Dao San market is one of the unique markets of people in the border communes of Lai Chau province. Not only is it a regular market to exchange goods, but it is also a place to make friends, a place to exchange, and also a place to preserve the highland cultural identity of this northernmost land of Vietnam.
1. Where is Dao San market?
Dao San Phong Tho market is located in Dao San commune, Phong Tho district, Lai Chau province. The market is about 60 km north of Lai Chau city and about 330 km northwest of Hanoi capital.
2. How is Dao San – Phong Tho market unique?
When talking about Phong Tho, Lai Chau, it is impossible not to mention Dao San market. And one of the markets that still retains the unique and pristine culture of the people in the northernmost mountainous region of Vietnam.
The market is a place to exchange, trade, interact and make friends among the 8 communes of the district, which many people still call the 8 “border bow” communes in the North. The ethnic people here are mainly ethnic minorities in the Northern highlands such as the H’Mong ethnic group, Dao ethnic group, or Ha Nhi ethnic group,…
The market is located more than 15,000 meters above sea level. The market has a total area of over 1,300 square meters and was rebuilt in 2010 to be more spacious and beautiful than before, adding a parking lot as well as horse-tying posts for traveller travelling to Lai Chau.
It’s worth a visit Dao San Market
When the mountains and forests awaken, the sun begins to shine, and groups and groups of boys and girls from highland ethnic groups are excited and bustling with their elegant dresses, colorful patterns, and even quietness. Colorful people flock to the market, standing out against the background of blue mountains and green forests.
Dao San Market is not simply a wholesale market for exchanging and buying goods. Such as cardamom, a forest product with high economic value, but also has forest products, traditional handicraft products…
The unique, typical feature of this market is “market culture”, a place to reveal and exchange the cultural identities of ethnic minorities here. People go to the market like going to a festival, like going to Tet. We can see H’Mong boys holding a flute in their hands, leading a horse, carrying a cassette radio on their shoulders, “showing off” H’Mong folk songs, then stopping to perform solo and perform a performance. Khen dance.
We can witness groups of Thai and Ha Nhi boys and girls singing back and forth and exchanging love. H’Mong women carry their children to the market, walk on linen carts, stop to sit on stones embroidered with flowers, or sit under umbrellas for their husbands to sleep on the side of the road. Or huddling together in groups of H’Mong girls chirping and laughing, watching H’Mong boys play tickle, dance, watch Thai boys and girls play “to mac le”,…
3. When is the Dao San market opening?
Previously, every six days the market would meet, and on the day of the ox and the day of the goat according to the lunar calendar, people here would be busy preparing to go to Dao San market. Maybe that’s why this market is often called “horn market” – every time a horned animal appears on the calendar, the market opens. (according to the 12 zodiac calendar)
The reason why people choose these two days to hold the market. Because according to the beliefs of the people here, the buffalo and the goat are two animals that bring prosperity and prosperity.
No one can remember when the market existed. Thus the market exists to this day as an indispensable cultural feature. However, today the market is regularly held on Sundays, even if they are not goat or buffalo days.
4. How to get to Dao San market?
If you travel from Lai Chau city center, it will take about more than 2 hours to get to the marketplace. From Lai Chau city center, you follow National Highway 4D to the North. After finishing National Highway 4D, continue on National Highway 100 and Provincial Road 132 to reach Dao San commune, Phong Tho district, where Dao San market is located.
On the way here, visitors can admire the high and low terraced fields, undulating among the mountains and forests. Coming here during the pouring water season or the ripe rice season is even more beautiful. The air here is cool all year round, coming here early in the morning you can see the fog or admire the very interesting scene of “walking on clouds”.
5. Experiencing at Dao San – Phong Tho market
Different from other markets around the region, Dao San Phong Tho market has its own unique features. The inside of the market is not too large, so there are fewer stalls. People who don’t have a place to sit sit on both sides of the road. Every market day, everywhere you look you will see people.
Not only sellers but also many buyers come here. There are young men, young women, and couples taking each other to the market to shop. Each unique and colorful traditional costume worn makes the highland market more brilliant than ever. Everyone was laughing and smiling as if they were going to a party.
Even more special, when many people come here, they don’t buy much, but most of all, they get to meet friends, interact and keep memories together.
At Dao San Phong Tho market, everything is sold, especially the ethnic specialties here. These are baskets of bamboo shoots that people have carefully boiled and tied into fragrant bundles, or baskets of colorful sticky rice that radiate a sweet scent.
Those are also crispy donuts, bottles of golden wild honey or baskets of fresh fruits that have just been picked early, bags of newly harvested fragrant sticky rice, mac Khen, cardamom,… .
In addition, at Dao San, Phong Tho market there are also many types of agricultural products, products with the flavors of the mountains and forests, livestock such as buffaloes, cows, chickens, dogs,… or handicrafts. such as clothes, electronics, refrigeration,…
While buying and selling, asking each other about family stories, raising pigs and chickens, the market seemed to be bustling in a corner of the sky. No wonder everyone here likes and loves the market so much.
6. Specialties when traveling to Dao San – Phong Tho market
When you come to Dao San market, don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy the specialties of the highland people here. There are five-colored sticky rice, badger pig, greasy grilled meat, all kinds of cakes, salty and sweet donuts,… Every dish is delicious.
In addition, you can also enjoy some Lai Chau specialties such as:
- Lam nho.
- Hmong rice cake.
- Lettuce salad.
- Ant eggs cake.
- Pig intestines stuffed with sticky rice.
- Buried goby.
7. Accommodation when traveling to Dao San – Phong Tho market
When traveling here, visitors should choose accommodation facilities in the town center, because it makes it convenient for tourists to move between destinations and is convenient for personal activities. You can refer to some accommodation facilities below:
- Lan Anh II Hotel. Address: Phong Tho Town, Phong Tho, Lai Chau.
- Phuong Thanh Hotel. Address: Phong Tho Town, Phong Tho, Lai Chau.
- Hoang Lan Hotel. Address: Phong Tho Town, Phong Tho, Lai Chau.
- Bich Loi Guesthouse. Address: Khong Lao, Phong Tho, Lai Chau.
8. Some other tourist attractions near Dao San – Phong Tho market
When traveling to Dao San market, visitors also have the opportunity to explore other famous landmarks and destinations in Phong Tho such as:
8.1 Dao San Plateau
Dao San Plateau is famous for its pristine nature, stretching hills and mountains with the green color of the jungle. Terraced fields and gurgling streams also add to the wonderful scenery of this place.
Besides, this plateau is also inhabited by ethnic groups such as H’Mong, Dao, Thai, Ha Nhi,… So when you come here, especially when the Dao San market is held on Sunday Every week. You will admire and experience the extremely unique culture of the highland people.
8.2. Heart shape waterfalls
As the name suggests, the heart waterfall is a waterfall in Sin Suoi Ho commune. With the hand of mother nature, the waterfall is blocked by a cliff, divided into 2 streams and then fall together to form a heart shape. right in the middle of vast forests and mountains.
That poetic scene has captured countless hearts from tourists near and far. Besides, according to indigenous people, the heart waterfall is also associated with the legend of the extremely beautiful love of a couple.
8.3. Bach Moc Luong Tu Peak
Bach Moc Luong Tu, also known as Ki Quan San. It’s located on the border between Lai Chau and Lao Cai provinces. This is one of the highest mountains in Vietnam. The scenery on the top of the mountain is extremely poetic. And magical as if it could touch the blue clouds.
The rugged terrain and steep cliffs are extremely suitable for those who love adventure and exploration.
8.4. Tien Son Cave
Tien Son Cave has 36 different arcs running continuously across the mountainside. The deeper you go, the more the cave will expand with beautiful and magical stalactites and stalagmites.
8.5. Temple of Lady Han
Miss Han is a heroic figure in the legends of the White Thai ethnic group in the Northwest of Vietnam. People built a temple and worshiped her as a god.
February 15 (lunar calendar) is chosen every year as the Han Festival. On this day, indigenous people will offer incense, agricultural products, and food to the temple to pray for a year of peace and luck. Besides, there are also many folk games and unique national dances.
Dao San market is not too noisy, nor is it large in scale. But it is a unique and unforgettable cultural feature for anyone who visits. You will never forget the kindness, warmth, and sincerity of the people here. Then when you return home you will always remember this place fondly.
If you are planning your tour Vietnam to Dao San – Phong Tho market, please immediately contact Origin Vietnam – a professional Lai Chau tour operator. A team of experienced, dedicated, and thoroughly knowledgeable consultants, tour operators, and local guides is with you to explore this land. We will take you on a journey to discover Dao San market with unforgettable memories.