Im a tea lover - so wherever I go I try to taste the regional specialties. They offer smoked and semi smoked green tea, mostly from the northern hills of Phongsaly and the Bolaven plateau of the region of Paksong in the south.
It is more a smoky earthern taste, way strongre than the light Chinese LongJing for example.
They have a unique ancestreal method of smoking their tea and preserving the taste by packing it in bamboo to keep the special fragrance.
Laos is also well known for growing great tea, though I personally cant judge it (as a none coffe drinker) but the feedback of people I gave lao coffee too was not bad at all.
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.
The night market in Luang Prabang has some of the best values in Indochina. We bought embroidered bedspreads with pillowcases for $20, silk scarves for $6 to $8 , stone pencil cases for $10. Compared to Vietnam and Cambodia handicraft prices are better here.
What to buy: scarves,bedspreads, carved boxes
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.
These Beer Lao T-Shirts are found on every market in every corner. Since I always travel very light Im always in need for Ts - and who knows Beer Lao? Compared to the Thai Ts these here are nearly unknown ;-)
When the sun goes down in Luang Prabang, vendors set up their wares on the main street of the town in front of the palace. Most of the vendors are women and they spred their merchandise on blankets on the street. Each vendor has an electric light. I would estimate that there are 200 venders in four rows taking up the entire width of the street. The night market goes on for five blocks. It is quite a site even if you do not buy anything.
What to buy: As for the merchandise: blankets, crafts, jewelry, paintings, carvings, statues and fabrics.
What to pay: This is a place for bargaining, which is expected. Prices are very reasonable.
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
Wana Buy some souvenirs? Shop at the Night Marker located at Th Sisavongvong. the street will be closed at 5pm as the vendors will lay down their "treasures" for you to buy. shop untill at about 10pm. You have to bargain hard!!
What to buy: handicrafts, shirts, hand bags, etc.. everything. you name it, it's there.
The night markets are set up in the main street in the early evening/late afternoon. It is very easy to walk up and down and check out what they have on offer.
What to buy: The ladies are selling all s orts of beautiful things we bought several quilt cover sets, they are available all over the market we bought 4 sets and got them at a discout price of $US15 a set. We were very happy to pay that and they are on the beds here and still looking good. We also bought silk table runners, silk bed throws a bargain at $US30. There are also handmade bags and childrens' local clothing. It's a great place to wander around they sell so many other things I havent mentioned chess sets, t-shirts the list goes on.
What to pay: Depending on your bargaining skills we found the prices very reasonable without bargaining to hard. We did hear other people bargaining hard and others who just went with the original price. I guess it comes down to what you are happy paying.
We visited the morning market after watching the alms giving ceremony. It starts early. I don't know how long it lasts.It was wonderfully colourful and great for photos. Most stalls sell fruit and vegetables, but there was also meat and fish. There were also some marigold sellers.
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.
A shoppers dream come true. Everything is peddled along the main street everynight in Luang Prabang. Lit up by bright lights you really cannot miss it. It's on about 4pm until about 10pm.
What to buy: Wears include souvenir t-shirts, duvet covers, Lao Lao and dozens of other trinkets!
What to pay: Once you bargain down (you can get them down pretty far if you feel like it) you can expect to get t-shirts for $1-2 US and duvet covers as cheap as $14. The durability maybe be lacking but at these bargain basement prices you really can't go wrong even if it only lasts a year. If you're cheap t-shirts there are thousands to choose from but the printing can be dodgy at times so you may have to sift through many a t-shirt!
What to buy:
A prominent local craft in Luang Prabang is production of handmade saa paper. Saa paper is made from bark that is stripped from the young branches of the mulberry tree. The bark is first sun dried, to remove natural sap, then soaked in water overnight or longer until the bark is soft and pliable. The next step is to boil the softened bark for several hours to breakdown the fibres. After boiling, a rectanglular screen (sieve) is used to extract the fine saa fibres. The screen is taken outside to sun dry, afterwhich the paper on top is removed and ready for use.
You can find items crafted with saa paper all over Luang Prabang, including albums, cards, lanterns, and even umbrellas. Some of the nicest examples have either whole dried leaves or flowers embedded in the paper itself.
What to pay: Nothing made from saa paper will cost you more than a few dollars.
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.
The night market, in the centre of town, "opens its doors" every evening at around about 5pm. This market was only supposed to last for a few weeks when it opened in December 2002, on the Occidental Christmas Eve. Products range from chess games in ornamental stone to silk scarves, passing by embroidery, sculpture, more or less real opium pipes, portrayals of Buddha in all imaginable forms, local paintings, done around the symbolic Buddhist representations, etc. It is a place where you must go and where bargaining is often very colourful.