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“Not to be missed, if you are around on Sunday”
Review of Bac Ha Market

Bac Ha Market
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$29.00*
and up
Full-Day Bac Ha Cultural and Market Tour from Sapa
Ranked #1 of 9 things to do in Bac Ha
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: 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.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children
Reviewed September 4, 2012

You don't really need an agency to do this, expecially if you come directly from Hanoi.
If you go on your own by train, the shortest and fastest way is to get out at Pho Lu, and then take a minivan. (it departs from the small square in front of the train station). Cost is 100000 dong, with no bargain possibility, locals pay less.
The trains usually arrive in Pho Lu 1 hour earlier than Lao Cai.
During the way, some flowered Hmongs will get on this minivan as well, with the stuff they have to sell (cages with some small birds inside), so the journey will not be very confortable, because it can get crowded, but it is short, so not a big problem. It is also a nice opportunity to have contact with the local people, and you can have some fun also!
We had breakfast at the Sunset Boulevard Cafè , and then we left our luggage there. In the early afternoon, 2 pm we took a minivan to Sapa (the hotel owner bought the tickets for us)
The market is beautiful, and very coloured. Very good opportunity to take amazing pictures. I did not buy any souvenir, because I was at the beginning of my holiday, so I cannot comment on the prices.
Very worth to see, don't miss if you happen to be around on Sunday morning.

2  Thank onelastwish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"water buffalo"
in 26 reviews
"lao cai"
in 30 reviews
"for sale"
in 21 reviews
"fruit"
in 17 reviews
"flower hmong"
in 14 reviews
"sa pa"
in 9 reviews
"long drive"
in 9 reviews
"ethnic minorities"
in 9 reviews
"sunday morning"
in 8 reviews
"chinese border"
in 8 reviews
"train station"
in 7 reviews
"be careful"
in 6 reviews
"traditional costumes"
in 6 reviews
"fresh produce"
in 5 reviews
"interesting experience"
in 5 reviews
"all kinds"
in 5 reviews
"live animals"
in 5 reviews
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241 - 245 of 437 reviews

Reviewed August 3, 2012

The Bac Ha Market is a very colourfull event. The Flower Hmong wear beautiful coloured traditional clothing. The market is very busy and in a way touristic too. The life stock that is sold on the market (dogs, chickens, pigs etc) is a little less nice to see, on one hand you can understand people have to make a living, but on the other hand the animal unfriendly handling of the animals is a bit less fun to experience. But there are many other parts of the market to enjoy. For photographers it can be a real picture making walhalla.

Thank Tamaragw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 1, 2012

Loved wondering around this fascinating market. Didn't have trouble with taking photos of people. Though some waved no and we complied with that.
We stayed overnight so wandered around the market while it was being set up and much quieter.
As someone mentioned, be careful of being ripped off with coffee and nuts etc. It happened to some of our friends too.
We also visited the Can Cau market further up towards the Chinese Border - even better than Bac Ha.
You do get hassled at both markets to buy bags etc, which we did, but it was all good fun. Much preferred to buy from these markets than in a shop. Items very authentic.

1  Thank NettyA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2012

If you are heading up to Sapa try to time it so you can see the Bac Ha market on the Sunday. It is an amazing place. At the front are a lot of more tourist focused stands but go behind and you will see the food area, the local stands, and then further back the livestock markets (horses by the river, cows on the hill etc). In between there are cats, dogs, ducks, chickens and most other things for sale.

I would recommend going with a local as they know it well and can also help with introductions. Also learn a few local words too as I found it much easier to get people to pose for pics, if I said hello and how are you to them in the local language. Thank you was also well used too.

Over all I rate Bac Ha market as one of my Vietnam highlights. I spent most of the day here even to when it started to wind down and people were leaving for home. The food was great too.

Funniest bit was I had the locals rolling on the floor laughing when I bought a single carrot and had the stall owner peel it for me. The smallest note I had was a 20,000 dong (NZ$1.20) so I happily gave her this for the carrot - apparently I could have bought most of the carrots she had for this much. Then when they saw me eat a single raw carrot for a snack this was even funnier for some reason?

Some great photos of people laughing so well worth it.

4  Thank crosis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 16, 2012

loved everything about this market. wasnt really hassled much to buy stuff. Only problem is the locals dont like you taking photos of them and want to be paid.

2  Thank utherpen a
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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