Bac Ha Market
Bac Ha Market
4.5
7:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Monday
7:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Tuesday
7:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Wednesday
7:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Thursday
7:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Friday
7:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Saturday
7:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Sunday
7:00 AM - 9:00 PM
About
Bac ha Market Nestled in the northern hills of Vietnam exists one of the best ethnic markets in all of Southeast Asia! On Sundays, the ethnic minorities from the surrounding villages and hills come by foot, by motorscooter, by horse, and by water buffalow for their chance to socialize, eat, drink, smoke, get a haircut, and buy produce and meat for the next week. It is a blur of colorful plaids and stripes.
Duration: More than 3 hours
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  • Mike J
    Chepstow, United Kingdom912 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Fascinating local market
    We spent a good couple of hours wandering around this fascinating market place. People from many different ethnic tribes gather here to trade and socialize on every Sunday many of them having come a considerable distance to meet up with others. The women to bargain and chat and the man to smoke and drink. All manner of trade takes place and goods including livestock are later transported to outlying villages and homes on motor bikes and scooters. This is what Bac Ha is all about and should be on everyone's itinerary when visiting Northern Vietnam.
    Visited April 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written June 30, 2023
  • BelowTheIceberg
    Melbourne, Australia25 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    A sight to behold, but beware of scammers
    A sight be behold and a feast for anyone into photography and people-watching. It was great to see the locals our in their traditional clothing and Sunday best, doing their usual thing. The market has become touristy, so we were hassled a fair bit when walking through the stalls, esp the inside section. We expected to be quoted tourist prices for shopping, but not for fixed price food. When trying to eat at the market, though the prices were displayed, some vendors tried to charge us more double-triple. We tried local specialties like glutinous rice balls and multi-coloured sticky rice. The 1970 coffee stand is exceptionally good, with a very kind vendor. Most vendors were lovely and honest but beware of being scammed even by the food vendors!!
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written September 6, 2023
  • the_squid_girl
    London, United Kingdom11 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great market avoid one particular stall please
    This market is fantastic! Great for people watching, admiring ethnical minorities clothing and trying tasty local produce. Be aware of the lady in the photo. She pretends to be nice and friendly to the extent of hugging you just to make you sit at her stall and overcharge you for beer, coconut water and/or sunflower seeds and passion fruit (which btw doesn't cost 260 k dong). Her stall is right on the main square where the market is, close to the stage. Enjoy the market ☺️
    Visited November 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written November 25, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles499 reviews
Excellent
280
Very good
130
Average
55
Poor
20
Terrible
14

Kelly Rock
Shenzhen, China12 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
We were picked up at the train station after taking the overnight train from Hanoi. Our guide was a local village girl who did an amazing job explaining things and helping us negotiate prices from the vendors - we bought a few purses and our my 10-year old daughter bought a skirt she wore for 5 days straight! You can find EVERYTHING at the various parts of the market. I highly recommend going with a local guide for the great stories! And animal lovers (and sensitive children), go through the animal section quickly!
Written February 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

BelowTheIceberg
Melbourne, Australia25 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2023 • Friends
A sight be behold and a feast for anyone into photography and people-watching. It was great to see the locals our in their traditional clothing and Sunday best, doing their usual thing. The market has become touristy, so we were hassled a fair bit when walking through the stalls, esp the inside section. We expected to be quoted tourist prices for shopping, but not for fixed price food. When trying to eat at the market, though the prices were displayed, some vendors tried to charge us more double-triple. We tried local specialties like glutinous rice balls and multi-coloured sticky rice. The 1970 coffee stand is exceptionally good, with a very kind vendor. Most vendors were lovely and honest but beware of being scammed even by the food vendors!!
Written September 7, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

the_squid_girl
London, UK11 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Friends
This market is fantastic! Great for people watching, admiring ethnical minorities clothing and trying tasty local produce. Be aware of the lady in the photo. She pretends to be nice and friendly to the extent of hugging you just to make you sit at her stall and overcharge you for beer, coconut water and/or sunflower seeds and passion fruit (which btw doesn't cost 260 k dong). Her stall is right on the main square where the market is, close to the stage. Enjoy the market ☺️
Written November 25, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

KianHian L
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia1,276 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019
Colourful tribes market, selling everything from farming produces to livestock such buffalo, pig, chicken not missing the dogs and puppies. A row of open air barbers line the side lane of the river to the market (behind the row of shop lots. The buffaloes market is after the bridge if you don’t mine the dang smell, just follows the dropping on the road to the main trading area. Here you can watch the negotiation going on among the farmers and the buffaloes changed owner, dealing in cash.
Written January 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Monika M
14 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023 • Family
The Bac Ha market is totally not worth the visit. Firstly you travel for hours to reach a giant open market, something you can see in any Asian town, sometimes on a smaller scale. Vegetables, condiments, fruits, various types of fresh and dried meats etc are on display. When tourists are spotted prices are inflated at once and chances of bargaining are slim with the dour villagers. But the most shocking is the live animal market. Puppies in filthy tiny wire cages are sold, some for a home, many for the pot. Pigs and piglets tied in gunny bags, with barely a hole to breathe. We also saw some wild squirrels trapped and kept in tiny wire cages with bleeding noses and foreheads. It seemed like a nightmare and I was sorry I spent quite a bit of money to see this. Then the guides take you to some place for lunch where they hustle you for money with inflated prices. After that you are taken to see an 'ethnic village'. It's through a dirty track, through some tin houses to see someone brewing local moonshine from corn, which you are urged to buy. Nothing ethnic about it. After that comes the looong drive home, though through a much prettier road so that you can at least see some of Sapa's famous terraced rice fields. The tour we booked though just dropped us 20 min away from the pick up/drop off point and vanished, so that the whole group, including some old ladies, had to trudge their way uphill and back to town. Oh and did I mention they almost lost one of the members of the group, and did not go looking for her till it was time to leave, so that she got no lunch. Complete waste of money, time and some of the sights are nightmarish. Most of these local tour operators are awful and the market should be shut down by WWF/PETA.
Written May 8, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Speis75
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia250 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2022
I read about Bac Ha market when I was doing to research about Sapa. It certainly is a colourful bustling market where the different tribes come to trade their goods on a Sunday. Bear in mind, this market only opens on Sundays. It's about a 3 1/2 journey from Sapa town and another 3 1/2 hour journey back to Sapa town. Only visit this if you are on the way to or from somewhere near, if not, its not worth the trip to drive all the way just from the market.
Written December 27, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mike J
Chepstow, UK912 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023 • Couples
We spent a good couple of hours wandering around this fascinating market place. People from many different ethnic tribes gather here to trade and socialize on every Sunday many of them having come a considerable distance to meet up with others. The women to bargain and chat and the man to smoke and drink. All manner of trade takes place and goods including livestock are later transported to outlying villages and homes on motor bikes and scooters. This is what Bac Ha is all about and should be on everyone's itinerary when visiting Northern Vietnam.
Written June 30, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

I S
3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2022
Worth the overnight bus journey from Hanoi. Stay with Highland Homestay and organise a private tour with owner Zu, so that you get a better insight into the local culture. All the women wear their best traditional outfits and everyone is busy buying and selling local foods, animals and everything else. Try the food, it's amazingly fresh!
Written December 19, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

dembabies
Madison, WI6 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2011
Bac Ha...best market in Vietnam? Me thinks not. We arrived and planned to stay in Bac Ha on a Sunday morning before the market opened. We followed the advice of our mini-bus driver and got some breakfast at a hotel--Ngan Nga--where we were also planning on staying. A red flag flew immediately with the terrible breakfast and poor service, so right away we planned on taking the mini-bus to Sapa after the market.
While at first we were hopeful of finding some interesting handicrafts at the market and were impressed at the explosion of colors, our market journey soon evolved into an incredibly disappointing trip.
First of all, everyone is selling the exact same things, whether it be handmade blankets, purses or pashmina scarves, basically the same pattern (and many of the same items) you've seen all over SE Asia. The badgering is constant and intense. You cannot actually barter for anything, since it seemed as if the sellers all basically have set prices (and those prices are much higher than elsewhere).
Some of the remaining traditional aspects of the market are interesting, such as the livestock areas. While it's not our business to be offended, I'm sure many a white folk will be saddened and sickened to see the adorable puppies for sale, if not surprised, since dog meat is still eaten here (mostly in the North, it seems, and in the last half of the month) despite what the guidebooks say. We also saw a tiny kitten on the same red leash as the hogs. Do they eat kittens here?!
Then came the worst part: We sat down at a small table selling coffee and tea. (They are located near-ish to the entrance to the real market, after all the souvie shops on the way in), The woman made us a coffee, sold us a water and tea while another forced two small plates of peanuts and dried coconuts upon us (by forced I mean one of her co-workers literally put these nuts into my hand and gestured for me to eat, eat!) It was decently pleasant and comfortable...until it came time to pay. She wrote out the bill. 40,000 VND for coffee. What? "You had double." (We did not ask for a double, or even 2... but okay.) 100,000 VND for the peanuts and coconut? Wait, 100,000 dong for EACH PLATE OF PEANUTS? We ended up being forced to pay, despite our arguments, about $15 American dollars for two measly plates of peanuts that we did not order, a coffee, tea and water, as did the Polish couple next us. WTF! This woman would not budge on the price so we felt that we had to pay this exorbitant amount. After traveling for nearly 6 weeks in Vietnam, this was the first time we felt really ripped off. Sometimes you sit at a food stall and watch the locals pay, and then watch yourself get charged 5,000 dong more... that's no big deal and just part of traveling. But getting gouged like that just let's you know when an event/area has become over-saturated to the point where locals feel comfortable ripping you off. This kind of environment isn't good for the locals OR the tourists, and just breeds resentment on both sides. It does seem in Bac Ha (and to a lesser extent Sapa) that there is a good amount of disdain for tourists on the part of the locals. I can't really blame some of them but I don't want to be part of it either.
Admittedly, this soiled the rest of our market experience, though we tried to make up for it by warning others who were at the same stall to watch out for the $5 peanuts. Sometimes it was already too late and we would see another disgruntled Westerner trying to keep the peace by forking over 2,000,000+ dong.
In my opinion, this place is played out. Eventually there will be no locals selling and buying goods here, just busses full of tourists...willing to spend $10 for peanuts.
Written March 28, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Musicandtravel_10
Vancouver2 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
My goal with this review is simple ... I do not want one more person to make the same ( simple) mistake I made. It is easy while traveling to sit down, order a beer, and then ask the price after the fact. I got into this routine. So upon entering the Bac Ha market , there was a lady ( 40-50ish) who called out to foreigners for coffee or tea. I asked how much, but she muddled around getting me and my boyfirend a beer, so I didn't think twice. She put a few peanuts in front as well. When all was said and done ( 2 beers and the peanuts later) she said everything came to $10. She brought in some Vietnamese man to make the point we had to pay. Now, back in Canada $10 may seem reasonable, but it's the principle here that has made me write this. She didn't tell us the price, and charged us at least 5 times the value of the drinks. Be careful if you decide to sit down for tea/ coffee/beer. Clearly discuss the price for each drink, and be careful with peanuts!!!!
Written March 27, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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