Shopping in Laos can be overwhelming if you don't know what you want to buy. Shopkeepers will inundate you with options, prices and colours before you even know what you want to buy. One way to make shopping easier is to have an idea of what you'd like to buy before you set out souvenir shopping. This can save you money on items that you may not really want but are pressured to buy.
There's alot of souvenirs and gifts to choose from in Laos, and you could fill a bag full but keep in mind the customs rules and regulations on your return, as some countries are very strict on what you can and can't bring. The last thing you wan't to do is hand your items over at the airport.
The following souvenir suggestions are 'very Lao', not too heavy or bulky and they are allowed into any country.
You can purchase a large range of colourful t-shirts with images of Laos, or images that symbolise the unique Lao culture on them. These are a great gift for men, women and children and they are inexpensive.
A silk sinh (Lao skirt) and matching silk scarf is a perfect gift for most Lao women (such as your aunts, sisters and friends) back home because they aren't sold in foreign countries, or the materials in Laos are better. So be sure to pick up a gorgeous sinh and scarf during your shopping in Laos for women to wear it to weddings, temples or other functions. As a rough guide, a reasonable amount to pay for a silk sinh should be from $30 US upwards, depending on the complexity of pattern and design.
Music CDs, VCDs and DVDs are widely sold in Laos. A variety of Lao, Thai and American movies and music isn't hard to find. Most CD stores usually have copies and originals in stock, but make sure you pick up the originals because it may be not be legally acceptable to bring copied discs from Laos into your country.
Finally, traditional genuine Lao handicrafts are a very nice and cheap souvenirs. You can find pretty much anything from stunning wood-carved items to handbags. Just remember to shop where locals do because they know where to find items at cheaper prices.