Bac Ha is a district located in the North East of Lao Cai province in Northern Vietnam and every Sunday Bac Ha hosts markets near the mountainous highlands and the Chinese border. It is the most incredible market I have ever seen, filled with incredibly colourful minorities such as Flower H’Mong, Phu La and Dao Tuyen. This market attracts throngs of people from the surrounding hill tribes and some villagers walk several hours for the weekly opportunity to trade and barter food, animals, clothes and household goods.
I was a little concerned before we arrived that the markets would be like Sapa and set up for tourism with most of the original culture appearing to have disappeared, but I was pleasantly surprised. Although bus loads of tourists make the journey to Bac Ha, unlike in Sapa, the locals appear undisturbed by all the attention and go about their business of buying, selling and chatting and don’t push you to make sales or give them money.
I was mesmerised by the outfits, so intricately detailed and so many colourful layers of thick fabric worn in intense heat…
It is truly a place worth visiting..