every Sunday at the center of Bac Ha township, this is the
biggest ethnic market in Lao Cai Province and probably among
some most interesting ones in the northern mountains. Some
thousands peoples from ethnic groups including Black Zao,
Tay, Phu La and Flower H’mong wearing their best traditional
clothes attend the market to turn it into a kind of festival.
Commodity sold at the market is varied from embroidered clothes,
handicraft, farming produces, food… to poultry and cattle
such as vegetable, spices, chili, chicken, cat, piggy, doggy…
At the market place, after finishing their shopping, peoples
gathered into groups at footstalls or restaurants enjoying
“Thang Co” a kind of H’mong traditional
specialty, drinking corn wine and talking cheerfully.
Some hundred meters away from the main market place is the
buffaloes and horses market and it is really interesting to
see the buyers carefully searching in order to find out the
strengths and weaknesses of the animals before buying because
a buffalo or horse is a real important property in their farming
work. The best time to join the market is from 09.00 to 12.00
but it is fascinating to spend few hours earlier to see the
people along the trail to the Bac Ha Market.
It is worthwhile to spend at least a day and night here to
explore some ethnic villages nearby and joining the locals
for the best market for a memorable experience.
Bac Ha is located 70 km, northeast of Lao Cai City and
take about 2 hours by road; 105 km from Sapa and takes 3 hours
to go by road.