No Haggling, No Hassling: Luang Prabang Night Market

Food stand in Luang Prabang Night Market

We’ve been to markets all over the world–they’re a great way to kill time, people watch, and maybe get something to eat. However, they’re usually full of mass-produced crap from China, and often if you even look at the merchandise the sellers will start in with their overly-loud pitch–“Buy nice shirt! Only $5!” When you say no thank you and start to walk away, they usually keep yelling prices. “Okay, for you $3! Okay, $2!” It is exhausting, and I hate it. I hate bartering, and I hate being hassled. Matt does a whole lot better than me–but I often worry he gets too into it, and then I accuse him of being a cheapskate. Overall, that hustle and hassle environment is not good for us!

Luang Prabang Night Market 1

Thankfully, in Laos people don’t like to talk about money (they think it’s rude), and so therefore bartering is not common. You still see it a bit, but it’s nothing like other places in Asia. In the Luang Prabang Night Market, you can freely roam amongst the tents, look as long as you like, and no one will bother you. The sellers will say hello and smile, and then they let you shop in peace. After coming from Vietnam, this was pure bliss for me. We never worried about getting ripped off, because the prices were often set. We never had to feel guilty as we walked away from a stall, trying to ignore a seller calling out to us or trying to shove merchandise into our hands. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that the night market in Luang Prabang is fantastic! There are (of course) still many mass-produced items, but compared to other markets in Asia, we felt that there were also a lot more handmade items in this market. We did a lot of Christmas shopping in Laos!

Luang Prabang Night Market 2

Luang Prabang Night Market 3

Luang Prabang Night Market 4

Luang Prabang Night Market 5

Luang Prabang Night Market 6

The Luang Prabang Night Market is open from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. every night, and it’s located on Sisavangvong Road near the Luang Prabang National Museum.

Have you had any experience with bartering? Do you love it or hate it?

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7 Responses to “No Haggling, No Hassling: Luang Prabang Night Market”

  1. Justin Currie February 28, 2013 at 9:06 am #

    I LIVE FOR THE HUSTLE OF MARKETS!!!!!

  2. Emily February 28, 2013 at 8:45 am #

    I can’t stand bartering either! Im with you on this one, Andrea! These pictures are just breath taking! Xx Miss you!

    • Andrea February 28, 2013 at 10:21 am #

      I just hate to feel like I’m arguing with someone! Matt does all the bartering in this family :) Thanks for the compliment, miss you too!

  3. Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) February 28, 2013 at 5:49 pm #

    I really don’t enjoy haggling either, and it is always super stressful when we first arrive in a country as we try to navigate the rules and figure out where & when it is appropriate to haggle. We’re in Thailand where we know haggling is the name of the game and head to Vietnam is a few weeks, so I guess we will have to have our game faces on! Not sure what it’s like in Cambodia, but I guess it will be a treat when we reach Laos!
    Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) recently posted…Everything You Ever Wanted to Know (& More!) About: CHINAMy Profile

    • Andrea February 28, 2013 at 7:08 pm #

      Yah, Cambodia and Vietnam were both pretty bad as far as haggling–in Cambodia it was mostly the tuk tuk drivers, but in Vietnam it seems to be about everything! It felt relentless. In Laos we still bartered a bit for transportation-related things, but we didn’t have to deal with it for any shopping. Although now that I’m back in the States and having reverse culture shock about prices, I wouldn’t mind a little bartering… :)

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