The Luang Prabang Night Market is one of the things you should be sure not to miss when you’re in the city. The numerous wares in colorful mats lining the streets look fascinating in the early afternoon and breathtaking in the evening when hanging lamps and candle lights pepper the whole place.
Located along the one kilometer stretch of Sisavangvong Road, the night market starts at around 5:00 P.M. and closes at about 10:00 P.M. If you are a lover of everything beautiful and nice, you will definitely have a great time here: still, even if you aren’t the sort of person who expressly goes looking for lovely trinkets to bring back home as souvenirs, the place is still worth checking out. Here are a few reasons why you should:
- Take the opportunity to enjoy some fresh night air. Take a leisurely walk down the street with the fresh night air blowing to keep you comfortably cool. The street is closed to traffic during the evenings and it’s pedestrian-friendly as soon as the market starts. It’ll be a long time before you spend one lazy evening strolling through a magical street when you come back in your busy hurried life.
- See all kinds of handicrafts all in one place. The hill-tribe people, the villagers of Hmong and the many ethnic groups in Luang Prabang all converge on the Sisavangvong Road at night to sell their hand-woven crafts. There are over 300 vendors selling Lao handicrafts here. You’ll be able to buy everything, from paper parasols to elephant woodcraft. Get to pick what you like from a very wide selection of souvenirs.
- Enjoy delicious local delicacies. Try Luang Prabang’s local food, from barbecued chicken to vegetarian food, you’ll never go hungry going around the market with the many food stalls around.
- Bring home with you some of the most exquisite handmade pieces in the world. One of the major source of livelihood in Luang Prabang is weaving and the people from highlands, with their skilled craftsmanship, offer unique products you’ll never find anywhere else.
- Get to practice your bargaining skills. Lao people are not hard sellers and haggling is considered OK. Do it gently and with consideration and you’re on your way to becoming an expert on this field.
- Buy a product and help the local people. When you buy the local people’s wares, you also help them better their financial condition. The life status in Luang Prabang is definitely lower than in US or Europe and some of the people are living behind the poverty line.
- Experience Laos culture. Even if you don’t like shopping, you’ll find the experience totally interesting. Get to talk to the local people, observe them as they conduct their business, learn more about their culture and know them better through shopping in the night market.
- Get a Beer Lao souvenir shirt. Purchase the famous Beer Lao shirt and let your friends back home you’ve been to Luang Prabang Night Market!