As I wander across south-east Asia, I am experiencing a love/hate relationship with the all pervasive night markets, which seem to exist in every village, town and city. In theory, market culture is awesome – it brings people from the community together, locals and tourists eat and shop side by side, and it allows people with a creative or culinary talent to sell their wares and make a living. But I just find that most of the markets in SE Asia are way too similar to each other, and I was spending hours looking at the same old tat in every town I visited – particularly in Thailand.
Well, good news. Luang Prabang’s night market is awesome. It sells stuff that I haven’t seen anywhere else before, never mind in SE Asia, and I was even persuaded to buy some ‘stuff’ from the chatty stall owners, who are more than willing to engage in a dialogue about their products.
But what can you actually purchase at Luang Prabang’s night market? Here’s what.
Thanks to the French influence on Luang Prabang, you can fill your boots with all kinds of cake. Fatty fatty boom boom.
While you’re at it, pick up one of these super-cool lightshades for a bargain price of about three quid. I bought two!
As cute as cute can be, handmade toys and puppets.
I had one night on the Lao whisky while here, and I will never NEVER drink it again. Potent. The whisky at the market comes with extra snake.
These bracelets are not just bracelets. They are made from the bombs that ravaged the country during the Secret War. What an incredible way of redefining the war and the progress that Lao people have made through an artistic endeavour that helps village people. Incredible.
Laos in March is bloody hot. If I didn’t risk looking like even more of a flouncy mo than I already do, I’d be all over these parasols.
The guy who owned this stall, gave me a demonstration of a Lao violin – beautiful indeed, but it wasn’t on a Britney level of musical perfection. If you have a musical friend back home, a Lao violin would be a totally awesome gift.
The night market is home to quite a few stalls selling bespoke stamps. Provide them with a drawing or a photograph, and they will create a really high quality stamp out of it. Awesome.