Exploring Bac Ha Highland with the local market
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Bac Ha is a district in the Northeast of Lao Cai Province, about 300 km from Hanoi capital. Although it is not as noisy and crowded as the famous tourist destination – Sapa, Bac Ha still attracts tourists with its wild beauty, along with its intact cultural values. Visitors are all coming to the Bac Ha – “the white plateau” with the purpose of exploring the majestic natural landscape as well as the unique winding streets and local markets.
The white plateau Bac Ha
Even though it is not as exciting as Sapa tours or Ha Giang tours, travelers still visit Bac Ha due to its simple, rustic beauty. In addition to the gorgeous Thai Giang Pho Valley and the unique Bac Ha Market, Bac Ha also has other beautiful attractions such as Hoang A Tuong Palace, Bac Ha Temple, Pho Street, Hoang Thu Pho, night market, etc. which are highly recommended for tourists.
Currently, the transportation system between Hanoi and Bac Ha is very convenient. You can easily book a night coach ticket at the bus station with the price of about 270,000 VND per person. In Bac Ha, there are many homestay services; visitors will have a chance to stay in houses on stilts of local people. In particular, here, you can also order the locals to make the typical specialties of this highland for you to enjoy.
Bac Ha Market
Among many famous must-see places, Bac Ha night market held every Saturday evening is one of the very first things to do in Bac Ha. That is also the reason why tourists often visit Bac Ha on the weekend in order to be able to experience all the cultural characteristics of the people. Bac Ha night market takes place at the central market area with a lot of musical performances of the local ethnic people such as “mua xoe”, “mua khen”, “mua xenh tien”, “hat doi”, etc. which attracts the participation of a lot of visitors.
In addition to the night market like in Sapa tours, the local market takes place once a week on Sunday, which is definitely another tourist attraction. This is considered the biggest and most famous market of ethnic people in the Northwest Highlands. Bac Ha market is not only a place to buy and sell things but also a place focusing on the quintessence, cultural characteristics of the ethnic people here. Especially, a market is also a place where the ethnic people come to play, meet after hard working days; they drink wine, sing, eat and play cockfighting, etc.
Foreign visitors are interested in the Bac Ha Market
The Bac Ha Market is divided into many areas, including different areas such as selling brocade fabric, supplies, poultry, cattle, etc. and the most special one is the horse market creating the uniqueness for the market in Bac Ha. Once getting lost in the breakfast area, you will be fascinated by the aromatic smell of the hot, fresh and colorful sticky rice. There are also sticky cakes, boiled corn, sweet potatoes, etc. and the specialties that not everyone can eat – “thang co”.
Local specialties of Bac Ha
The H’mong, Dao ethnic groups wearing their local colorful dress come to the market. Some bring a few of their dogs, while others bring the baskets. Each of them has created a busy market in a Northern Vietnam group tour. You can find everything in this market, from household items to farming tools at an affordable price.
The cattle market area also attracts a large number of visitors, trading with the cattle that the ethnic people bring out for sale. Here, the healthy buffaloes, cows, horses, etc. are gathered to be exchanged. One unique feature of Bac Ha Market compared to others is that there is a separate area buy horses. Once the market is held, hundreds of horses are traded.
The area of local clothing, brocade fabrics which are always full of visitors is also the highlight of the Vietnam tailor-made tours. Brocade clothes are the popular souvenirs that many visitors choose to buy as gifts. The beautiful flowers dresses and colorful jewelry items have always brightened the market.