Bargaining in laos? and how?
Replies: 15 - Last Post: Feb 14, 2012 3:53 PM Last Post By: Vientianeboy
Feb 2, 2012 1:18 AM
Bargaining in laos? and how?Hi there,
i assume travling through laos westerners will likely be quotet higher prices than standard, no matter what u want to buy. Is there any polite question / phrase to ask for a discount / lower price? One that doesnt put one into a conversation due to the language barrier. In latin america the two simple words "nada menos" (not less) for exemple works wonders and doenst offend the locals.
Feb 2, 2012 1:34 AM
1I have just come back from 1 month in Laos. Not sure about the language but I found prices to be pretty low and it is easy to ask for lower prices. Rooms were between $5-$8. Not sure what you trying to buy, if prices are too high walk away. In south Laos I was buying a bunch of bananas for 2,000kip further north they wanted 10,000 so did not bother, not sure if they were ripping me off or not but they would not reduce the price. Yes some prices do seem to be higher for tourists, like the green tea drinks seems to be 5,000kip for locals but you can be charged 8,000 or even 10,000kip.
Feb 2, 2012 2:46 AM
Feb 2, 2012 1:07 PM
3If you're hanging out where tourists pretty much exclusively hang out, then barganing seems the norm. The LP street market and the shops catering exclusively to westerners (in LP and Vientiane). Regular food markets and other multi-vendor markets, and tuk-tuk/taxi drivers as well, that cater to locals as well as westernerrsmay or may not inflate a price for a westerner.
In our travels through rural Laos, however, we find that the people actually making the item purchased - weavers, food-stalls, and such - usually ask a reasonable price and then expect no bargaining. It is refreshing!
"Paeng lai" means "very expensive" and can grab a smile and a reduction in price if indeed it was hyper-inflated.
Feb 2, 2012 6:36 PM
4Bargaining in Laos is fun,, many sellers expect it. If you want to bargain, respond with "paeng lai" (too expensive) after hearing the price. This sets the bargaining in motion.
I usually halve the price and wait for the response "bor dai" (not able). The seller will usually meet you half way on your price. Accent that.
Don't go quibbling over a couple of thousand kip, you could lose face. And more importantly, keep your humour.
Feb 2, 2012 6:46 PM
Feb 9, 2012 9:34 AM
6just say peng lai jakarou. If you kno0w the word jakarou it is slang and usually they give up. Take caution though this is a sort of slang and may not be understood through out the entire country. I generally can start my bargaining with a "Oi peng lai jakarou" and after that they drop the BS or don't make a sale.
The best way to bargain is figure out what you want to pay and have only that in your wallet. If they want the sale they will respond. If not go to the shop next store as most shops here sell all the same things.
Feb 9, 2012 9:40 AM
Feb 9, 2012 11:02 AM
Feb 9, 2012 4:01 PM
9"It is just local slang and shows you have been here more than a week or two."
Though having lived here for many years and though I speak the language I have never ever heard anyone say this.
I suspect you may mean "Baw hu jak", which means "I don't know"; however this is certainly not a pasaa Talat, (slang), term has nothing to do with bargaining.
Feb 10, 2012 6:11 AM
Feb 10, 2012 10:31 AM
11As I said it could be a local slang or dialect from the south. Ask your friends but if they have not been to this part of Laos their guess would be no better than yours. Many people not familiar with this area wouldn't even know where Don Det is as crazy as that seems.
adjective+lai+jakaro= the most emphatic way of saying something down around these parts where I happen to live and have friends. The language in the south is not the same as in the main cities in the north.
Believe it or not I actually live down here and know this is a fact.
Feb 10, 2012 3:11 PM
12I have relatives from Pakse who are currently visiting. They do not know the term. They said some people say "Jak baw hu".
Feb 10, 2012 6:41 PM
13Bear in mind, there's always a good chance that the first price quoted to you is the correct one.
I pretty much never bargain, I know the right price and they either charge that and I buy or I walk, same as Lao people. Restaurants and stalls in the market have pretty uniform pricing. Guest houses I just pay what they charge. Guest houses are a fair bit of money but the owners can make life very convenient by telling you who to talk to to find what you are looking for or other good tips.
Even tuk tuks usually have a set price for distance but they are often shared also. They are a lot harder as you have to be local to that exact neighborhood to know the price. Often I'll just walk out of the tourist part of town.
Feb 14, 2012 2:29 PM
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