Bac Ha Sunday Market
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Duyen's keen on travelling and exploring new places. By travelling, she get better at comfortable. It opens up the knowledge door for her as well.

Bac Ha Sunday Market

Bac Ha sunday market is one of the largest and most famous markets in Lao Cai province, not only a place for people to come and exchange agricultural products, agricultural tools, and brocades, handicrafts,… but also a place for cultural exchange between ethnic minorities in the Northern provinces of Vietnam. Such as: Tay, Nung, H’Mong, Thai,… Traveling to Lao Cai without visiting Bac Ha market is a huge mistake.

1. Where is Bac Ha Sunday market?

Bac Ha market is the largest and oldest market in the Northwest highlands of Vietnam, a meeting and exchange point for ethnic minorities, located more than 70 km east of Lao Cai city center. Located in Bac Ha town, Bac Ha district, Lao Cai province.

Farmer drying rice

2. How is Bac Ha Sunday market unique?

Bac Ha Market is located 700m above sea level. It’s far from Sapa, around 95 km and 55 km from Lao Cai city. It’s called a “little Sapa” while it’s a lot much less developed for tourism. Bac Ha Sunday market is the perfect destination for those who like off-the-beaten-track treks to go to vibrant weekly markets. The Bac Ha market in particular functioned local scenes which were occurring each week for generations.

It’s the place where cattle, horses, goats and canines are purchased and offered, in addition to many traditional items like saddles plus elaborate textiles, handbags and different trinkets made by the local tribes people, the Flower Hmong. Their intricately woven day by day costume is one of the major drawing factors in itself. That is an extremely stunning part of Vietnam.

It’s a really convenient place to discover the surroundings of Bac Ha Sunday Market, and basing yourself right here rather than Sapa will knock off about three hours of journey time each way on a day trip to most of the local weekly markets. And, at lower than half the altitude of Sapa, the climate right here is more likely to be more clement in winter months, with a mean year-round temperature of 19 levels Celsius (four levels, on average, warmer).

Bac Ha sunday market

3. Bac Ha market opening schedule

The market is held every Sunday morning and ends at 3pm. Because the market only meets once a week, it will be very crowded and bustling. On weekdays, people will raise and care for livestock and poultry, look for rare forest products, or weave colorful dresses, clothes, brocade scarves,…. to go to the market, will bring their goods down to sit here and interact and trade with each other.

If in the past, people only mainly exchanged goods, not buying and selling with money. Now, when people’s lives have improved, many merchants have been formed from the bustling market. This frustration.

You can come here early in the morning to join the crowded crowd. At the end of the market, you can immediately return to Sapa or Lao Cai city center. Otherwise, stay in Bac Ha for another day, because In this land, there are many interesting things for you to explore.

Red zao in Bac Ha Market

4. How to get to Bac Ha market?

If you have the opportunity to come to the foggy town of Sapa to conquer the roof of Indochina – Fansipan peak, you definitely cannot miss the Bac Ha Sunday market held every weekend.

4.1 From Hanoi

By passenger car

If you depart from Hanoi to Bac Ha, the best way to choose is to take a sleeper bus, because the journey is quite long and you will need to sleep and rest during the journey. You can easily catch buses at My Dinh bus station – Hanoi, with a distance of nearly 300 km from Hanoi to Bac Ha, the travel time will take nearly 7 hours by car.

By train

Take night train on statuary night – arrive Lao Cai station then take bus to Bac Ha (Lao Cai – Bac Ha ~ 60 km)

4.2 From Lao Cai city

If you start from the center of Lao Cai city, follow Highway 70 to the Southeast for about 40 km to Bac Ngam village, then turn left onto provincial road DT153 and go about 30 km to Bac Ha, because it is on a mountain pass. so it’s quite difficult for the driver, it will take about 4 hours to get there.

You can also ride a motorbike from Lao Cai city if you want to experience the steep mountain passes to Bac Ha, and freely take photos wherever you go, but you should go in a large group. You should not go alone because it will be quite dangerous.

Furthermore, because the market is from dawn to 3pm, you can leave early in the morning to return in time. But if you go back during the day and decide not to stay in Bac Ha. You can also choose to go up from Saturday night the day before, and on Sunday morning you just need to get up very early to witness a bustling and crowded scene of the morning market.

4.2 From Sapa

You can book a private car or shuttle bus always available (Distance ~ 90 km more than 2 hours drive).

DSC 5364

5. Activities and Experiences in Bac Ha Sunday market

5.1 Brocade stalls

Brocade items, dresses, and shirts are meticulously and beautifully sewn and embroidered, with many colors and diverse patterns for you to choose from. The brocade items of the H’Mong people have very bright colors, because the H’Mong people believe that the more colorful the color, the more luck and peace it will bring to them. At the same time, it also symbolizes flowers blooming among the mountains and forests, among the great Northwest.

The pleated skirts, head scarves, and waist belts of young women are all made very long and elaborately, sometimes up to a year. Therefore, when the product is completed, its price will be quite high, but well worth it for such beautiful products. You can choose a scarf, a hat, or dolls for yourself or bring them home as gifts for relatives, family, and friends.

In addition, there are other handicrafts, indispensable accessories for H’Mong girls, which are beautifully crafted bracelets, bangles, necklaces and earrings. Sophisticated, with many beautiful and unique shapes.

When you come to the market, you will see many H’Mong girls in shabby dresses following their mothers to the market, wearing white and silver stirrups and bracelets with beautiful patterns, cast in bronze or silver. in silver. It is a very unique cultural feature of the H’Mong people here.

5.2 Livestock sales area

This place is famous for the areas that sell livestock and poultry with native buffaloes, horses, pigs, etc. Every weekend people come here to choose good breeds for themselves, to get the strength to plow the fields or pull wood. You will encounter Bac Ha dogs with beautiful fur being carried by children to the market. Men and boys will lead horses, buffaloes, and cows to exchange or trade.

5.3 Enjoying musical performances

Performing arts are one of the most anticipated forms of every fair. Young men and women in the most colorful and cheerful clothes will be sent to the people and all the tourists who come here. Traditional music, the sounds of the flute, the sound of the harp, simulating love markets, etc. You can put aside the pressures of life to immerse yourself in this vibrant, bustling atmosphere. .

5.4 Buying souvenirs

You can buy precious medicines and herbs to bring back to your relatives and family such as ventricular tubers, ficus trees, polygonum, etc. Extremely sophisticated handicrafts: hats, scarves, handbags. , bracelets, necklaces, etc. are all made by the hands of highland ethnic people.

6. Specialty dishes when traveling to Bac Ha Sunday market

Quite similar to a market in the lowlands, food stalls are also displayed so that tourists have the opportunity to enjoy the specialties of the Northwest region of Vietnam, including some dishes like: Thang Co, corn wine, molded corn cakes, men men, sour pho, smoked buffalo meat,… Going to Bac Ha and not enjoying dishes like Thang Co is a huge mistake. Corn wine is a precious wine of the Northwest region, with a very spicy taste. Drinking a bowl of wine along with enjoying Thang Co will be delicious and “forget the way back”.

7. Accommodation when traveling to Bac Ha market

To make it convenient for tourists to move between different tourist destinations, most accommodation facilities are concentrated in the town area. Furthermore, with the main type of accommodation being Homestay, visitors can both immerse themselves in the majestic nature. Also experience the daily life of the ethnic people here.

  • Highland homestay. Address: Ban Pho, Bac Ha Town, Bac Ha, Lao Cai.
  • Homestay Suoi Nguon. Address: Bac Ha Town, Bac Ha, Lao Cai.
  • Sam Mu stilt house. Address: 33 Na Hoi Street, Bac Ha Town, Bac Ha, Lao Cai.
  • Lan Rung Homestay. Address: TT. Bac Ha, Bac Ha, Lao Cai.
  • Huy Trung Homestay. Address: Bac Ha Town, Bac Ha, Lao Cai.
  • Bac Ha Boutique. Address: Na Co, TT. Bac Ha, Bac Ha, Lao Cai.
  • Bac Ha Eco Homestay. Address: TT. Bac Ha, Bac Ha, Lao Cai.
  • Quang Lan Homestay. Address: Group 2, TT. Bac Ha, Bac Ha, Lao Cai.

Check out what Origin Vietnam offers Good Sapa tours and Useful tips about Sapa, Vietnam.

Bac Ha Market tour from Sapa

8. Other famous tourist attractions near Bac Ha Sunday market

8.1 Bac Ha flower valley

If you have the opportunity to visit Bac Ha Sunday market, you cannot help but visit Bac Ha flower valley, where there are hundreds of species of flowers. Coming here, you can temporarily put aside your tiredness and worries to immerse yourself in the fresh air of the vast mountains, the carpets of roses, red, and yellow flowers stretching across the valley. Please prepare a phone with lots of memory to take beautiful photos.

8.2 Bac Ha Temple

Bac Ha Temple Festival is held every 7th day of the 7th lunar month to commemorate the death of national hero Vu Van Uyen, who contributed to suppressing rebellion. And keeping peace in our country during the 16th and 17th centuries. This temple was born to remember the victories of heroes in the cause of building and defending the country. The temple includes a large worship house, a harem worshiping the two Vu brothers and a temple worshiping Buddha, overall. Area up to 5 hectares.

8.3 Hoang A Tuong Mansion

Father and son Hoang Yen Chao and Hoang A Tuong built Hoang A Tuong Palace on a hill spanning 4,000 square meters over a period of 7 years, from 1914 to 1921. The palace features Western architecture and boasts a winding stream in front, showcasing intricate craftsmanship that distinguishes it amidst the thousands of mountains of Bac Ha.

8.4 Hang Tien (Fairy cave)

Inside Tien Cave is a very cool stream, the water is so clear that we can see small rocks right under the stream. Here people can bathe in the summer to avoid the sweltering heat. Going 200m deep, you will see a large cave, magnificent stalactites arranged in layers, natural fences, airy and cool space.

9. Some important notes when traveling to Bac Ha Sunday market

To have a meaningful and complete visit to Bac Ha Sunday market, you should note a few things as follows:

  • Bac Ha market only opens on Sundays, so you need to arrange your trip appropriately.
  • The best time to visit here is in the spring. Because of the beautiful scenery as well as many products for you to buy.
  • Being careful when buying because the goods here are not always from locals. There will be a lot of Chinese goods for sale at the market.
  • At the Bac Ha market, there are often children soliciting customers, so you need to be careful.
  • When taking photos with local people, you should buy them something, no matter how small, as a thank you.
  • For tourists, there will still be overpriced prices, so don’t forget to bargain when buying.
  • Using a motorbike as a means of transportation when traveling here. You have both flexibility and freedom in moving and save money.

Bac Ha Sunday market is not only the largest and most unique market in the Northwest of Vietnam, but also one of the 10 most attractive markets in Southeast Asia. Tour in Sapa plus Bac Ha Sunday market, you will definitely have the most unforgettable and interesting experiences. Trying attending the Bac Ha market once with Origin Vietnam – a professional local tour operator, to learn about the unique culture of this Northwest region.

Please drop an email to or call directly to +84829098686 for All things you need to know before travel to Sapa Vietnam.

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