Monday, June 4, 2012

shopping without buying

We spent four nights in Luang Prabang, and every night we ended up at the Night Market. It was impossible to avoid it because it occupies practically half of the main strip, Sisavangyong Road. And Luang Prabang is so tiny that everyone, and I do mean everyone, congregates at the Night Market after sunset.

The vendors lay their wares out on the ground, either on a piece of tarp or a raised platform made of plywood, and then they settle down for the next four to five hours for some multicultural haggling.

The market is filled with innumerable handmade knickknacks. Some of the items are truly an impulse buyer's kryptonite-- hard to resist.

I kind of regret not buying a print of the Tree of Life, but then where would I put it?

I also feel a little twinge whenever I think of the beautiful silk dresses and scarves, but then where would I wear them?

Yez, I'm a corny shopper like that.

There's some cutesy stuff for children.

For grown-ups, there are a few collectibles which I feel are worth purchasing and lugging around, if you already know where to put them in your home.

But mostly, the goods are just pretty dust catchers.

So I didn't buy anything.

Note: Remember I mentioned that blogger who whinged that Luang Prabang is not "authentic Laos"? She had something to say about the Night Market, too: The night market had a lot of beautiful things for sale, most of them priced much higher than they would be elsewhere in Southeast Asia. For the record, you wouldn’t see any of these things worn by any Lao.

You prefer that the locals start selling fake Louis Vuittons instead?


  1. Nice photos, great closing line!

  2. everything is so colorful! the cloth books look interesting, i wonder if the stories are any good... :)

  3. they're actually picture books. each page has an embroidered illustration e.g. house, family, elephant (!) but no story.