With 49 recognized ethnic groups, visiting almost any Lao village outside of the main towns will put you in an ethnic minority village! The most diverse collection of ethnic minority villages is in the northern provinces of Luang Namtha, Phongsaly and Bokeo, but there are also quite a few distinct Mon-Khmer groups in living near the Bolaven Plateau in southern Laos . If you are interested in visiting a remote ethnic minority village, it is recommended that you hire a local guide or use a local tour operator. If you do decide to go to one of the country's more accessible ethnic villages on your own, please check the do's and don'ts for etiquette so that you do not offend local people.
Notice it is worn by school and university students and government office workers. A vast choice of phaa sin, shawls, bags and jewellery can be found in the morning market and around Vientiane. As well as traditional Lao weavings, you will find hill-tribe embroidery, wall hangings and quilts. The inherent art-form of weaving has been practiced in Laos since the 14th century; subsequently it has attracted the attention of affluent and educated western based weavers who have descended on Laos to re-establish the trade that dwindled so rapidly under the Communist regime - the vast majority of which operate on a fair trade basis, working to increase sustainable development within the country.