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Beauty salon promotes Luang Prabang traditional dress

He carefully uses a brown pen to draw a neat curve on the eyelid of a woman as she sits in front of a large mirror to be made up for a photo shoot at the Beauty Salon Luangphathsalaphan shop.
Under the roof of a traditional wooden house located on the northern side of the That Luang stupa, the owner of the shop, Mr Noukhao Soyvongsa, has almost no free time as there are more than 20 customers standing in line each day.

Mr Noukhao Soyvongsa (centre) makes up a woman’s face and rolls up her hair.

Mr Noukhao also has his own beauty salon in Thatluang village, Luang Prabang district, Luang Prabang province, where he has been promoting the original Luang Prabang style of dress. 
Wanting to make the Luang Prabang traditional costume more widely known, the That Luang festival organising committee invited him to the festival to provide his services from October 26-November 4.
He accepted the invitation and is renting out the wooden house for one million kip a day.
“This is the first time I’ve shown traditional Luang Prabang costumes and traditional make up, which are in the royal style, outside the province,” he said. “I am very surprised that this activity is proving so popular.”
After finishing the woman’s make-up, Mr Noukhao advises her to choose an outfit from the rack of colourful traditional dresses hanging on the wall. Finally, he rolls up the woman’s hair in the Luang Prabang style, a neat coif that is also favoured by women throughout the country.
He charges 150,000 kip per person and customers can spend as much time as they like taking photos. This price is very cheap compared to the 2.5 million kip he typically charges at his shop in Luang Prabang.
He says most beauty salons charge about 2.5 million kip, especially to make up and dress a bride and bridegroom ahead of their wedding.
When Vientiane Times interviewed him on October 30, he had already dressed two couples who planned to get married this year.
They went to Mr Noukhao because his charges are much lower than being made-up and dressed at an ordinary beauty salon, where they will be charged at least 2.5 million kip.
“I have kept the price low because we came to That Luang to promote our culture rather than our business and I want to contribute to Visit Laos Year 2018,” Mr Noukhao said.
He employs about six people to attend to customers, dividing up their daily duties and responsibilities.
Everyone who visits the shop will receive a friendly reception and is welcome to ask questions about the business. He also has old bowls, tables and beds for sale.
One customer, Ms Vee, said she was delighted to have the opportunity to dress in the traditional Luang Prabang style.
“The price is cheap and I am able to have the experience of wearing traditional costume that goes back to ancient times,” she said.
Those who miss the opportunity to see Mr Noukhao at the festival are advised to visit him in Luang Prabang. But remember that on home ground he charges more than at the festival.
“If I am invited to the festival next year, I will say yes immediately. This is because I realise that this event not only promotes the traditional Luang Prabang dress style, but brings in extra income for me and my team,” he said.

ByXayxana Leukai
(Latest Update November 3, 2017)


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