Known as the largest upland market in Lao Cai province and gathering numerous traders for exchange and purchase, Bac Ha Market has been much more famous for its rawness, and imbued with national identity. The market has been built on the concrete floor, not on a gentle hill, but the trade remained much traditional feature. Here, tourists can easily look for all essential items for the life of the locals from hoes, shovels to brocade products or even buffalo, horse... All booths are divided fairly obvious for tourists easy to explore and discover.
As one of the most famous markets in Sapa, Bac Ha Market is organized on every Sunday in the Bac Ha town center, which is far about 60km from Lao Cai City. It is considered the largest and most famous market of the upland ethnic minority. On a journey of discovering Sapa travel to Bac Ha, tourists will have an opportunity to admire the majestic mountains, the deep chasms, beautiful stretch of road and eye-catching terraced fields... Thanks to the majestic natural beauty, the journey is also extremely suitable for those who love shooting and exploring adventurous feelings. On the way to Bac Ha, tourists will occasionally come across images of the ethnic people leading their horses towards Bac Ha Market. To come to the fair, they have to start their itinerary from early, even from the previous day of the official fair.
In particular, there are always newest and nicest ethnic clothes in all baskets of the locals. They only wear beautiful rings, silver bracelets when approaching the market. According to the belief of local people, shopping is also synonymous with outings. The market not only is the place to buy, sell and exchange of goods, but also hides cultural and spiritual meaning. It is also a meeting place and cultural exchanges. Overcoming 60km of alpine road, tourists will set foot in famous Bac Ha Market where numerous upland products are displayed for sale such as Shan tea, fruits, honey, wine, clothing, brocade dresses, silver jewelry, orchids, seedlings, corn, potatoes... Tourists also easily catch image of the locals with their horses, cows, and pigs in the market. These unique characteristics have turned Bac Ha Market into one of the most impressive attractions in Sapa.
Most prominent is the booth of jewelry, dresses, shirts, brocades and even the graceful rattan baskets. Here, tourists can freely choose the brocade products and lose in the brilliant colors of Mong, Dao girls' dresses. This pavilion always attracts the great number of tourists. Right from outside the entrance is home to many small stalls selling bags, purses, and colorful embroidered towels. Deeper into the market, the brilliant dresses and hats actually satisfy tourists' shopping demands. In particular, embroidery crafts are extremely diverse and reach sophistication. In the voice of trading activities, tourists still heard somewhere the sounds of panpipes and the singing of young boys inviting girls. Tourists going to Bac Ha, especially foreigners, are very interested in new discoveries about the lives and customs of the locals here in particular and Sapa tourism in general.
The trip to Sapa in the colorful market will be not actually complete if tourists do not explore and enjoy the culinary here. This is one of the particular identities of Bac Ha Market. What could be more interesting when going to Bac Ha and enjoying "thang co" (a kind of soup with traditional horse meat) - a delicious specialty in Bac ha Market. "Thang co" is always full in the pan and the wine does not run out in the bottle as well. In addition, tourists should try some alcohol of Mong ethnic people in Pho village, which is actually fascinating.
Today in the commercialization trend of upland markets, Bac Ha Market is one of the rare places still retaining ethnic identity and unique features of ancient upland fairs. Going to Bac Ha, tourists will meet the pure-minded face in colorful ethnic clothing. Along with their trading activities, the locals are also pleased with the fair, with all people in the market, including tourists. The drunk man unsteadily sitting on horseback and the woman leading their horse back to village are images remaining in the deepest way for tourists in minds when experiencing Sapa travel to the unique Bac Ha Market.