Shopping Talat Sao Mall, Lane Xang Avenue, Vientiane Published on: 13-11-2015
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Why Morning Market (Talat Sao) is special ?
Talat Sao combines two very different shopping experiences in a central location where old and new Vientiane come together in an interesting mix, and, if you are travelling deeper into Laos, it is your absolute best chance to pick up any specific items and indulge in a bit of retail therap
The Morning Market (also called Talat Sao) starts early, but keeps going well into the day as vendors cram into the downtown venue to sell everything from Chinese medicinal herbs to pirated DVDs and silver jewellery in addition to everyday sundries. This is the Laotian version of a shopping mall, offering the only experience of its kind in the country.
What to explore at Morning Market (Talat Sao)?
Talat Sao is split into two distinct sections: The air-conditioned shopping mall (the only one in Laos) is the best place to find electronics, sports equipment and jewellery, while the cavernous original Morning Market is fairly overflowing with mass-produced silks, cheap T-shirts, trinkets and other souvenir type items. Talat Sao is the market to visit if you are looking for something in particular – although bear in mind that the catwalks of Paris and Milan are a long way from Vientiane.
There are also sections selling everything from buckets to second-hand washing machines which are of little interest to tourists. Still, the open air market is a thoroughly interesting place to explore and the best place to shop for those on a budget. All of the products on display at the touristy Riverside Night Market will have come directly from here, so it’s the place to come if you are hunting for the absolute best price and know how to haggle.
- “Ordinary local market”
- “Great place to buy Gold.”
- “Laotian Market”
Talat Sao Mall, Lane Xang Avenue, Vientiane
Tips for you
The entry level has cafes, shoes, clothing, cosmetics and some very cool souvenirs check out the stone monkey hands with naga heads on them. The upper level has gold and jewelry, which is at good prices, the basement has a wide range of knock off designer bags wallets and luggage. There is also an 'outside' fresh market with all sorts of things.Things to do
The morning market is a terrific place to buy silk, with really tough competition among stall holders. The owner of Lao Antique Textile Gallery, First floor, unit 1/30, speaks and writes really good English and is a very helpful guide to Vientiane. Vilayvone even sent a member of staff to guide me to other shops and helped me post a box back to Australia. On the second floor, Pontip has some very interesting jewellery. I left $200 cash here, as a deposit and it was still in the envelope when I returned a week later. At the other end of the second floor, in the corner, are some great shops for Hmong (hill tribe) bags. I'm going back, but next time taking my wife and children. There is great coffee and French pastries on Level 1, but the owners are a bit icy.