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10 Things to Buy at Talad Phosy!

10 Things to Buy at Talad Phosy!

Ock Pop Tok's Living Crafts Centre is located opposite Talad Phosy, one of the biggest markets in Luang Prabang. However, navigating this maze of good deals can be a tad overwhelming... Don't you worry, we've got your back! Follow our Retail Manager, Moonoy, while she shops her 10 favorite things in Talad Phosy!

We don’t have to introduce her anymore; by now you know our Retail Manager, Moonoy, very well! If you’ve visited one of our shops in Luang Prabang, you’ve most definitely met her and if you follow us online, you’ve seen her featured in many of our videos.

Today, Moonoy takes us to Talad Phosy, one of the biggest markets in Luang Prabang which happens to be right opposite our Living Crafts Centre in Ban Saylom. So why not kill two birds with one stone and stop by Talad Phosy when you come to our Living Crafts Centre (or vice versa).

Did we mention that “talad” means market in Lao? You will see many (many) things in Talad Phosy and it might get a bit overwhelming to navigate this maze… But don’t you worry, we’ve got your back. Moonoy will introduce you to her 10 favorite things to buy in the market and nearby. And the good news is that most of it can travel back with you.

1. Mieng Kham

10 Things to Buy at Talad Phosy!

Okay, this one, you can’t bring it back with you but it’s the perfect bite to snack on before starting your shopping. Head over to the fruit and vegetable section of the market, towards the Mieng Kham vendor. They take bethel leaves or lettuce and fill it with either an eggplant or rice cracker paste. Then they add rice noodles, herbs and, peanuts, fold it and it’s ready to eat. You can either eat it as a snack or as a meal!

2. Mushrooms & Bamboo Chips

If you want to buy local snacks, Nang Manichanh Shop in Talad Phosy is the place to go! We’re using the word “chips” loosely here. It’s fried mushrooms and bamboo that end up crispy like potato chips. Don’t be surprised by the black color of the mushroom. They are steamed and dried before being deep fried. They get their black color when steamed.

3. Riverweed

10 Things to Buy at Talad Phosy!

The Nang Manichanh Shop in Talad Phosy has many more choices of snacks. Another one being riverweed, known as Kaipen. Kaipen is a Laotian snack made of fresh water green algae, garlic, vegetables, and sesame seeds.

Kaipen is produced in northern Laos and is especially popular in Luang Prabang. During the dry winter months (November to April), when the river level is at its lowest, the green algae called kai is gathered from the river bottom. It is washed and pounded thoroughly for maybe a couple of hours, generally in fresh water outside of the river and, then set into cubes.

A boiled, flavored liquid including water, green and black olives and, tamarind is then poured over it. Each cube is flattened on a plastic sheet and then placed on a flat reed mat. There, sesame seeds, and optionally dried sliced garlic, tomato and, onion slices are sprinkled over it. 

The reed mats are then placed outside on a wood framed network to dry/cook in the sun for hours. The finished product resembles a large sheet of Japanese nori. They are usually cut into smaller squares before being fried and eaten alongside a cold glass of beer…

4. Jeow Bong

10 Things to Buy at Talad Phosy!

Over than mushroom and bamboo chips and riverweed, Moonoy also loves a good Jeow Bong, a sort of chili paste and the Nang Manichanh Shop in Talad Phosy has a good one. Traditional Lao Jeow Bong is spicy, sweet, with an umami flavor that is perfect for dipping sticky rice. As you can see in the video, Moonoy loves it!

5. Kanom Ki Nou

10 Things to Buy at Talad Phosy!

We might have to start by explaining the meaning of Kanom Ki Nou. Kanom means sweets (cake, cookies, candies, basically, everything sweet), ki means poo and, nou means rat. So basically this sweet snack means rat poo snack. Don’t let its questionable name put you off though. It’s delicious. It’s fried dough with a sweet caramelized coating. It’s hard but not too hard that you would break a tooth… Fun fact, there was some debate among our team as to what was the name of this treat and some said it’s actually Kanom Ki Meow, so still poo, but cat (meow) poo.

6. Sa Nam Kieng

10 Things to Buy at Talad Phosy!

Sa Nam Kieng is the traditional bowl used for thak bat (almsgiving). In Luang Prabang they add handles to make it easy to hold.

7. Cotton

10 Things to Buy at Talad Phosy!

If you take a class with us and would like to stock up on some cotton afterwards, Talad Phosy is also a good place to buy cotton yarn. We sometimes sell silk to our customers who want some but not cotton, so now you know where to find some close by. In Talad Phosy, they have many colors to choose from.

8. Rattan Chair

10 Things to Buy at Talad Phosy!

If someone is looking for rattan or bamboo crafts, the shop in front of Talad Phosy has it all. The rattan chairs are super cute and comfy, plus they come in different styles. Be cautious though if you plan to ship them, this could get very pricey fast…

9. Pha Khao

opt lao blog talad phosy phakhao 1 - Talad Phosy

The same shop also has the traditional Lao “table”, Pha Khao, in many different sizes. A Pha Khao is a low standing table used for eating meals in Laos . The table is usually made of rattan or bamboo and made locally. Family and friends gather around the table and share meals…

10. Sticky Rice Basket

10 Things to Buy at Talad Phosy!

Another fun item is the sticky rice basket. It comes in many different sizes as well. You can most definitely divert from its usual use and store trinkets in it.

We hope we were able to help you in your search of souvenirs/snacks made in Luang Prabang! Enjoy your shopping spree!

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