|Bac Ha Market
The Sunday market in Bac Ha is where you'll want to stock up on water buffalo, pigs and horses. Once
you're all set, you can browse for bottles of local firewater (made from rice, cassava or corn) or handicrafts made by some of the 10 Montagnard groups living near here - Flower Hmong, Dzao, Giay (Nhang), Han (Hoa), Xa Fang, Lachi, Nung, Phula, Thai and Thulao.Bac Ha is a less crowded alternative to Sapa, and arriving midweek makes for a relaxing visit. Around 700m above sea level, the highlands around Bac Ma are somewhat warmer than Sapa. Bring ear plugs so you needn't endure the 'Voice of Vietnam' echoing from the loudspeakers at market-rousing time.
Sapa Love Market
Sa pa is famed for its "Love Market" – sort of a cross between a peacock mating ritual, a Middle Eastern arms bazaar, an Amish square dance, a bad Pavarotti concert and Bangkok's Patpong (except here the people wear clothes). On Saturday nights, Red Dao hill tribe youths of both sexes congregate in a weekly courting rite, singing tribal versions of Loretta Lynn love songs to woo the opposite sex. The songs are highly personalized and boast of the composer's physical attributes, domestic abilities and strong work ethic. While Dao women are indeed highly industrious, the men, it seems, prefer to spend most of their time drinking, smoking opium or sleeping, only occasionally slapping the rump of a lethargic bovine moving more slowly than they are. Few of their songs, though, are about drinking, smoking opium, sleeping or slapping rumps
Binh Lu & Tam Duong Market - Sunday
Every Sunday from 8 am to 1 pm.
Binh Lu and Tam Duong market is located on the other side of Sapa, passing the 1900 meter Tram Ton pass, Viet Nam's highest mountain pass and considered the most beautiful stretch of road in the country. The town is bustling with activity as the local hill tribes gather for their weekly market day, amazing tribal markets in Binh Lu where thousand of Thai Kadai language groups such as Tai Lu, Tai Laos, White Tai, and H'mong - Yao group (black Yao, Yao Lantien..), Giay, Khomu.. comes to buy and sell their own produces.
Coc Ly Market - Tuesday
From 7 am to lunchtime
Off the beaten track. Several groups of Mong, Dao, Tay, Nung and Phu La groups can be found in this secluded mountain market. Return back by boat down the river Chay and marvel at the untouched natural beauty of the region
Muong Hum Market - Sunday
Every Sunday from 6 am to 1 pm.
This market is the biggest cardamom market in the region, pre-dating the French and serves as a meeting point for the ethnic groups living in the mountains; including the Giay, Dao, White H’mong and Ha Nhi. Those who live in the upper reaches of the mountains such as the Mong or Red Dao come down to sell specific products such as cardamom and mountain plants. In Muong Hum, it's worth taking a sip of the local brew - here it's paddy rice brandy from the Dao village of San Lung. It's become quite a famous tipple.
Muong Khuong - Sunday
Every Sunday from 6 am to 1 pm.
Big market with a variety of ethnic groups, Mong, Dao, Nung and others, including visitors from as far away as China come to sell their products. Pa Zi women can be found selling traditional incense made from bark and resin of scented trees.