There is a daily vegetable and food market along the streets in town and an amazing night market for handicrafts, along Th Sisavangvong, from the Royal Palace Museum to Th Setthathirat. This is where you can find wonderful textiles from the Hmong or other hill tribe villages nearby. The women are in their native dress and it is very festive.
Enjoy the small shops in town. I loved shopping for the Lao silk textiles which were exceptional. I bought a large number of pieces from Caruso Lao Home Craft at 60 Sakaline Road. The decorative pillows were great. In addition to textiles they sell exotic wood and silver pieces.
If you take a boat trip up the Mekong, make sure to stop at the small village of Ban Kang Khong where they weave textiles and make handmade paper. Mut Mee Textile Shop was one of the best.
Other shopping options include OckPopTok, where you can buy or take classes and learn to create Lao textiles. You can also stay at the Villa on the property or dine in their Silk Road Cafe. There is also PASSA PAA for beautiful textiles and accessories and Kopnoi Gallery for jewelry, fashion and decor.