The street was full of open red and blue tents when I got down from climbing Phu Si Hills. It would seem that come dusk, the whole stretch of Th Sisavangvong is closed from vehicle traffic and as it becomes a ground for a market. I stayed on the upper ground beside a foreigner painting the National Museum. I observed the locals preparing their wares as the darkness deepens and the Luang Prabang Night Market illuminates with a tranquil glow.
I finally went down to closely inspect the wares laid on the floor and some hanging on improvised walls. I could see the whole stretch of the road, a long line of stalls from each end and middle of the road. It was just amazing to be in the midst of all these amusing explosion of sights and sounds.
Local traders here sell a whole variety of merchandise. I could see puppets, silks, lamps of different shades and sizes, clothes, exquisite ceramics, antiques, paintings and even rare spices, coffee and tea. There were a lot more I couldn’t identify but a lot of them are very interesting. Best of all, cheap. I could buy a lot but I was so conscious of my budget so I have to restrain myself from buying anything.
Just wandering around, inspecting the wares and chatting with the vendors was enough for me. What I liked about the people here is that they won’t force you to sell anything. If you ask about their merchandise they are very cheerful to accommodate your query. I could also see other tourist enjoying their time shopping, going from one stall to another. Despite the narrow passages, there was the universal understanding on which way to go.
I was just amazed first time seeing the Luang Prabang Night Market. It was exciting and a feast on the senses. I swear if I had more money at that time and more space in my bag, I would have brought home a lot of items. Which isn’t really bad since buying there would be helping the locals earn their living. Each item bought here goes directly to the sellers themselves. The Luang Prabang Night Market is definitely a must cultural experience.
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.