Luang Prabang Night Market in Laos

Night Market in Luang Prabang
The Luang Prabang night market in Laos is one of the must visit places when staying here, and this will surely excite anyone who loves local shopping.

There are also a few local markets are found in the UNESCO town of Luang Prabang including the famous Hmong night market, Hmong day market, Dara Market and also the general local market.

This night market is also known as the Hmong Handicraft Market and this place is open daily from 5.00 pm till about 11.00 pm at night.

This amazing and interesting market is located at the corner of Sisavangvong Road and Kitsarat Road in Luang Prabang town.

Luang Prabang Night Market

Luang Prabang Night Market

The Night Market is easily accessible by foot and about 5 minutes walk from the main town area. Just head towards Phu Si Hill and you will see the market.

The Hmong tribe people usually start bringing their wares at about 4.00pm onwards where they start erecting tents and laying mats to display the various handicrafts and souvenirs here.

Snake Whiskey LaosLao Snake wine or snake whiskeys

The funny thing about me was that when I stayed here in Luang Prabang, I practically visited the market every evening as they had just so many interesting items for sale.

Compared to the other markets I have been to, the Luang Prabang Night Market is my personal favourite.

You see Hmong vendors selling all sorts of things including the famous Lao Snake Wine in bottles of various sizes and shapes.

Prices of these snake wines or whiskeys range from US$3 to US$25 depending on the size and contents.

Pictures of Luang Prabang Night MarketSilverware, bags and t-shirts

Once night falls in Luang Prabang town, you see the Hmong Night Market come alive with yellow lit bulbs streaming across stall by stall.

Hmong vendors sit by their goods on the ground and wait for eager customers. One thing I must say is that the Lao people are not pushy or fussy.

They are actually easy going, friendly and speak decent understandable English.

Luang Prabang Hmong TradersHmong vendor selling handmade aprons

When you inquire about the prices at the markets, the traders will gladly tell you, and the best part is that you can bargain with them.

If you think it is too high and walk away, they would not chase after you to make that sale like in Bangkok or other countries.

In most cases whenever I was bargaining, the vendor and me came a mutual agreement of the items purchased.

However, beware of the China-Lao traders that sell so-called antiques. These are not authentic antiques as you think.

They may look old, but they are skillfully made to look like antiques, and are mainly brought in from China, passed off as local antiques. So it is best to know your antiques before buying any from here.

Market in Luang Prabang Choices of interesting items for sale

At the Hmong night market, you will also see a lot of Lao fabrics, scarves, bed comforters, pillows, blankets, lamp shades and even aprons that are made in the traditional Lao Hmong design.

Most of these fabric souvenirs are beautiful, and hardly seen in other countries so they are a good buy if you ask me.

Bargaining with a trader at the Luang Prabang night market



Photos of the Luang Prabang night marketLao Fabrics sold at the night market here

I must have spent at least US$500 on the items I purchased at these markets. From paintings, fabrics, pillow cases, bags, silverware and even a comforter which miraculously fit into our luggage bags.

The prices after conversion are so cheap that you cannot resist them and trust me, once you are there, you will know how cheap they can really be.

Luang Prabang Night Market Video


Luang Prabang Art Paintings

One of the things that I enjoyed buying were the local paintings sold at the night markets here. I bought about 20 paintings and they are sold frame-less.

So, you need to buy a hand-made holder (US$3) for the paintings where they roll it up and you carry it back.

All of the market paintings here were really a bargain as they are priced from US$3 to US$20 depending on the sizes.

Coffee Souvenirs from Laos Lao Coffee souvenir packets

Lao Souvenirs at the Night Market

Lao Coffee - Among the many interesting items sold at the night market here, the Lao coffee is one of the items which you should buy as souvenirs or for own consumption.

Laos has one of the best coffees in the world, and if you are a coffee lover or aficionado, you will easily relate to this.

Lao Silver - One thing I did not take pictures of was the silver vendors at the night markets. There were a number of silversmith selling their handmade accessories at the night market.

Each of them had their own individual designs so going from stall to stall, you would find different designs for silver earrings, necklaces and bracelets.

Silver lovers beware, you will end up buying more that you budgeted for as the prices are so affordable here. 

Must Buy Souvenirs at Luang Prabang Night Market:
  • Silverware (Most are 50%-80% purity)
  • Lao traditional design bags, pillow cases, aprons
  • Lao T-Shirts, Beer Lao T-Shirts (Men and Women sizes available)
  • Paintings (frameless)
Be careful of:
  • Antiques (Especially the China ones)
  • Lao artifacts (Strict rule on taking out Lao antiquities)
Markets and Shopping in Luang Prabang
  • Hmong Day Market
  • Dara Market
  • Handicraft Night Market
  • Shops along Sisavangvong Road
Best time to visit Luang Prabang
  • Between October and March
  • May till October - Rainy Season
  • March till May - Temperature of 90 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit 
Other Places of Interest in Luang Prabang

While you visit Luang Prabang, there are many other things that can be done here. During my trip to Luang Prabang Town, I also visited a local Lao village which is called Whisky Village in Luang Prabang.

As the name says it, you will find local whiskey being brewed here, but tours not only take you for this, but a walk around to see the local Sa Paper being made and also some other Lao fabric weaving.

That village is actually a stopover on the way to see the amazing Pak Ou Buddha Caves, which is probably one of the top three places to visit in Luang Prabang.

For those exploring the Luang Prabang town area, you can also visit Phu Si Hill, which is just near the night market and museum. Best time to visit this hill is in the evening, and once you are up there, check out the amazing sunset.

Conclusion

My conclusion to this night market is that you simply cannot visit Luang Prabang and not visit this market. No two ways about this unless you absolutely dislike markets.

The market is child friendly, spacious, located near to main town and is open nightly. For me, one of the main highlights was actually visiting the Luang Prabang night market here in Laos.
Luang Prabang Night Market in Laos Luang Prabang Night Market in Laos Reviewed by David Jr on Tuesday, November 03, 2009 Rating: 5

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

I like visiting local markets in the places I travel to. One should not give it a miss.

David Jr said...

Mei, I agree with you. Sometimes, I love going to the local markets where I can see the locals going about their normal day.

Regards,
David

Cath J said...

By looking at the photo.. my mind start thinking which 1 to buy already...hahahhah...

is the fabric cheap?? I definitely shop for fabric.. ;-p

Kelvin said...

Do they sell food in the night market?

David Jr said...

Cath, the fabrics are really beautiful and they are average price. In other words, cheap compared to other places.

Kelvin, sorry to say, there was no food bring sold. The local food is available at another part of town area.

David

laolao said...

You'd be hard pressed to find a vendor at the Night Market that stays until 11pm. Some of them wrap it up by 9:45pm and most pack it up by 10pm. Luang Prabang closes early.

Life for Beginners said...

I've had Laos coffee... and it's an acquired taste, certainly. But I like it! :D

David Jr said...

LaoLao, thanks for the tip on that. Probably when I went late, some f them were open so I assumed they stayed open late.

LfB - After trying Vietnamese Coffee, there's a tough fight for the acquired taste spot but still, both are top 5.

David

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