Are you longing to reunite with a past lover? Look no further than the Khau Vai Love Market. In most places, the thought of reconnecting with an ex-partner may seem unsettling, even taboo. However, in a small neighborhood nestled in Meo Vac, Vietnam, things take a remarkably different turn. Welcome to the renowned Khau Vai Love Market, one of the most celebrated markets in North Vietnam.
How Khau Vai Love market is unique?
A unique love economy takes place annually in the hillside village of Khau Vai, located north of Hanoi near the border with China. The Khau Vai Love Market is held each year on the 26th and 27th of the lunar calendar’s next month. During these two days, hundreds of former lovers from hill tribes including Tay, Nung, San Chi, Lo Lo, Dao, Giay, and Hmong gather together. They journey from various neighboring mountainous districts, seeking the opportunity to spend two weeks with the ones they couldn’t spend their lives with.
This concept may sound extremely odd to us, and there is every chance that a cat fight could break out if this distinctive love festival were held anywhere else in the world. However, the people of Khau Vai have a strong reason for celebrating their love market. It has been a part of their heritage for hundreds of years. Traveling to Ha Giang during this time will be very exciting.
The Legend of Khau Vai Love Market
The story is quite sad – a Giay woman from Ha Giang had fallen for a Nung boy from Cao Bang. However, she was said to be so beautiful that her own tribe did not approve of her marrying someone from another community. What ensued was a conflict between the two tribes. As the lovers witnessed the tragic events unfolding around them, they made the difficult decision to separate for the greater good. However, their love did not fade away. They made a solemn pact to meet once a year at the Khau Vai Love Market – specifically on the 27th day of the next lunar month.
The tradition is being carried on to this day. During the designated festival times, local artists dressed in colorful garments reenact the forbidden love story. Some may dismiss the rendezvous between the former lovers at Khau Vai as mere flings, but the reality is quite different.
The villagers see the Khau Vai Love Market as a time to stroll down memory lane, cherishing the happier moments of their past. Lau Pao, for instance, gets to meet his old flame and converse with her once a year.
“In the past, we were lovers, but we couldn’t marry because we were far apart. We pour out our hearts and reminisce about the time when we were in love. We come together to share the story of our past love,” says Pao. Interestingly, Pao’s spouse has no issues with this, as she herself meets her former lover during the same time.
That is a common situation for the people of these hills. However, with time, the tradition has evolved into a more contemporary form. The young individuals now plan their dates through text messages and capture moments with their phones. The village has become more accessible thanks to the construction of new roads.
How to get to khau vai love market?
To get to Khau Vai Love Market, you can follow these directions:
- By Road: From Hanoi, you can take a bus or hire a private car to travel to Ha Giang. The journey by road takes approximately 7-8 hours, depending on the traffic and road conditions. The route will take you through scenic landscapes and mountainous regions.
- Local Transportation: Once you reach Ha Giang, you can hire a motorbike or a taxi to reach Khau Vai Love Market, which is located in Meo Vac district. The distance between Ha Giang and Khau Vai is approximately 50 kilometers, and the journey takes around 1-2 hours, depending on the road conditions.
It is advisable to check the exact dates of the Khau Vai Love Market as it takes place annually on the 26th and 27th day of the lunar calendar month. Additionally, it is recommended to plan your visit in advance and consider the weather and road conditions, as some routes may be challenging during certain seasons.
When is the best time to visit Khau Vai Love Market?
The best time to visit Khau Vai Love Market is during the festival itself, which takes place annually on the 26th and 27th day of the third lunar month. The exact dates may vary each year, as they are determined by the lunar calendar. It is recommended to check the lunar calendar or consult with local authorities or travel agencies to confirm the specific dates of the Khau Vai Love Market for the year you plan to visit.
Attending the market during these two days will allow you to witness the vibrant atmosphere, cultural performances, and the gathering of ex-lovers from different hill tribes. It’s a unique and festive occasion that offers insights into local traditions, customs, and the enduring spirit of love in the region.
Keep in mind that the market can be crowded during this time, so it’s advisable to plan your visit in advance, arrange accommodations, and consider transportation options to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience.
Things to do & activities in Khau Vai Love Market
Visiting Khau Vai Love Market offers a range of activities and experiences that allow you to immerse yourself in the vibrant culture and traditions of the region. Here are some things to do and activities you can enjoy:
1. Witness the Love Market:
The highlight of Khau Vai Love Market is observing the unique gathering of ex-lovers from different hill tribes. Take the opportunity to witness this cultural phenomenon and observe the interactions and emotions displayed during this special occasion.
2. Explore Local Crafts and Products:
The market is also a great place to explore and shop for traditional handicrafts, textiles, and local products. Browse through stalls and discover unique items such as handmade crafts, embroidered fabrics, traditional clothing, and local snacks.
3. Taste Local Cuisine:
Indulge in the delicious flavors of local cuisine available at the market. Try traditional dishes and delicacies prepared by local vendors, which may include regional specialties and street food. Don’t miss the opportunity to savor the authentic flavors of the area.
4. Enjoy Cultural Performances:
Experience traditional music, dance, and performances showcasing the rich cultural heritage of the hill tribes. Enjoy the lively atmosphere as performers showcase their talents and entertain the crowd with their vibrant costumes and captivating rhythms.
5. Interact with the Locals:
Engage with the local people and learn more about their customs, traditions, and way of life. Strike up conversations, listen to their stories, and gain insights into the significance of the Love Market in their culture.
6. Capture Memories:
Bring your camera or smartphone to capture the vibrant scenes, colorful costumes, and joyful moments at the Love Market. Take photographs to preserve your memories and document this unique cultural experience.
Special Note: Remember to be respectful of the local customs and traditions while participating in the activities and interacting with the community. Immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere and embrace the opportunity to learn and appreciate the rich cultural heritage of Khau Vai Love Market.
The Khau Vai Love Market is a fascinating cultural event that offers a glimpse into the unique traditions and customs of the hill tribes in Ha Giang. It’s an experience not to be missed, allowing you to witness the captivating display of ex-lovers coming together and immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the market.
To make the most of your visit to Khau Vai Love Market and explore the beautiful region of Ha Giang, consider booking one of the best Ha Giang tour packages offered by Origin Travel. Their experienced team will ensure a seamless and memorable journey, taking you to the must-visit attractions and providing insights into the local culture.
Don’t miss the chance to be part of this extraordinary cultural event and create lasting memories in the stunning landscapes of Ha Giang. Book your tour with Origin Travel today and embark on a remarkable adventure that combines cultural immersion, breathtaking scenery, and the warmth of the local community.
Images Source: Internet