Don’t seem to have posted about Southern Laos for some time so to correct that regrettable oversight here’s a few images and a brief description of the fantastic Pakse market, Dao Heuang – one of all-time favourite Southeast Asian markets!
There’s the covered area you can see in the background of above photo – dealing in gold, silver, phones, household goods etc but most of the huge site is a ‘wet market’ – i.e. trading fresh products; fruit and veg and meat and fish.
It’s really the archetypal Asian market and will certainly tick all the expectation boxes; noisy, smelly, crowded, bustling and selling a huge range of familiar, not so familiar, exotic, weird and wonderful products. You wouldn’t be the first foreigners to visit Dao Heuang but it’s not in the slightest a tourist market and whilst locals will certainly exchange a smile with you most of them are just too busy selling, buying, bargaining, trading, transporting to notice you!
Vendors come from all over Champassak Province including tribal people from the Boloven Plateau as well as numerous Vietnamese trying to make a buck plus there’s plenty of Chinese and Thai goods to be had. It’s wholesale and retail so you’ll see Pakse housewives, restaurant and hotel staff and traders buying up goods for resale in smaller markets.
Originally intended our visits to be a quick stroll around – excuse to stretch our legs before the drive up to the Plateau itself – but it’s the sort of place you could wander around boggle-eyed for hours: “what the %*$@!’s that?”, “What on earth are they doing there?”, “…well I never knew you could eat that!” etc – fascinating stuff!
And with some of the residents Pakse market and passers-by who aren’t so busy it’s also a great spot to meet some of the locals and below was one of the colourful local characters we met up with on our last visit and who seemed to have plenty of time to pose for a few photos.
Whilst the gentleman below was clearly chuffed the foreign visitors were taking such an interest in his jewellery making techniques, (and his slightly odd t-shirt)!
Will be back in November for a Southern Laos/Northern Cambodia, Emerald Triangle adventure which still has 2 available places on it so come and join us! Cheers!