Ban Phanom Artisan Village

Textile-Making Village Near Luang Prabang

    Ban Phanom is an artisan village near Phon Phau Temple in Luang Prabang. The villagers practise traditional textile making to provide goods for sale at Luang Prabang’s markets. The woven products are made with cotton and silk materials, together with intertwined threads to produce a shimmering effect.

    Some of the families work from their own workshops, with the entire village operating as a co-operative supplying to manufacturers in town. Prices are open to negotiation and very affordable, though you can still bargain for a lower deal. The area around Ban Phanom Village makes for a good place for cycling and visiting ancient temples.

    photo by Gerd Eichmann (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    Ban Phanom Village highlights

    Ban Phanom is similar to the villages of Luang Namtha and Sam Neua, as you can observe the (mostly female) artisans working on their looms, dyeing and then weaving the textiles with intricate patterns. Ban Phanom was the village of choice for royal textiles, with each reigning monarch continuing to use village weavers as their preferred suppliers.

    The village itself is rich in history and offers a fantastic insight into an ancient art that’s still very much alive today. Many tourists visit the village year-round, so it can get quite busy, especially when tour buses arrive in the morning (usually 9am), so avoid these times if you prefer exploring the village without bumping into tourists. 

    Getting to Ban Phanom 

    If you’re interested in buying local textiles, it’s definitely worth going to Ban Phanom instead of buying them at the night market. The easiest way to get to the village is by tuk-tuk, which takes about 10 minutes from the town centre of Luang Prabang. It costs around 100,000 kip, and usually includes waiting time and the return journey.

    You can also make the trip by bike, but it’s quite a hilly ride so attempt this if you’re an experienced riders Tour companies also run daytrips to Ban Phanom Village and usually include a stop at the grave of French explorer, Henri Mouhout.

    Ban Phanom Artisan Village

    Location: Ban Phanom, Luang Prabang Province

    Paul Smith | Compulsive Traveller

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