Handicrafts, Textiles & Antiques in Luang Prabang
Baan Khily (212611, thanon Sakkalin ) Baan Khily carries a collection of unique and carefully selected Lao crafts, including handmade saa paper. This gallery started the revival of saa arts in Laos, and its huge saa-paper stars, to be lit from the inside and hung outdoors, have become famous here and abroad. Also on hand are books on Laos and South-East Asia, local and international artwork, and an upstairs gallery with rotating exhibits. The very knowledgeable owner speaks German, English, Italian and French, and is happy to answer questions about the area. An upstairs veranda offers tea service with views of the street below.
Thithpeng Maniphone (Ball Wat That, follow the signs opposite the Hotel ouvatutaphoum) Thithpong crafted silverware for Luang Prabang royalty before 1975 (Thailand's royal family are now some or his best customers). He has 15 apprentice silversmiths working under him to create his designs, but still does the most delicate work himself, including ceremonial swords and spears.
Pathana Boupha Antique House (212262,29/4 Ball Visun) Open 8.30am-5pm. In an impressive old French mansion, this shop carries antique statuary, jewellery, silverwork (especially antique silver betel nut sets) Royal Lao government currency and old photos, mostly from the Lao owners' private collection. They also sell high quality textiles (originals as well as reproductions) from the various ethnic groups around Laos. The late patriarch of the family designed many of the costumes and ornaments used in the former Royal Palace, and until his death he also furnished costuming for the local Miss Pi Mai Lao pageant.
OckPopTok (mobile 020-570148,73/5 Ban Wat Nong ) This textile gallery and workshop offers a selection of naturally dyed house-woven Lao silk and cotton from which is produced custom-tailored clothing as well as household decorative items. Lengths of fabric can also be purchased.
Villa Santi and Pansea Pilau Vao Holel each contain small gift shops with Lao tertiles and other handicrafts.
Film Luang Prabang OA Kodak Expess (252333, 8/7 Thanon Sisavangvong) This shop in the heart of the historic district usually carries the best local selection, including Fujichrome slide film.