When you visit a new country, you’re not always familiar with the goings-on there. That can sometimes make things a little overwhelming once you arrive and have all this stuff sprung on you. If you don’t want that when visiting the Luang Prabang Night Market in Laos, you’ll need to know the ins and outs of it before you travel.
Where is it?
The Luang Prabang Night Market isn’t that difficult to find, given it’s right in the center of town. Sisavangvong Road is the exact location, with the market running every night between roughly 5 pm to 10 pm. If you’re in the area’s historic quarter, the market will only ever be a short walk away. Otherwise, you’ll probably need to hail some transport to get there. Fortunately, there are plenty of tuk-tuks you can rely on to travel from A to B.
What can you buy there?
As with any market, the goods on offer are incredibly varied. The Luang Prabang Night Market usually hosts around 300 sellers, with food, drinks, clothes, jewelry, pottery, handicrafts, and more available to buy. Some of the stuff is local, the rest is imported, but almost all of it goes for a pretty affordable price. You might be surprised by the low cost of these wares, especially if you frequent night markets often.
What food is good?
If you’re spending a few hours exploring the night market, you’ll probably want to eat at some point. Fortunately, there are plenty of stalls offering some delicious local delicacies. The food you might want to consider includes ping kai and ping pa, which are roast chicken and roast fish, respectively. They’re cooked upon ordering, so the meal comes to you nice and hot. Lao sausages, coconut pancakes, fruit shakes, and papaya salad are also just as tasty and worth every cent.
Can you haggle?
Most people who visit night markets regularly tend to haggle when they make a purchase. It’s all part of the game when buying from street vendors. However, it’s probably not a good idea to do that here. The wares are already more affordable than most markets, with the seller themselves all from humble backgrounds. They don’t get to make much of a profit as it is, so trying to deprive them of more money isn’t ideal.
Any other shopping tips?
It’s worth looking out for wares that have a Handmade in Luang Prabang sticker. This certifies that it’s a local good of high quality, so you’ll get more for your money with these items. You should also consider bringing your own reusable bags with you, rather than using the plastic ones provided. The region already has an issue with plastic pollution, so this will ensure you don’t contribute to it.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve never been to Luang Prabang, Laos, or even Southeast Asia before. Thanks to the internet, it’s easy to learn all the goings-on here, including the amazing Luang Prabang Night Market. That way, you’re prepared for whatever it throws at you from the moment you arrive.