The ethnic market is a popular tourist image when you read tourist guide books about the northern mountainous region of Vietnam. The colorful clothes and unique items on display for sale are the charms of these ethnic markets. Today, although modern life has damaged many cultural values of ethnic minorities, at the markets you still have the opportunity to live their lives hundreds of years ago. Visit these unique markets before modern life erases them.
1. Bac Ha Market
Lao Cai is a province located on the Vietnam-China border, where the upstream of the Red River flows into the North of Vietnam. Not long ago, people could only get to Lao Cai by night train or intercity bus for many hours. Today, a two-three-lane highway connects Hanoi with Lao Cai and Sa Pa. The consequence: sometimes a large number of tourists flock to Sapa on weekends. Bac Ha is the most famous and largest market in the region, along with the Sapa love market. Bac Ha Market is about 2 hours by car from Sapa and takes place every Sunday morning. Bac Ha Market is famous for the colors of Hmong Hoa ethnic costumes.
2. Coc Ly Market
Coc Ly Market is located 25km west of Bac Ha, an hour’s drive from Bac Ha if you go from Bac Ha. This fair takes place every Tuesday morning and is frequented by ethnic H’Mong, Black Dao, Phu La….
3. Can Cau Market
Located 30km north of Bac Ha, on the way from Bac Ha to Simacai, this fair takes place every Saturday morning.
4. Sin Cheng Market
Continuing the road from Can Cau market towards Simacai, you will reach Sin Cheng market which takes place every Wednesday morning.
5. Lung Khau Nhiem Market
Take place every Thursday morning, 50km from Lao Cai, equivalent to 1h30 by car.
6. Cao Son Market
Take place every Wednesday, 75 km from Lao Cai. Cao Son Market is quite small and the road to the market is quite bad.
7. Dong Van Market
Ha Giang is the northernmost province of Vietnam and is the province with the highest altitude. Ha Giang is famous for the diversity of ethnic minorities and its unique karst landscape. In which, Dong Van town is considered the center of Ha Giang province. Dong Van Market takes place in the northernmost town of Vietnam every Sunday morning from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m.
8. Meo Vac Market
Similar to Dong Van market, 22km further to the north, Meo Vac market takes place every Sunday. Beautiful and extremely colorful, the Meo Vac market is the most famous market in the Northeast.
9. Ma Le Market
Continue on the road from Dong Van to Meo Vac about 17km, you will meet this fair which takes place every Saturday. This market is very suitable for a trip from Dong Van to Ha Giang.
10. Quyet Tien Market
This market takes place every Saturday morning.
11. Hoang Su Phi Market
Hoang Su Phi Market takes place every Sunday. You can only visit it if you stayed in Suoi Thau the day before.
12. Sa Phin Market
Located 15km from Dong Van, in the village where the King H’mong Mansion is located.
13. Lung Phin Market
Located 20 km from Meo Vac and 30 km from Dong Van. This weekly fair takes place on days of Canh Dan and Binh Than according to the lunar calendar.
14. Pho Bang Market
Located 30km from Dong Van, takes place on horse days according to the lunar calendar.
15. Coc Chai Market
Located 40km northeast of Bac Ha, takes place every Sunday on the route from Bac Ha to Hoang Su Phi / Ha Giang.
16. Bao Lac Market
The markets in Cao Bang province are less colorful, but the way to them is quite nice. Located 105km west of Cao Bang, the Bao Lac market is held on lunar days ending with 0 or 5. You can meet the Tay, Dao, Nung, Hmong, San Chi, and Lolo ethnic groups.
17. Other markets
Thuan Chau Market (on Son La-Dien Bien Phu street; takes place every day)
Cho Ra (in Ba Be: Market days: 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 of the lunar calendar)
Ha Hieu Market (on Ba Be-Cao Bang Street; Market sessions on 4, 9, 14, 19, 24, 29 of the lunar calendar)
Na Phac Market (also on the way to Ba Be-Cao Bang; Fair market every day: 1, 6, 11, 16, 21, 26 lunar calendars), etc.
Tam Duong Market or San Thang Market: Tam Duong Market only meets on Thursday morning
Cao Bang – Ban Gioc fair market: Quang Hoa market only meets once every 5 days.