Every Sundays from the early morning to 2 pm, Bac Ha market opened near the mountainous highlands and the Chinese border. Bac Ha fair is one of the most colorful and biggest markets of ethnic minority groups in the northwest region of Viet Nam. This activity is an ideal chance for every visitor to explore the pristine beauty and characteristics in upland.
Bac Ha fair attracts many people from the surrounding villagers who come to trade and barter animals, food, household goods and clothes. Some people from remote and high villages have to walk in the early morning to come here. The market was very crowded, local products for sale or barter are carried on horseback. There are many different ethnic groups such as Tay, Nung, Flower H’mong, Black Dao, Phu La, etc gathering to exchange goods.
People come to Bac Ha market not only to buy what they want and sell their products, but also to meet each other and exchange culture and sentiment. From the early morning on Sunday, a lot of people and horses pour to the market on all paths and mountain roads. It is very easy to see throngs who always sit together and eating Soup Pan (Thang Co), drinking wine and chatting.
Soup Pan (Thang Co) is a specialty of Bac Ha market. This strange dish is a traditional dish of the Mong ethnic group mountainous north-western region. This dish made of horse meat is the symbol of Mong culture. There are over 20 stalls selling Soup Pan in the market. Soup Pan is cooked from horse meat (today people can use buffalo meat and pork) with water, salt, and some spicy fruits (Thao Qua, Dia Dien). Soup Pan is usually served with wine, rice balls (com nam) and ground maize (men men).
At Bac Ha market, visitors can find anything needed for the life of the ethnic minority people such as knives, plows, snivels, hoes and shovels to brocade, buffaloes, horses, etc. They also sell the agriculture products rice, corn, sweet potato as well as cassava. Moreover, honey and rare medicine like panax pseudo ginseng, polygonum multiflorum, lingzhi mushroom … are also sold in this market. They are sold in different zones. Besides the needed items for life, Bac Ha fair also sells all manner of 4-legged animals such as cows, pigs, ducks, chickens and dogs. If you belong to the strict vegetarianism, you shouldn’t come to this zone because they sell the “fresh” meat in this section. The buffalo market is also bustling and the traders and buyers are mainly men. This zone is very spacious, sufficient to serve hundreds of people.
The largest section in Bac Ha fair is products for women that made from brocade. In this place, visitors can choose all kinds of brocade products consisting of cloths or clothes, a kerchief, a blouse, a belt, a skirt, and a brassiere. The kerchief is a red cloth, embroidered with designs and wrapped up into round layers. The two ends are decorated with clusters of colorful thread tassels, which cascade down onto the wearer’s ears. This section is also attracts women and tourists because of jewelry. Foreign tourists often marveled at the paintings which are handmade textile patterns with vivid colors and beautiful harmony.
Bac Ha fair held in Bac Ha district, far from Lao Cai about 60 kilometers is popularly known as the largest upland market of Sapa. Bac Ha fair is also famous for its pristine beauty and characteristics. Bac Ha market is not simply a market where people sell, buy and exchange; it is the place where people meet each other, talk together and even find the Mr. or Mrs. Right for their lives. Visitors can enjoy the terraced rice fields and the high mountains as well as the majestic natural beauty of ethnic groups when joining the fair in your Vietnam discovery tour.
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