Ban Sang Khong and Ban Xieng Lek are located approximately 3 km north of Luang Prabang, up river. These villages specialize in producing and selling Saa paper, textiles, handwoven silks and cottons. You will also find a few one-off shops selling traditional Hmong textiles and decorative wood carvings.
Saa paper is made from the naturally shedding bark of the Mulberry tree. – a win for the environment and sustainability. First, the bark is boiled into a pulp then spread over a fine screen and hand mixed before being lifted and drained. Often decorative dried flowers and leaves are placed on the sheets before being set out to dry. Mr. Nalangkone’s and Simone’s Saa paper shops both offer a wonderful collection of Saa paper products. You will find notebooks and cards, fans, gift bags, lanterns and many more decorative paper products to browse through. Great shops for gifts and prices are reasonable. It’s worth noting that Mr. Nalangkone’s himself is a very respected artisan in Luang Prabang and has won awards for his work. He is known for his creativity, innovation and intricate craftsmanship. He is also making paper products made of other natural materials, such as banana tree bark and elephant dung.
This is also a great stop if you are interested in watching local weavers at their looms and perhaps, shopping for handmade textiles, specifically naturally dyed silks and cottons. You will find a variety of different textile shops as you stroll through the village. One of the larger shops even offers a display of the dying and silk making process for visitors to see. In our opinion, it can be a nicer shopping experience for these types of products as opposed to the night market. There are also three temples located between the two villages. Wat Sang Khong, Wat Nong Sai and Wat Xieng Lek.