Vientiane Shopping

Where to Shop and What to Buy in Vientiane

Laos is an excellent destination for those interested in picking up elaborate handicrafts and Vientiane is the best place to do so. Hill tribe silk, arts, crafts, home-furnishings, jewelry and couture-quality textiles are all readily available within the city.

There are quite a few markets taking place around Vientiane where fresh produce, as well as crafts and ornaments, can be picked up. The city’s main shopping streets are Samsenthai and Setthathirat, around the Nam Phu Fountain area and the Morning Market, where you can find the best deals on local silks.

Visitors should note that any antique items that have been purchased in another country must be declared at customs upon arrival in Laos.  


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Monument Book Shop

Monument Books is the biggest and best-stocked book shop in Vientiane. There are a host of new and second-hand book stores on the streets leading away from the river in the centre of town. Read More...

 
Ministry of Silk

Ministry of Silk is the best clothes shop in Vientiane to find something unique with a touch of sophistication. The products on offer are a mix of locally produced silk-and-lace items. Read More...

Vangthong Evening Market

Vangthong Food Market is the place to come from sunset onwards to sample the best of everyday Laotian food that is authentic, delicious and amazing value.  Read More...

 
Talat Sao Morning Market

Talat Sao is the market to visit if you are looking for something in particular. Split into two distinct sections, most types of items can be found here. Read More...


 

More Shopping in Vientiane

The Riverside Night Market

The Riverside Market is aimed primarily towards tourists, with clean, orderly stalls, and all manner of merchandise that make great souvenirs or mementos. Read More...

Books

The majority of books that are found in Vientiane are second-hand French and English novels, maps, travel guides and the occasional Japanese comic book. Here are the names of a few bookstores around Vientiane: Lao Plaza Hotel Book Shop, Kosila Bookshop 1 & 2, Bookshop Sapasin Tha.

Carol Cassidy

The Carol Cassidy store is a workshop and gallery specialising in traditional Lao textile weaving with a strong emphasis on patterns and motifs. Using age-old techniques, this American designer works alongside local artisans to produce beautiful pieces of woven art. Items have been displayed in museums across the USA including at The New York Fashion Institute. Her wall hangings are renowned, but with a price tag to match her notoriety.

Opening Hours: Monday - Friday: 08:00 –12:00, 14:00 –17:00, Saturday: 08:00 -12:00
Location: Ban Mixay

Elegant Boutique

Elegant Boutique

Great quality silk and cotton tailoring from suits and shirts to skirts and dresses, bespoke pieces are fashioned by a young Laotian designer at The Elegant Boutique. Items include clothing made to Western tastes to fit all sizes and intricate hill tribe jewellery made from silver. Garments are made using local silk and cotton with the option to order more online once you’ve been measured in store.

Opening Hours: Daily from 09:30 – 20:00
Location: on Pangkham Street, near the fountain, Lao Plaza Hotel and Lao Development Bank
Tel: +856 (0)21 215 437

Finer Things

Finer Things is a fantastic place to purchase genuine local handicrafts made by a variety of Laos’s ethnic groups. Products to look out for include woven silk and cotton goods as well as superb local organic coffee. Many of the woven products are made on the premises which offer a glimpse into the weaving process whilst you sample the coffee which arrives fresh daily from the mountains in the south.

Opening Hours: 09:00-18:30
Location: 34/03 Francois Ngin Street, Mixay

Lao Fine Art Handicrafts Jewellery

Lao Fine Art Handicrafts Jewellery

Unique and elegant jewellery made from wood, coconut and silver are crafted into one-off pieces at Lao Fine Art Handicrafts Jewellery. Contemporary and traditional jewellery items offer a chance to buy something that is unlike anything you will find elsewhere in Asia. 92.5% silver is used along with natural materials such as coconut wood to make distinctive items of jewellery.

Opening Hours: 09:30-17:30
Location: 550/01 Thatluang Tai Village, Xaysettha District, Vientiane (the shop is not far from the fountain and right next to the Mandarina Antiques Shop and a travel agency.)
Tel: +856 20 5542 6993

Night Market

As the sun sets, head along the Mekong River bank to the night market for bargains including silk scarves, bags and T-shirts. Start your bargaining price at 50% lower than the asking rate and be prepared to barter hard as you’ll be quoted a very high price to start. Take your time and make sure you really want the goods before entering into a negotiation.

Opening Hours: 17:00-22:00
Location: Fa Ngum Road

Oot Ni Gallery

Displaying an assortment of antiques from across Southeast Asia, silver ornaments, handicrafts and paintings, Oot Ni Gallery is well worth a look at for a distinctive piece of art to take home. Paintings include watercolours and oils, and antique goods such as ancient artefacts are also available along with stone sculptures and one-off eclectic handcrafted items.

Opening Hours: Daily from 08:00 – 20:00
Location: 306 Samsenthai Street, Vientiane, not far from the National Cultural Hall
Tel: +856 (0)21 214 359

Phaeng Mai Gallery

Take a tuk-tuk for the short drive out of town to the weaving district of Muang Chanthabuli, there you’ll find the Phaeng Mai Gallery which is a great place to purchase Lao textiles. Silk fabrics are dyed before being hand woven on traditional looms with finished products once supplied direct to the royal family. Take your time to watch the craft masters in action before purchasing a few souvenirs.

Opening Hours: 08:30-18:30
Location: 117 Nongbouathong Tai Village, Sikhottabong District, Vientiane

Phimpone Market

The place to come for western goods, Phimpone Market stocks imported magazines, wine and personal hygiene goods. There are plenty of home comforts here from a range of western countries including a very good selection of beer from Belgium and some fine French wine.

Opening Hours: 07:30-21:00
Location: 94/6 Thanon Setthathirat

Saoban Village

Saoban Village Handcrafts

Some of the finest craftsmen in Laos sell their wares at Saoban Village which was started by community leader and award-winner Sombath Somphone as a place for villagers to sell their art under fair trade principles. Whatever you purchase here your proceeds will go directly back to the artist. Choices on offer include bamboo keepsakes, silver jewellery and plenty of textiles made from silk and cotton.

Opening Hours: 13:00-20:00, closed Sundays
Location: 97/1 Rue Chao Anou Road, Ban Watchan
Tel: + 856 (20) 7783 9152

Talat Khua Din

A farmer’s style market selling tobacco, flowers, fresh fruit and vegetable plus meat; it’s a good place to browse and watch the locals go about their daily business and also to catch a glimpse of local produce. Head east of the morning market and past the bus station to get to Talat Khua Din.

Opening Hours: 08:00-16:00
Location: Boulevard Khouvieng

T’Shop Lai Gallery

T’Shop Lai Gallery

T’Shop Lai Gallery is a delightful arts and crafts store selling a mixture of natural products including handmade soap, lotions and potions, plus spices, furniture and other locally crafted goods. The shop is a treasure trove of ethically made items all of which are fair trade and adhere to strict environmental controls. Good gifts to purchase include body lotion made from virgin coconut oil and wood carved trinket boxes.

Opening Hours: 08:00-18:00
Location: Vat Impeng Street

Related Pages

What to Buy in Laos What to Buy in Laos

Laos is an excellent destination for anyone interested in picking up elaborate handicrafts. Hill-tribe silk, arts, crafts, home-furnishings, jewelry and couture-quality textiles dominate the market. Although many of these products are available in Thailand, some of the items listed above are unique to Laos and its hill-tribes. In buying traditional crafts such as silks and carvings, tourists are invariably helping support a nascent and fragile economy. Read More...

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