Shopping in Laos

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Luang Prabang

    Handicraft Night Market

    Every evening this tourist-oriented but highly appealing market assembles along Th Sisavangvong and is deservedly one of Luang Prabang’s biggest tourist lures. Low-lit, quiet and devoid of hard selling, it has myriad traders hawking silk scarves and wall hangings, plus Hmong appliqué blankets, T-shirts, clothing, shoes, paper, silver, bags, ceramics, bamboo lamps and more. Prices are remarkably fair but cheaper 'local' creations sometimes originate from China, Thailand or Vietnam – as a rule of thumb, if it's a scarf or bed runner, those with perfectly smooth edges are factory-made copies.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Vientiane

    T'Shop Lai Gallery

    Imagine a melange of aromas – coconut, aloe vera, honey, frangipani and magnolia – all of them emanating from body oils, soaps, sprays, perfumes, lip balms and more. These wonderful products are made with sustainable, locally sourced ingredients by disadvantaged women who make up the Les Artisans Lao cooperative. There's also a fine gallery upstairs that rotates Lao and international artists' work.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Vientiane

    The First

    This bright-feeling shop has a broad but well-curated selection of items representing some of Laos' most reputable brands: beautiful textiles from Ock Pop Tok and Passa Paa, Lao jewellery from Serene's, soaps and other toiletries from Les Artisans Lao, rum from Laodi and chocolate from Marou.

  • Shopping in Vientiane

    Saoban

    This small shop works with over 300 artisans in 14 communities across 10 provinces of Laos, selling everything from hand-woven silk textiles to bamboo baskets and silver jewellery. There are nice descriptions of where the products come from and who your purchase will support (mostly rural women from ethnic minorities). Prices tend to be cheaper than elsewhere in town.

  • Shopping in Vientiane

    Carol Cassidy Lao Textiles

    Lao Textiles sells high-end contemporary, original-design fabrics inspired by generations-old Lao weaving patterns, motifs and techniques. The American designer, Carol Cassidy, employs Lao weavers who work out the back of the attractive old French-Lao house. Internationally known, with prices to match.

  • Shopping in Vientiane

    Camacrafts

    Stocks silk clothes and weavings from Xieng Khuang Province, plus some bed and cushion covers in striking Hmong-inspired designs. All of the shop's Fairtrade products come from the artisan communities it supports in rural Laos.

  • Shopping in Luang Prabang

    Queen Design Lao

    This stylish Aussie-run boutique has a choice selection of hand-woven linen, silk and cotton dresses, chemises, skirts, and beach shawls made by Chris Boyle, a renowned designer in Oz. Most are one-off pieces. As well as pashminas and scarves, it also sells organic face scrubs and wooden designer glasses, and is the main distributor for Article 22 Bomb Jewellery.

  • Shopping in Luang Prabang

    Kopnoi

    Kopnoi sells stunning handicrafts from ethnic-minority craftspeople; Akha bracelets, silk pashminas, fine jewellery, packaged spices and teas, and local art. If you're 'shopped out' by the night market, this is a restful alternative; the quality is good, and there's no chance of you buying Chinese copies. Find it at L'Etranger Books & Tea.

  • Shopping in Luang Prabang

    Ock Pop Tok Boutique

    Ock Pop Tok works with a wide range of tribes to preserve their handicraft traditions. Fine silk and cotton scarves, chemises, dresses, wall hangings and cushion covers make perfect presents. Hop across Th Sakkarin to visit Ock Pop Tok's newer Heritage Shop for more classical textiles. Weaving courses are also available.

  • Shopping in Luang Prabang

    Big Tree Gallery

    Photographer and film-maker Adri Berger's compositions of rural Laos capture that honeyed afternoon light like no one else. His ochre-walled gallery-cum-restaurant is in a breezy wooden house with a delightful palm-shaded terrace to read in. Upstairs you'll find the bulk of his work. His prints can be safely sent home in protective containers. Exquisite souvenirs.

  • Shopping in Luang Prabang

    Luang Prabang Artisans

    Located in a 100-year-old wooden home on a narrow lane running from the main street, this great little shop sells handicrafts like naturally dyed cushions, soft toys, and silk purses and scarves. There is a small on-site cafe for dropping after the shopping, with great juices and Lao food and a pretty shaded terrace where you can eat and relax.

  • Shopping in Luang Prabang

    Pathana Boupha Antique House

    Follow the sweeping stairs in the garden of this impressive old French mansion to discover an Aladdin's cave of antique Buddhas, golden naga, silver betel-nut pots, Akha-style bracelets and Hmong necklaces. Also sells fine silk scarves from Sam Neua. It's not cheap but this long-established shop is respected for its quality.

  • Shopping in Luang Prabang

    TAEC Shop

    This shop sister to the TAEC museum is a safe way to buy the finest handicrafts made in Laos – be it clothes, bags or bed runners – in the knowledge they are not fakes and your purchase is directly benefiting local people. They make the perfect presents to take home.

  • Shopping in Vientiane

    State Books Shop

    This state-run bookshop, with its faded titles in Russian and Vietnamese, is a lingering reminder of Laos' communist roots in an increasingly slick Vientiane. If you're not interested in history, there are a few English-language titles and a good selection of colourful, Lao-language children's books.

  • Shopping in Vientiane

    Kanchana Boutique

    This shop carries what is possibly the most upscale selection of Lao silk in town (the most expensive designs, some of which sell for several thousand US dollars, are kept in an adjacent room). The friendly owners also run the Lao Textile Museum.

  • Shopping in Luang Prabang

    Naga Creations

    One of the first jewellery shops to open in Luang Prabang, Naga Creations takes its inspiration from tribal motifs around Laos combined with an international eye for semi-precious stones from around the world. The result is some unique fusion pieces that will certainly catch the eye.

  • Shopping in Northern Laos

    Khao's Shop

    Run by a friendly husband-and-wife team, this simple unnamed shop offers the best souvenirs in town. Khao makes beautiful temple-inspired stencil art, while his wife, No, creates colourful handwoven textiles. There are also used books, greeting cards, coffees and teas.

  • Shopping in Luang Prabang

    Orange Tree

    This riverfront antiques shop is a testament to its owners' magpie wanderings, with Hong Kong tea tins, Chinese retro alarm clocks, Mao revolutionary crockery, Bakelite inkwells, Vietnamese clocks and Burmese Buddhist statuary. Curio heaven!

  • Shopping in Luang Prabang

    Ma Te Sai

    The name means 'where is it from' in Lao, and all the silk, paper and gift items in this attractive boutique come from villages around Luang Prabang. A great selection of silk pashminas, cool T-shirts and linen chemises.

  • Shopping in Vientiane

    Her Works

    This social enterprise-oriented shop features the work of ethnic minorities in remote corners of the country. This means chunky, colourful clothing, bags, hats and shoes with a conscience.