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A guide to the souvenirs of Vientiane
Welcoming Visit Laos Year 2018, Vientiane Times is publishing a series of feature articles and photographs inviting you to experience the authentic nature, culture, history and hospitality of South-East Asia’s Simply Beautiful Laos.

If you are visiting Vientiane for the first time, you may be wondering where to buy souvenirs to take home as gifts for your friends and family.
We all are faced with a similar question when we travel abroad, as there is an obvious urge to get our hands on the best local products such as sweets, textiles or wood carvings.
There are many kinds of souvenirs available in Vientiane and most are handmade products from provinces across the country.

Some of the hundreds of handmade gifts and souvenirs sold in Vientiane and other parts of Laos. Visitors can find them at Talat Sao and night markets.

Most of the handicrafts and other items are reasonably priced and of good quality. There are so many products that one can find something to fit every budget.
Popular items, such as handicrafts, textiles, sinh (the traditional skirt), rice boxes, jewellery and tablecloths, can be found in places such as the night market alongside the Mekong.
Coffee and herbal teas are also highly sought after and can be purchased at the market or consumed at the many quaint and quirky cafes around Vientiane.
The must-try beverage in the country is Beerlao - foreign tourists usually down a bottle or two after partaking in various adventures in Laos.
For all your souvenir needs, markets such as Talat Sao, Khuadin, the night market, ITECC Mall and San Jiang (Chinese market) have got you covered.
Talat Sao and Khuadin markets, which are conveniently located opposite each other on and near Lane Xang Avenue, are overflowing with textiles, jewellery and garments. Khuadin Market is also near the main bus station, and both markets are open from 8am to 5pm daily.
If you would like to purchase Chinese goods and Lao clothing, San Jiang Market is the perfect stop. It is located in Nakham village on Asean Road (T2). Taxis, tuk-tuks and buses are all available at the market.
Asean Road is on the way to Wattay International Airport, with the market being just five minutes away.
If you plan on staying in Vientiane for an extended period of time, you will be able to explore these markets at a leisurely pace. Though these markets are not big, there is much to buy and a day is needed to get the full experience.
The night market is popular with tourists who have had an adventurous day and would like to browse the stalls to unwind.
It is located at Chao Anouvong Park alongside the Mekong River. It opens at 4pm and its spectacular setting is an attraction for foreign and local visitors alike. This popular spot is open until 10pm daily.
The myriad stalls sell local handicrafts and foreign goods, which are set up each day by individual vendors. 
You can walk to the night market if you are staying at the Crowne Plaza, Mercure, Lao Plaza or Don Chan hotels or guesthouses around this area.
If you are interested in buying handicrafts such as rice baskets, rattan trays, lamps and household utensils, you can shop for them on Khouvieng Road on the way to the Vientiane Centre shopping mall.  

By Phon Thikeo
(Latest Update October 30, 2017)

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