Laos is famous for its tradition of handicrafts. Silver, textiles, basketry, natural paper, and woodcarving are some of the most reputable handicrafts in this sleepy country. Among these souvenirs from Laos, textiles stand out as the most ancient and traditional job. It is worth noting that weaving is an art form that requires ingenuity and patience. Skills for the art have been only passed from generation to generation. Whether these are intricate fabrics in homespun silk and cotton or even Ikat weaving patterns (“Ikat” is Malay for the tie, and in Laos, it is also called Matmee which translates to “tie the row”) based on the natural and folklore themes, you are always amazed by their distinct local products.
Don’t miss a chance to explore the country’s astounding diversity and connect with the Laos culture by visiting some best places for handicrafts in Laos below.
#1: CAMA Crafts, Vientiane
Cama Crafts is renowned as a non-profit organization where a number of handicrafts in Laos are beautifully made by the local Laos and Hmong women. In fact, such products are usually handmade by making use of the antique patterns and techniques, which thus help to retain the needlework skills of these artisans. The organization does help the villagers to raise their income as well as funding the local children’s education. Coming here, your eyes will be raised by a wide range of the impressive handcraft products, ranging from kitchen and bedroom items to bags and purses. Especially, Christmas products are also found there, along with various items for the ceremonial purposes. The actual visit to Cama Crafts appeals to anybody that wants to do shopping in Laos via the impressive purchases of the distinct handmade souvenirs.
#2: Caruso Lao, Luang Prabang
Located on Sakkarine Road, Caruso Lao is a small store where the handcraft-home and fashion accessories are on display. It is interesting to know that almost steps to complete a product here are handmade. Such items and products have their own charm and aura that do become the best gifts and souvenirs for you to bring back home. Each piece exhibited in Caruso Lao features unique designs and reflects distinctive aspects of the Laos Culture, which are crafted to perfection by a team of the master carvers. Inside, silk and wood are the main ingredients for such handmade products. Roaming around allows you to see many eye-catching items, like Buddha heads, wooden bowls, natural silk scarves, cushions, bed covers, and so on. It is no doubt that each tourist who is going on the Laos travel package tour to Luang Prabang will love the short stay at Caruso Laos – the authentic miniature of Laos’s handicraft world.
#3: Ma Té Sai, Luang Prabang
The best part of Ma Té Sai is that it plays a vital role in preserving and promoting the handicraft tradition as well as providing income to the poor artisans. Through directly buying the handmade items and products from small villages, village cooperatives, and even different organizations, you make the great contribution to the local craftspeople. To be sure, all of these handicrafts are carefully chosen to make sure that the best is presented and can attract the customers. Therefore, every piece you see in Ma Té Sai is not only beautiful and stunning, but it also shows talent, cleverness, and patience of those who put their whole heart into making it. What steals your heart after stepping inside the store are the creative souvenirs made from fabric, recycled paper, bamboo, and other natural materials. There must be some moments that you wonder how the craftspeople can create such the fantastic items. If you do have questions about the materials, the duration to complete, the best-selling products, etc., feel free to ask and the available staff is there to give answers. The shopping experience in Ma Té Sai is nothing but joy, delight, and ease.
#4: Ock Pop Tok, Luang Prabang
Ock Pop Tok is another handicraft shop in Lao that mainly revolves around hand-woven home textiles, fine silk, cotton scarves, and cushion covers. Of course, these items are thoroughly selected and collected from many different ethnic groups. Along with that, several textile workshops are also run inside the store. These are perfect for you to check in and see how handmade products are being made actually. Moreover, the shop also holds many courses on natural dyes, silk weaving, bamboo weaving, and batik drawing for those who are fond of working with the Laos artisans and finding more about secrets of Laos’s textiles.
#5: Handicraft Night Market, Luang Prabang
The handicraft night market Laos in Luang Prabang is one of the best shopping places to feel the local nightlife. This is the top tourist-oriented market that invites the travelers. Low-lit, easy, and friendly, the venue owns a huge collection of silk scarves, wall hangings, Hmong blanket, clothing, bags, bamboo lamps, antiques, textiles, and so forth. There stand out various handicrafts for your choices, and the items are sold at the very competitive prices. The lively, shinning, and friendly market zone is likely to occur from 17:00 to 23:00, which beautify and exhilarate your nightlife in Laos. The ethnic handicrafts ensure you to gather an impressive collection that makes others admire and wish to own some of those unique objects.
Every night, Luang Prabang Night Market welcomes the foreign guests to pick up the extensive sets of the country’s handmade masterpieces. Just go along the Sisavangvong Road from the Royal Palace Museum, and then you can notice the night venue filled with various booths. As the area is closed to vehicle traffic, just enjoy your walking and shopping in Laos at night there. Over 300 handicraft vendors will introduce the best items they have to you. You can try bargaining but do not expect the huge discounts.
So, do you want to purchase baskets, fine silk or find out how Lao textiles are made? Of course, it is a matter of preference. Enjoy your trip to the friendly country and bring back home a range of Laos handicrafts as souvenirs from Laos.
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