A Quick Guide to the ‘Spirit of the Community’ Bac Ha Market, Lao Cai

Bac Ha is one of the biggest market and well known in North Vietnam. The area is given a unique vibrancy by the energy and color of the Hmong flower People.  The market is a three-hour drive from Sapa. The marketing activities occur every Sunday. If you want to see the market with entire glory, ensure that you arrive early and leave before the crowds of tourist come at around 10, and 11 am. You may spend a Saturday night at Bac Ha and beat the market at approximately 5.00am so as you can see the while market in full swing as well as avoid tourists that increases traffic.

 The Trend

The market is at its most beautiful very early in the morning as the local people bring their livestock, rice wine as well as other products to be sold over the day. If you want to buy something of the best quality, you can easily access it at Sapa. The market is not the best place for having your shopping. However, if you love watching people and take in the energy and the vibrancy of any occasion, then this is the place to be. At around ten 0r 11 am, more tourist pops in the market and the number of people who are trading in the market doubles. The vibrancy, as well as the power in the market place increases as the vendors, try to win the confidence of the tourists. The aspects make the market to be more famous and popular especially among the visitors who cherish seeing a lot of people gathered together.

Major Products

Another aspect of the market is that different ethnic groups led by the Phu La, Tay and Nung among others tend to flock in this market to buy and sell their products. Most of the local products in Vietnam are present in this market. The aspect makes the market to be a portrait of photographers. The other merit about the market is the local people, as well as sellers, pay little attention to the tourist to avoid losing the short seized window of selling different products on this market day.


If you want to avoid the crowds as well as the unnecessary car travel in the market, you need to arrange yourself for collection in Lao Cai on a Sunday morning and head to the market before it is full. If you have a group tour, make a point of departing Sapa at around 7:30 am. There are buses which ferry people to the market at approximately 8 in the morning. Also if you are visiting the market for the first time, there are chances that you may get lost in the crowds and drop your way back. Therefore you may need to travel as a group or hire a guide who will help you explore the market with ease. Even if you moving as a group, and none is familiar with the place, it is always advisable to seek help from the local or hire guides that will take you through.

The vibrancy and the power within the sellers, as well as other traders, attracts many tourists that are driven by the urge if watching people. Also, the local people use thus an opportunity to sells some of the items that identify them with Vietnam.

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