at the end of the day.
Open around 6.00 PM.-11.00PM.
What to buy: Silver products,local textile products,antiques and reproducts,T-shirts,Mulberry paper products,......