Luang Prabang Night Market in Laos

The Luang Prabang Night Market in Laos is one of the must visit places when staying here. A few local markets are found in the UNESCO town of Luang Prabang including the famous Hmong Night Market, Day Market, Dara Market and also the general local market. The night market is also known as the Hmong Handicraft Market and this place is open daily from 5.00pm till about 11.00pm 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

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.

Lao Snake wine or snake whiskeys

When I stayed 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.

Silverware, 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.

Hmong vendor selling hand made aprons

When you inquire about the prices at the markets, they will gladly tell you and 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 times when I was bargaining, the vendor and me came a 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.

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 in the traditional Lao Hmong design. Most of them 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

Lao 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 Trust me, once you are there, you will know how cheap they can go.

Luang Prabang Night Market video

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

Lao Coffee souvenir packets

Among the many interesting items sold at the Night Market, the Lao Coffee is one of the items which you should buy as souvenirs or for own consumption. Lao has one of the best coffees in the world if you are a coffee lover.

One thing I did not take pictures of was the silver vendors at the night markets. There were a number of them where each had their own individual designs so going from stall to stall, you would find different designs for earrings, necklaces and bracelets. Silver lovers beware, you will end up buying more that you budgeted.

Great buys on:
  • Silverware (Most are 50%-80% purity)
  • Lao 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 - Tempreture of 90 to 100 degrees F
During my trip to Luang Prabang Town I also visited a local Lao place which is called Whisky Village in Luang Prabang and it was on my way to see the amazing Pak Ou Buddha Caves. For those exploring the town area, you can also visit Phu Si Hill which is just near the night market and museum. Best time is in the evening and once you are up there, check out the amazing sunset.

My conclusion to this place - A must visit! No two ways about this unless you dislike markets. Child friendly and spacious, located near to main town and is open nightly. One of the most interesting places I have visited and this is the Luang Prabang Night Market in Lao.
Luang Prabang Night Market in Laos Luang Prabang Night Market in Laos Reviewed by David Jr on Tuesday, November 03, 2009 Rating: 5


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.


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.


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.


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