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Ways to Experience Bac Ha Market
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Reviewed November 11, 2012

We went to Bac Ha for the famous Sunday market and was disappointed by the hordes of tourist that were there. The market itself is pretty big and has some interesting scenes with people selling buffalo, goats, dogs, pigs, cats etc as well as traditional goods for the locals. We were there to try to photograph some of the hill tribe people from the area which was difficult to do without getting lots of tourists in the photos. The flower Hmong people are super colorful and it would be great to be able to meet them in a better setting rather than in narrow stalls or streets surrounded by so many tourists. Not sure it was really worth the long drive to and from SAPA but if you are in SAPA for more than a few days its a good diversion if you are there on a Sunday. The restaurants in the area were all pretty bad looking and the one we ate at was terrible and that we supposed to be one of the better ones in town although they did have a toilet that was decent which was probably the reason they took us there. Might try your chances with the street food or just stick to some fruit from the market.

Date of experience: November 2012
1  Thank AnthonyPM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 26, 2012

nothing much you could shop here. things that you see at sapa are mostly sold here at a higher price. so if you are intending to buy handicraft, get them from sapa directly since it is the hmong that does the embroidery.

in this market, you will see trading on dogs, chickens, ducks, boars, horse, water buffaloes (basically any animals you can find in sapa). food stall in the market sells some unique stuff like cooked horse meat, cooked water buffaloes where the local eat as part of their lunch. so be prepared to see them.

basically, this market is filled with flower hmong whose traditional clothes are the most colorful among others. great for photo taking. road to bac ha market is 3 hours from sapa. 1.5 hrs from lao cai. do prepare some pills along if you are prone to car sickness.

Date of experience: October 2012
2  Thank jyansg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 30, 2012

We did a 2 day tour to Bac Ha with " Way to Vietnam " tour group , it was amazing , well worth the effort if you have enough time . Our tour guide" Dong" was fantastic , he knew a lot of the locals and was full of information . We took our childern aged 9 and 11 and they also loved it .The scenery was beautiful and the markets were very traditional . I would highly recommend this tour to anyone.

Date of experience: September 2012
7  Thank kidsonholidays
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 30, 2012

Visited this market during my trip to Sa Pa. Followed local tour organized by hotel but too bad since its day tour,not much time allowed to shop around since the journey taken so much time and usually they will arrange the visit of Lao Cai town as well.You can snap a lot of minorities portrait shots over here especially those flower hmong people with colourful clothes. This market can also let yourself closer to their life. Lot of local veggie, snacks, handicraft etc you can get over here. The weather over here not as cool as Sa Pa during winter time,instead it's sunny and slightly warm.

Date of experience: December 2011
Thank KianMing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.

Date of experience: July 2012
2  Thank onelastwish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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