Bangkok has the world-famous Chatuchak, KL has the touristy Central Market, Manila has the pleasingly “air-conditioned” Divisoria, Phnom Penh has the magnificent Phsar Thmei, and Singapore has…uhm…Orchard Road? LOL
Compared to the central markets mentioned above, Talat Sao of Vientiane isn’t like any of it. It is simple, modest, uncrowded and curiously quiet. This is how Vientiane used to be 5-10 years ago. Not very “market-like” you say? Think again…
Talat Sao has many things on sale that are NOT displayed.
Aside from the permanent stalls inside the building that sells the usual local stuffs like Lao silk, silver, gold, clothes, electronics, textiles, local crafts…AND watch out for peddlers and hawkers around the building.
They sell bottles of rice wines with cobras & critters in it! I was particularly interested with the guy that sells baby parrots…
…my friends had to practically remove me from the guy’s face because I was pissing him off!
I kept giving a mean look to anyone who shows interest of buying those poor baby parrots! I wanted to smack the guy’s face but I can’t do that – I’m allergic to policemen nowadays.
Don’t let the name confuse you – the Morning Market isn’t open in the morning. Well, not officially. Other stalls are open but not “entirely” (depending on sections). Everything will start to swing just after lunch and would stop swinging just before 5pm.
It is quite easy to find the Morning Market -- Practically everybody knows where it is. It is the city’s “Meeting and Drop Off Point”; the center of it all. Vintage Mercedes Benz taxis are just outside the grounds and Tuktuks would be eager to show you around.
Don’t forget to explore this place on your visit to Vientiane. You’ll never know what you’ll find…highly recommended. And I almost forgot to say – please do not confuse this place to the modern mall next-door.
27 Jun 2008