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Ban Xang Khong (Paper/Weaving Village)

Located a 10-minute drive from central Luang Prabang, this place is not so much a “village” as a stretch of dirt road lined with Laotian homes whose owners specialize in weaving and paper-making. In the best places, women work vats of water patting down paper (made primarily from tree bark) and setting the finished pieces out to dry. Or, in the weaving shops, you will see women of various ages bent over their looms, crafting colorful silks into the scarves, throws and pashminas (the small silk worm farm can be toured in the back). It’s a great little spot for gift-shopping: I particularly loved the paper embellished with small flowers, leaves and grasses. While you can ask your hotel to arrange for a car to take you to Ban Xang Khong, it’s better to go with a guide who can take you to the best places and explain the process of how these products are made.

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Caruso Lao Home Craft

Montreal-born Sandra Yuck is one of Laos’ most acclaimed designers and her shop Caruso Lao, which has branches in Vientiene and Luang Prabang is a trove for homewares. Don’t expect bargain prices: the products are handmade by some of the country’s best carvers, silversmiths and weavers. The silks and embroidered wall hangings are clearly a large step above the rest on offer in Luang Prabang and the decorative objets in rare woods are gorgeous.

Editors' Picks
Interior View - Kopnoï, Luang Prabang, Laos


Writes Indagare member Pamela Murdock:

“There are two of these boutiques in town selling a wide range of products including ethnic clothes and jewelry but what I loved was the bag of 12 bamboo drinking straws for $15.”


Naga Creations

This tiny shop should be on everyone’s list. French-born jeweler designer Fabrice Munio creates fantastic contemporary pieces, ranging from understated strands of pearls beads to dramatically oversized silver necklaces. Many of the pieces are dotted with semiprecious stones.

Editors' Picks

Night Market

I had been warned about hawkers and pick-pockets and wares made in China and so I went to the Luang Prabang Night Market with much trepidation. Actually it’s not nearly as sinister as it’s made out to be. Are all the wares handmade? Surely not. Is it touristy and crowded? Definitely. But watching the myriad stalls pop up all along Sisavangvun Road (running from the Post Office to beyond the Royal Palace) around 5 p.m. every evening is a real sight. And shopping for such inexpensive mementos as Hmong blankets, throws, silk scarves, jewelry, lanterns and bamboo lamps, is fun. Best of all, unlike at some other night markets (I’m thinking of the one in Bangkok and in Hong Kong’s Kowloon), you don’t get haggled here. The majority of the women sellers, most of whom come from the hill tribes, sit back and let you peruse the wares.

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Ock Pop Tok

This fair-trade initiative, founded by a local weaver and a British photographer, works with different tribes across Laos. The result of this inspired collaboration is an incredible range of weaving styles and techniques, as seen in scarves, wall hangings, table top accessories and rugs. It’s a great place to shop for presents that give back to the local communities. There are two shops as well as a Living Arts Centre where interested travelers can take weaving, dying and batik classes (half-day classes are also available).

Editors' Picks

Orange Tree

This riverside boutique sells a variety of Lao and Asian collectibles including wood carvings, silk scarves and bags, home accents and woven baskets.

Thithpeng Silversmith

While there are lots of stores selling silver items, we were told many of them aren’t 100% pure. Amantaka recommended Thith Peng. The owner speaks no English so we were glad to have a guide with us. He doesn’t have a large inventory but there were some pretty bowls, serving pieces and evening bags. Cash only.

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Indagare employees walking up stiars

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