Why should you visit a Laos night market?

There is a saying I've heard from fellow travelers: If you wish to grasp the essence of a country, pay a visit to its primary markets.

  • Local Culture: This is the most apparent aspect these markets offer to tourists. You'll always find fascinating and authentic local traits when you explore these markets.

  • A night-out choice: I consider this to be a quite safe and enjoyable travel option to visit and observe in Laos at night to beat staying in a hotel room.

  • Buy souvenirs: Items in the market usually come at good prices and quality. For avid shoppers and bargain hunters, Laos night markets are a paradise for finding great deals.

  • Local cuisine: It is not just inside the market; the area around it is dotted with many restaurants and eateries. I highly value Laos cuisine for its richness and flavors.

  • Local Watch: Observing people socializing in a lively local setting is not only interesting but often holds small, delightful surprises waiting to be discovered.

Night Markets in Laos

Laos Night Markets

Laos night market to visit during your trip

Vientiane Night Market

  • Location: Chao Anuvong Park, Mekong Riverside, Vientiane

  • Opening: 5:30 PM - 11 PM

The unique feature of the Vientiane night market is its location along the Mekong River, with Thailand just across the shore. It's a bustling Laos night market for locals and tourists. The local people here are incredibly friendly and always ready to assist you.

The market and stalls are well-organized and spread over a large area. Here, you can find a wide array of local lifestyle products, including souvenirs, clothing, traditional Lao dresses, textiles, handicrafts, accessories, sculptures, paintings, etc. Additionally, there are numerous food stalls alongside the shopping area.

I find that most people rate the Vientiane market as reasonably priced, comparable to domestic market rates: T-shirts, small souvenirs such as keychains and magnets, dishes, and drinks here typically cost only between 5,000 and 20,000 Kip ($0.60 to $2.40).

Laos Night Markets

Vientiane Night Market

Tips for visiting the Vientiane night market:

  • You might opt for some nearby restaurants with terraces or balconies for dining while taking in the market view and the evening sky.

  • You can haggle if you find the prices high.

  • I noticed that the items in many stalls are quite similar; there is a variety of products, but overall, they are not excessively diverse.

  • Two things I highly recommend when visiting this market are: taking a stroll (especially when it is hot; the riverside setting provides a refreshing atmosphere), and trying street food while sipping local drinks. Some food stalls provide plastic stools for you to sit and enjoy your meal.

Luang Prabang Night Market

  • Location: Chaofa Ngum, Luang Prabang

  • Opening: 5 PM - 10 PM

The Laos night market also operates as a walking market where a diverse array of local goods is exhibited. Compared to the Vientiane night market, I consider the Luang Prabang night market to be even more extraordinary in terms of the variety of goods, culinary delights, cultural diversity, and ambiance.

Surprisingly, despite being a bustling market, it offers a serene and relaxing atmosphere as you stroll around. This night market seamlessly blends and complements the charm of Luang Prabang - a place adorned with temples and the Royal Palace.

In Luang Prabang, the night market also maintains fair prices. The rates are consistent across all stalls. The products here are varied and kept clean. There is a dedicated seating area in the central part for visitors to relax. Sometimes, there are local performers who showcase live music on the stage.

In terms of merchandise, the items here are diverse, vibrant in color, and feature more Laotian-themed products compared to other night markets. You can practically find any souvenirs here, so there is no need to worry about shopping later if you plan to visit this place. 

Laos Night Markets

Luang Prabang night market

Tips when you visit Luang Prabang night market:

  • When you visit the Luang Prabang night market, especially during the weekends, expect it to be bustling with tourists, yet not overwhelmingly noisy.

  • Don't miss out on the delectable offerings, including grilled meats and seafood, Khao Soi noodles, sausages, as well as a variety of fruits and shakes. Additionally, you can also find Vietnamese, Japanese, and Korean cuisine here.

For further insights, explore Laos travel guide!

Have you found the Laos night markets I introduced appealing? I highly recommend not missing out on the Luang Prabang market experience. The Vientiane night market is also a decent choice for an evening stroll, allowing you to immerse yourself in the capital's lifestyle. In terms of prices, there isn't much difference between the two; it is just that Luang Prabang offers a more diverse range of products.

I hope the details I have provided will be beneficial for your research. Take a moment to browse through my other travel writings and excursion packages crafted specifically for your Indochina journey.