Bac Ha


Bac Ha

Bac Ha market Sapa

Bac Ha, at 700 metres above sea level, is a ‘little Sapa’, and while it’s much less developed for tourism, it’s in an ideal location for off-the-beaten-track treks to visit colourful weekly markets. The Can Cau and Bac Ha markets in particular feature local scenes that have been going on every week for generations, where cattle, horses, goats and dogs are bought and sold, as well as many traditional goods like saddles plus elaborate textiles, handbags and other trinkets made by the local tribespeople, the Flower Hmong. Their intricately woven daily costume is one of the main drawing points in itself. This is an incredibly beautiful part of Vietnam.

Bac Ha district, far from Lao Cai city about 60 kilometers. Bac Ha is the largest fair of Sapa. When going to market, visitors will see the high mountain, terraced fields. Sometimes, tourists have to stop the car in order to get the majestic natural beauty and meet each ethnic group laughing who brings goods to market. To go the fair on time, they have to go very early, some people comes here from the previous day to join the fair.

Bac Ha

Local people in Bac Ha

Previously, Bac Ha fair has meeting on a gentle hill, after that, this new market was built on the concrete which be split up into regional sales. Bac Ha market is where all products of the region and the necessary instruments be sold such as: plows, hoes, shovels, etc. The most attractive place for women and tourists is the place of jewelry, skirts, dresses, brocade and the charming of rattan baskets. In this place, visitors can choose all kinds of brocade products. Foreign tourists often marveled at the paintings which are handmade textile patterns with vivid colors and beautiful harmony.

For men, the market is a place for they meet and drink wine. The horse is the most attractive for men; they come from remote villages, even people from the provinces of Bac Giang, Ha Tay… They come here to trade horses.

Every Sunday, Bac Ha hosts the biggest fair near the mountainous highlands and the Chinese border. Bac Ha Sunday Market is the largest and most colourful market in the area and attracts throngs of villagers from the surrounding hill tribes. Some walk several hours for the weekly opportunity to trade and barter food, animals, clothes and household goods. 80km from Sapa, Bac Ha Market is not only the place for buying and selling, but also a place for cultural and sentiment exchanging. On the market days, right from the early morning, all paths and mountain roads are full of people and horses pouring to the market. People usually sit in groups around a soup pan (“thang co”) eating and chatting.

Sapa

Children trek to Bac Ha Sunday Market

Many different ethnic groups in Bac Ha such as Flower H’mong, Phu La, Black Dao, Tay and Nung minorities gather to buy and sell local products that cannot be found elsewhere. The marketwas very crowded, local products for sale or barter are carried on horseback in Bac Ha. Besides the usual items like pigs, cows, chickens, and ducks, Bac Ha Market sold dogs. As dogs were available as cuts of meat, they were also available live, right next to the live pigs, chickens, and other livestock. There was a brisk trade at the market for everything from hand-embroidered skirts to all manner of 4-legged animals. The “fresh” meat section is not for the faint of heart and might steer more than a few visitors in the direction of strict vegetarianism.
Though tourists were not in short supply, they were not the focus. Most locals paid little attention to them, rather choosing to focus on their business and the short Sunday-sized window of opportunity. Rounding the corner and pungent fumes of alcohol accosted your senses of smell, from corn whiskey, a Bac Ha specialty. The potent moonshine is decanted by vendors from large white plastic jugs to used bottled water containers. If you doubt the ability of a vendor’s hooch to peel paint or light your senses on fire, you can try a shot for free.

At the fair, adventurous gastronomes can try “thang co” blood porridge, a popular dish of the H’Mong and other local people. The Flower H’mong minority is the most common here, and their colourful dresses makes is a beautiful sight.

Bac Ha

Thang Co special food in Bac Ha market

In conclusion, I would like to mention here the comment by Mr. Ikuyo, a tourist from Tokyo (Japan): “The trip to Bac Ha Market was amazing! On the way, the scenery was beautiful and the local people were so friendly. I will come back again!”. Let’s once visit Bac Ha Market and you will be able to experience a wide range of different colorful ethnic minorities and more interesting things of life in the mountains

Bac Ha Orientation
With no banking for foreigners in Bac Ha make sure you bring enough cash to get you through. There is a post office and internet is available at some of the hotels but Bac Ha is not a good place to handle travel logistics, so make sure you have all your ducks in a row before arriving to Bac ha.

Bac Ha

Bac Ha Market

Bac Ha Tour

Vietnam adventure tour