Traditional Vietnamese market is one of the main attractions in Northern Vietnam. It helps tourists gain an insight into local culture through haggling over fresh products, handcrafted wares or simply creates a lively environment for exchanging gossip.
Markets in Northern Vietnam give us an insight into the cultures of ethnic groups. These markets are highly attracting tourists thanks to fresh locally-produced products and lively environment. Most of the markets are opened either on Sunday or Saturday and we see a lot of minority groups in a trading session including Tay, Dao, H’Mong, Nung. Prior to sunrise, small groups of people in colorful brocade costumes go to the trading session. Visiting the Northern Vietnam in your Vietnam discovery tour at weekend, tourists can enjoy the most unique and interesting atmosphere of Ethnic Minorities Markets.
In a minority market, people usually sell typical products such as vegetables, ginger, sticky rice, poultry, stream fish, forest vegetables, bamboo sprouts and cakes. Although vendors are from different ethnic groups, they share the same sale style which makes bargaining impossible as all prices are fixed. They only sell couples of poultry or livestock. Before arrival, vendors do not weigh their products such as vegetables, pickles, bamboo sprouts, cakes and sticky rice, but they usually tie them in bundles or pack them together for sale.
Normally prices would be slashed when consumer demand is low, or vice versa. But at this particular trading session, prices are kept unchanged irrespective of customer turnout.
As explained by elderly people, the custom of fixing prices for products comes from the good characteristics of honesty and talking straightforwardness. Ethnic people trust one another. You can see this clearly in your Northern Vietnam Exposure Tours.
Meanwhile, the habit of selling couples of poultry or livestock comes from their belief that everything is created in accordance with the yin-yang philosophy. It is hard to see people selling a single chicken, duck, pig, or dog but male and female animals should be sold together.
You can choose any ethnic minorities markets that you want to visit, Vietnam Paradise Travel would like to suggest you the list of 10 ethnic minorities markets as here below:
1. Phong Hai Market
Phong Hai Market is opened on every Sunday. Here you can interact with Black Dao, Flower Hmong, Kinh people. The trading in the market usually involves vegetables, livestock, handicrafts, and clothes.
Timing: The market opens at 6:30 am and closes at 11 am
Location: located close to Sapa and Lao Chai
2. Coc Ly Market
Coc Ly market is held every Tuesday and it is run by a medium-sized minority group. You will meet Giay, Tay, Nung, Black Dao, and Flower Hmong people here. The market offers fresh vegetables, fruits, livestock, handicrafts and clothes.
Timing: The market starts at 7 am and closes in the early afternoon.
Location: Coc Ly (95 km from Sapa or 60 km from Lao Cai)
3. Cao Son Market
Cao Son market is basically a medium sized market that is opened on every Wednesday. It is surrounded by beautiful mountains. The people from Phu La, Flower Hmong, Black Dao, etc are popular traders in this market.
Timing: The market starts pretty early in the morning.
Location: Cao Son (120 km from Sapa or 85 km from Lao Cai)
4. Xin Cheng Market
Xin Cheng market is held on every Wednesday. Tay, Giay and Flower Hmong group of people are seen most in this market. The market sells fruits, clothes, horses, buffaloes, tobacco, etc.
Location: It is located along the Chinese Border
5. Binh Lu Market
Binh Lu Market is held on every Sunday. You will find Tai Laos, Tai Lu, H’mong, White Tai and Yao group of people in the market. They sell locally produced goods in this market.
Timing: It opens from 8 am and closes at 1 pm
Location: Binh Lu (127 km from Lao Cai or 90 km from Sapa)
6. Lung Khau Nhin Market
Lung Khau Nhin market is a small market that is located close to the border of China. The traders are from Giay, Black Dao, Tay, and Flower Hmong group of people. The market is opened on every Thursday. They mainly provide seeds, livestock and vegetables and there are not many tourists here.
Timings: It opens at 7:30 in the morning and closes in the early afternoon
Location: located close to Muong Khuong town, near the border with China
7. Can Cau Market
Can Cau market is opened every Saturday and has attracted a lot of visitors. The main traders here are Flower Hmong, Nung, Phu La and Chinese people across the border. The market is filled with all kinds of goods such as fabric, livestock and local corn wine.
Timing: The market starts at around 7:30 am in the morning and closes early in the afternoon.
Location: The market is around 20km to the North of Bac Ha.
8. Pha Long Market
Pha Long market is held on every Saturday and you can see the roads, paths, and mountains filled with local people trying to sell and buy the products. The market is crowded with people from Lolo, Tay, H’mong, Dzay, and Nung group. From livestock such as chicken, cow, pigs, buffalo to fresh fruits, clothes, and handicrafts; you can get everything in this market.
Timing: The market starts at 6 am to twelve
Location: It is around for two hours from the Lao Cai town
9. Bac Ha Market
Bac Ha Market is held on every Sunday and it is considered one of the biggest minorities market in Northern Vietnam. You will interact with people from Tay, Black Dao, Flower Hmong, La Chi, Nung, Phu La, and many other minority groups here. Plus, you will find an array of different local products for sale.
Timing: The market opens at 7:30 am and closes at mid-afternoon
Location: Bac Ha (110 km from Sapa or 72 km from Lao Cai)
10. Lung Phin Market
Lung Phin market is one of the most vibrant markets in Northern Vietnam and it opens on the days of Monkey and days of Tiger (according to the lunar calendar) and held weekly. This market not only trades goods but also a love market for young people. Lung Phin market focuses 16 ethnic minorities in the region. It provides local specialties such as mint honey, Lung Phin tea, corn wine, dried beef, horse meat and brocades.
Timing: starting very early from 4-5 am til 3 – 4 pm
Location: 35 km from the town center of Dong Van, Ha Giang province
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