What to buy in Luang Prabang, Laos

What to buy in Luang Prabang, Laos

A primer

More on Luang Prabang

From designers putting a chic new spin on traditional motifs to elephant slippers that have reached cult status, here's a rundown of souvenirs you should consider buying if you're shopping in Luang Prabang.

Travelfish says:
Elephant slippers: Who could resist? Photo by: Cindy Fan.
Elephant slippers: Who could resist? Photo: Cindy Fan

The absolute must buy here are handmade elephant slippers. Soft and cushy, wearing them at home will instantly make you nostalgic for Laos. And do yourself a favour: buy extra pairs. We’ve met many past visitors who lament that they should have bought more. Slippers start at 25,000 kip and price goes up with size. And of course, it's "Discount for you!" if you buy more.

The Luang Prabang Night Market is on the main street (Sisavangvong Road) every night, from 16:30 till 21:30.

Laos is the most heavily bombed country, per capita, in the world. From 1964 to 1973, more than 270 million submunitions from cluster bombs were dropped over the country. An estimated 30% of the “bombies” did not explode, leaving the country with a devastating UXO problem that kills and maims people every year. With support and training from NGOs, villages are collecting bombs and using the scrap metal to make jewellery, key chains, spoons and rings. You can buy a “bomb bracelet” for 20,000 kip at Ma Te Sai, a shop located in Ban Aphai that supports villages and handicraft in Laos. Here you can also find stunning naturally dyed, hand woven ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 800 words.)

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Reviewed by

Cindy Fan is a Canadian writer/photographer and author of So Many Miles, a website that chronicles the love of adventure, food and culture. After falling in love with sticky rice and Mekong sunsets, in 2011 she uprooted her life in Toronto to live la vida Laos. She’s travelled to over 40 countries and harbours a deep affection for Africa and Southeast Asia. In between jaunts around the world, she calls Laos and Vietnam home where you’ll find her traipsing through rice paddies, standing beside broken-down buses and in villages laughing with the locals.

Tours in Laos



Our top 10 other sights and activities in and around Luang Prabang

Wat Xieng Thong
Wat Xieng Thong

Luang Prabang's most magnificent temple

One day in Luang Prabang
One day in Luang Prabang

A sample itinerary for a first–time visit

Boat rides
Boat rides

How about a sunset cruise on the Mekong River?

Tak bat
Tak bat

Morning alms giving procession

Pak Ou Caves
Pak Ou Caves

One of Luang Prabang’s most popular excursions

The temples of Luang Prabang
The temples of Luang Prabang

The stupa-fying main attractions

Tad Sae Waterfall
Tad Sae Waterfall

Great if it has been raining

Ban Chan pottery village
Ban Chan pottery village

Old fashioned pottery

Giving back
Giving back

Cause we've all got a lot to give