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“Colourful though touristy”
Review of Bac Ha Market

Bac Ha Market
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$48.00*
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 young children, Activities for older children
Reviewed May 19, 2014

This market was nit busy but May is low season.

It was interesting to observe and photograph the ethnic minority women in their colourful native costume.

Batering was the order of the day. I wondered how much of the handicrafts were produced in mainland Chinese factory.

Driving from Lao Cai the road follows the river and China is on the other side.

Like TA member winequaffed, markers are nit my thing but nonetgeless this was wirth visiting.

I dud not see any cruelty to animals or dogs fir sa,e but must have missed these.

2  Thank Victorianlad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"lao cai"
in 27 reviews
"water buffalo"
in 25 reviews
"for sale"
in 19 reviews
"flower hmong"
in 13 reviews
"sa pa"
in 10 reviews
"fruit"
in 14 reviews
"ethnic minorities"
in 9 reviews
"traditional clothing"
in 9 reviews
"long drive"
in 8 reviews
"early morning"
in 8 reviews
"chicken"
in 8 reviews
"train station"
in 7 reviews
"chinese border"
in 7 reviews
"be careful"
in 6 reviews
"worth the trip"
in 6 reviews
"rice wine"
in 6 reviews
"interesting experience"
in 5 reviews
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183 - 187 of 400 reviews

Reviewed May 18, 2014 via mobile

I feel that a lot of the negative reviews so far are based on the journey in a minibus to the market rather than the market itself. The market is lovely and very authentic, you can watch the locals sizing up animals, buying all types of birds and bringing their horses and water buffalos to market. There are also a number of stalls which are more aimed towards tourists and sell very colourful souvenirs. My partner and I hired a motorbike in Sapa and rode down to Bac Ha on the Saturday morning, approximately 4-5hrs with frequent stops. Now forget Top Gear and the Hai Van Pass, this journey blows it out the water! Driving past rice paddies dotted all over the hills and valleys. The drive there (if you do it yourself) is worth the trip alone! There's no need to hang around in Bac Ha for too long, we arrived at roughly 3pm on the sat, got up early for the market 7:30am, and left for Sapa at 10am. A lovely weekend trip!

3  Thank Hilly1987
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 30, 2014

Visited this place in 2012. Seems less crowded this time around. This time around, the market seems less crowded. Maybe because it is winter as it snowed 2 weeks after our departure. This time around, I used the group tour provided by Sapa Pathfinders which was sardine-packed -even you had to sit on the aisle seat. Compared with my previous visit (a private tour), a mini-bus to 4 of us and a personal guide, this time round, the trip is really unpleasant. I did not really enjoy this trip as a number of TA friends encountered. Think best way is to enjoy this market is join a private tour with tour guide leading and explaining to you about the tribes, clothing, customs. In this way, your journey would not be so unpleasant and dangerous as some TA members experience. Most group tour organisers would drop you at the market and let you grope around blindly. They are just after your money!

2  Thank new88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 23, 2014

For the 5 or so hours of travel on a bus to have only about 2 hours of time at the market (we only needed a bit more than an hour to see all it had) was rather disappointing. We were hoping to see a real market for the locals, but it was more set up as a tourist trap. On top of that it was very expensive compared to the other markets we have visited, and there wasn't anything special or different from what we had seen elsewhere. Sure the bright colours of the flower mohm people are nice, but that was really the only highlight. Do yourself a favour if you are visiting from Sapa, and spend the time looking around there more.

1  Thank SimonandAlexis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 21, 2014

BAC HA MARKET (SUNDAY ONLY)
From Lao Cai it takes around 1 hour to 1 hour 30mins depends on traffic.
The Bac Ha is the largest and most colourful market, which attracts many tourists,. Here the flower H’mong, Phu La , Black Dao, Tay and Nung minorities come to trade. There is lots of hand crafts not found in other areas. It also has live animals for sale horses buffalo chickens ducks, geese and sadly wild birds caged.
It was very busy but we really enjoyed our visit.

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

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