Foodie Goals Laos South East Asia

Exploring the Luang Prabang Night Market, Laos

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Exploring the Luang Prabang Night Markets

When a night market is held every night you know it has to be an amazing one and the Luang Prabang Night Market is exactly this. With stalls carrying everything you could ever want it is easy to spend hours exploring the lanes.

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Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang is a beautiful picturesque town, the former capital of Laos and in more recent times it been declared a UNESCO world heritage city. It oozes charm, with a mixture of French and Laotian architecture it has become one of my favorite cities in South East Asia. Though, I did find that exploring the amazing UNESCO city of Luang Prabang did come with a higher price tag than its other South East Asian counterparts.

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Where to Stay in Luang Prabang

We stayed at the Phanhthasone Guesthouse while visiting Luang Prabang. The price tag was a lot higher than excepted, costing $18 per night for a deluxe twin room. Though, this was for a room with air conditioning, a private bathroom and even a television; not that we used it anyway. This guesthouse is also in an excellent location just a couple minutes walk to the Luang Prabang night market, though tucked down a quiet alleyway. The receptionist was wonderfully helpful, the room was beautiful and we loved it so much we actually extended our stay here.

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The Luang Prabang Night Market

The Luang Prabang Night Markets occur every night in the city center. During that time the roads are closed to vehicles and hundreds of red and blue stalls are set up.  There are usually up to three hundred vendors selling a range of goods from food and drink to clothing and little souvenirs.

The vendors here are extremely friendly and keen to have a good laugh. If you are a beginner at haggling this is honestly the perfect place to practice your skills! You will receive so many smiles and may even walk out with a couple good purchases!

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When and Where

Time: 5.00pm-11.00pm everyday

Location: Starting at Wai Mai and right along the Sisavangvong Road until it reaches the town center

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What to Buy

The stalls set up along the road seem to be endless, just a maze of red and blue tents. Though, what is lurking in these tents are amazing and what I reckon is the best souvenir shopping in Laos.

Clothing is a major seller here and personally I thought it had the widest variety of my favorite backpacker elephant pants in my travels of South East Asia. We purchased two shirts from here which we wore the next day to Kuang Si Falls. James also purchased a pair of elephant print shorts for $3.00.

If you are wanting one of those ‘Beer Laos’ singlets this is the perfect place to find one in your desired color, shape and size. The variety of silk scarves are endless. The jewelry is also amazing with some sign stating the bracelets are made from bombs (I am not too sure how true this is though, as it could be one of those touristy gmickey things).

You will find typical souvenirs like key chains and bags, as well as little elephant toys and postcards. If you are after one of those gorgeous hand painted decorative umbrellas this is the perfect opportunity. There are even bed covers and pillows in a wide assortment of beautiful designs!

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My favorite stalls at the Luang Prabang night market were definitely those vendors selling art. Seriously, I fell in love with some pieces here and regret not buying them. I would have loved to have taken some photos of it, but you are not allowed to protect the artists creative integrity, which is understandable.

Many of the stalls do unfortunately sells very similar items, though this is a regular occurrence in South East Asian countries. Just keep an eye out for those special little trinkets among the chaos.

Unfortunately, you will see many vendors selling souvenirs which are made from endangered animals. This includes ivory, dried sea creatures, fur, claws, teeth and leather. There are even dead snakes and scorpions packaged into bottles of alcohol. Please avoid buying these types products to ensure you don’t support the endangered animal trade.

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What to Eat

If you are craving a little bit more western food in your diet I must say Laos is the country you need to visit. It may not be as popular as the neighboring Thailand or Vietnam. Though, I found that food stalls and restaurants had the widest range of western food I saw in South East Asia. I am going to say this is because of the French influence, and even better, because of that influence the food is damn good!

Lets start with baguettes, because if I have learned one thing from traveling Laos, its they they have the most amazing baguettes! At one end of the markets you will find so many baguette vendors all lined up next to each other. Its the perfect place to mix and mingle with other travelers with large picnic like tables set out front. They are actually open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Don’t tell anyone but we ate here at least twice a day. My usual was tofu, avocado, cheese, tomato and lettuce which cost $3.00.

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Of course, there are the typical crepe stands in the market place. They have all the main toppings of condensed milk, banana, chocolate, egg; basically everything that is good in life.

The smoothie stalls are also ever present here. Though, unlike Thailand where they use ice, in Laos they have milk based smoothies. This goes down very well especially if you are ordering a sneaky oreo, banana and condensed milk smoothie!

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Along the little lane ways which extend from the Luang Prabang Night Market you will find more local style buffet meals for as cheap as $1.00. Who can say no to that!

Also, at the main center end of the market is favorite dinner stall. They have numerous vegetarian dishes of noodles, rice, spring rolls, as well as BBQ’D meats which you can add on top. This was mine, and I am sure many others, number one dinner spot. There are even mats set up on a grassy spot close by so you can chill out and enjoy your meal. A massive portion of noodles cost only $1.20!

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If you are interested in a meal which is a little more upscale there are numerous of restaurants open along the market side. Chill out with a good meal, cold beer and people watch from the comfort of your table.

Now for everyone favorite meal, dessert. Keep an eye out for the bakery stall near the town center end of the market. Their baked goods are the ones that feature in most my photos. Here they sell the most amazing danishes, trust me and just buy one, or four. They only cost $1.20 and if you are too full from dinner save it for breakfast.

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The Luang Prabang Night Market Is A Must Visit!

Seriously if you are in Luang Prabang you must visit the Luang Prabang Night Markets. It is the perfect place to stuff your face after a busy day! Whether you have just been exploring Kuang Si Falls or even if you have just arrived off the slow boat and needing something other than cup of noodles.

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Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. So, if you click on it and purchase something, I get a small percentage at no extra cost to you. As always all opinions are my own and your support is much appreciated.

Feature photo credit: “Luang Prabang – Laos” (CC BY 2.0) by Christianbowman 

  • Shannon Bradley

    Baguettes?! I’m in! To be fair, all the food looks pretty good here!

  • I’m down for anything involving food, especially new food in a new country!

  • Maxine Hamilton

    I hope they are truly making bombs from bracelets, such a great idea! Your photos are so beautiful 🙂

  • krista

    wow, Laos looks so beautiful and delicious. I wish I spent more time there! great post, it is making me hungry!!

  • Wow it looks like there is so much to do in Luang Prabang! I’d love to see Laos one day. The food looks AMAZING!

  • Wow the Luang Prabang Markets look amazing! I’d love to visit Laos and I am so keen on scoffing baguettes and noodles. Gorgeous photos!

  • Luang Prabang looks INCREDIBLE! A foodie and explorer haven? I can’t believe how cheap it is! I think it’s time to head East for once! Definitely bookmarking for a future trip. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Mayi Mac

    Wow this is a paradise for food lovers like me, everything looks so delicious!

  • Jessica van Roij

    This place looks amazing! Everything I love about Asian Markets! Laos is going up on the places I have to see!

  • Kathi Kamleitner

    Looks like such an amazing experience – I’ve never been to a night market! We’re heading to Thailand in October, now I wish we had also planned some time in Laos…

  • This looks like so much fun! I am a big shopper so no matter where I go I am always on the lookout for a special souvenir and something to remember my travels by…and also good food! Thanks for making the note about the products made from endangered species. It’s every traveler’s responsibility to be as informed as possible about their effects on the local environment and do what they can to be ethical. I hope to go here some day!

  • Clare Thomson

    I love Asian night markets and this really looks fabulous. I’ve spent quite a bit of time in Thailand but never made it to Laos. Clearly, I’ve been missing out. I hadn’t appreciated the connections with France either so that would be a big attraction for me. Great share for #blogpostsaturday

  • I’m woefully undertraveled when it comes to Southeast Asia! I still REALLY need to visit Lao and Thailand. Thanks for the motivation to do so!

  • Shristi Jain

    The food makes me hungry! <3

    However what really caught my attention was the picture of bracelets being made from bombs and airplane parts. Such a wonderful thought and my heart goes to the people of Laos!

  • This looks amazing!! I’ve wanted to visit Luang Prabang for years but didn’t know about this market! Looks very similar to the Chiang Mai night market too, which I absolutely loved. There are so many things I wish I’d bought too!! Your photos take me right back there haha.

  • Lena

    Your photos are just stunning! Which camera do you use? Also, the picture with a sign about bracelets from bombs just made me speechless. So much we don’t know still..

  • Roxanne Weijer

    Aaah love Luang Prabang. Went there 5 years ago and would love to go again. Especially after reading and seeing this. Your pictures are so beautiful!

  • Outdoors Wonders

    Wonderful colourful market. The fact that the food is influenced by the French, and since i am French, it makes me want to check it even more. It’s taking an extra point over me wanting to go to Chiang Mai’s market! Thanks a lot!

  • This is SUCH a helpful guide! I’ll definitely be using it when we head to Laos next year. It’ll be a new country for me, so I’m going to check out your other posts from Luang Prabang, too! 🙂

  • Ana Grozea

    I just ate and your post made me hungry again :)) amazing pictures!

  • Kyla Hunter

    This is such a fantastic guide! We’ll. e in Luang Prabang in December and now I can’t wait for the night market. We’ll probably end up at the baguette stalls multiple times a day too 🙂

  • Kyla Hunter

    This is such a fantastic guide! We’ll be in Luang Prabang in December and now I can’t wait for the night market. We’ll probably end up at the baguette stalls multiple times a day too 🙂

  • Amanda Koh

    Elephant pants!! I love those haha even though I visit night markets all the time in asia, that’s one thing that I can buy over and over again 🙂 definitely adding this to my list especially since Laos is so near to Singapore!

  • What a wonderful view of a less popular destination in Southeast Asia! My family is heading there in a few months so this post will be incredibly useful for them!

    Stephanie | theFantasia.com

  • Ellie Cleary

    Loved the Luang Prabang night market! You’re right it’s a paradise for supporters of the omnipresent elephant pants, I made a beeline more for the cake stands! Thanks for taking me back to my time in Laos with this post and your lovely photos!

  • Ah! Laos was the one country (that I wanted to go to) I missed when I was living in Asia. I wouldn’t have though there would be so many Wester-style options – very interesting!

  • Tasha Jacqueline

    The night market looks like a lot of fun. I love the sound of the food you mentioned, especially the avocado and cheese baguettes! The chocolate chip brownies look delicious too.

  • Practical Wanderlust

    Yummm I want to eat everything in this post! Your photos are AMAZING – no small feat for a night market! Mine always end up super blurry. I’m totally sold on Laos now! 😛

  • COSTA RICA VIBES

    OK that food looks seriously amazing. I love the idea of a night market (and the idea of eating all that food).

  • CarrieEMann

    I have such great memories of Luang Prabang in general, and specifically the night market. I’d been traveling for a year when I went and had completely failed to buy any gifts for my family. I found a craft vendor with some gorgeous, totally unique things at reasonable-ish prices and picked up a hanging ornament for my mom — she still considers it one of the best travel gifts she’s ever gotten.

  • These photos are absolutely amazing! I love how you captured the provincial vibe of the place! x

  • Natalie Schneider

    Night markets are so amazing and this one looks even better than the ones I have been to! When we were in Malaysia, we loved trying all the food. We always were super full afterwards 😀

  • Ticket to Adventures

    I absolutely love visiting local markets in in exotic countries, you get to sample so many local delicacies. I have never been to Luang Prabang and after reading your post I really have to add this place on my bucket list.

  • Kiara Gallop

    I loved Luang Prabang’s night market! I visited Laos for a month back in 2006, so back when prices were so much cheaper than anywhere else in Southeast Asia. I could eat like a king for a few pence and clothe myself for not much more. I brought loads of unique handcrafted gifts back for family and friends, too 🙂

  • Laura Sellwood

    Ah i miss haggling at a good market and trawling through all the trinkets. Such great tips for people visiting!

  • You can smell the delicious food and captivating scents just by reading this post.

  • SUCH a great guide to Laos! I”m thinking of going there soon so this is super helpful! I especially love the sign about how the bomb bracelets were made!

  • Rianne

    I love markets, putting this on my list! And your pictures are great! Makes me feel hungry haha 🙂

  • Lana P.

    Very interesting report! I generally like authentic markets 🙂
    The part about responsible travel is my favorite. It’s so important to avoid buying things that come from unethical sources or activities.
    p.s. the food looks great!

  • I love markets and food so I’ll definitely be adding this to my travel list!

  • Wander With Crumps

    OMG how good is the food at the Luang Prabang night market! This brought back so many memories. I can’t wait to go back to Laos one day.

  • Lucy Williams

    The market looks so fun! Love all the different types of food and the selection of fruit. I have not been to Laos, I think I need to go in the future!

  • Becky

    I think that’s the best night mark I’ve ever seen! I haven’t been to Laos yet, and this is on my list.

  • Liz

    This is a great article, really comprehensive and I love your pictures. The bomb bracelets are a really touching souvenir.

  • Jewels Rhode

    This is such a useful guide! There’s so much great food to eat there!!! Loved your pictures <3

  • A night market? I don’t think I’ve ever heard of that before! The food they sell looks delicious *-*
    Very helpful guide and great pictures!

  • Wow, this night market looks amazing! This would be a must-see for me if I ever visit. I just love exploring markets when I travel! Your photos are beautiful.

  • June Jewels

    Ugh I so want to go there right now! Somebody book me a plane haha No, but for real, this was such a helpful guide, I will definitely come back to it when planning my trip (:

  • Nuraini Arsad (Teja)

    Hang on, it’s easy to be vegetarian as a foreigner in Laos, even in the market? OK, I’m promoting this destination up the bucket list! 😀

  • I’ll be going there for 4 days in January and now I know where to spend all my 3 nights there. The desserts and pastries look simply amazing!

  • Your photography is stunning. It’s obvious you have a real gift.

  • Some fantastic photography here! Makes me really want to go to that market! 🙂