It is a long distance from the Hanoi capital to get to the Bac Ha market. It takes some hours from Hanoi to get to Sapa town. Tourists can get to Sapa by train, bus, motorbike, or car before traveling to Bac Ha Market, 100km from the town center.
By train: it takes you 8 hours to get to Lao Cai Train Station. Then you have to get to Sapa town by taxi, car, bike or motorbike.
By bus to Bac Ha: there are buses from My Dinh Bus Station, it takes 6 hours to travel.
By motorbike: you can go by bus to the city center and then rent a motorbike to get to the market.
By car/ limousine: many brands are offering the services. But it is quite expensive. But the service is very good.
Bac Ha market is open on Sunday every week. It starts at 4 or 5 am and lasts until 2 pm. This is the time for many different ethnic groups to come, purchase, have fun and make friends. Many Flower Hmong, Phu La, Black Dao, Tay, and Nung minorities gather in the market.
This is not only a place for people to sell or buy things, it is a special time for them to relax, enjoy food and share their traditional culture. Bac Ha market consists of 4 areas: the area for selling livestock, the groceries area including plows, hoes, shovels, knives, brocade as well as jewelry area, and the last one is food space with Lao Cai specialties.
Spring is the best time to visit the Bac Ha market. During this season, tourists can see the beauty of plum blossom season and take part in many local festivals of ethnic minorities. They believe that festivals at the beginning of the new year can bring prosperity, good weather, and a bumper crop.
There is a long list of things to do and things to see in the Bac Ha market. We hope you will never miss this list below because these must-do things are so amazing!
At Bac Ha Market, you can easily find special items made by ethnic minority people. You can also be dazzled by the colorful dresses of Hmong and Red Dao women. There are many shops with great products, including bags, hats, scarves, and wallets.
Local people buy and sell local brocade
It would be a pity if you do not try local food in Bac Ha market. The special food you can enjoy includes Thang Co which is processed from horse meat. Enjoying a few cups of Corn Wine is also a good experience. More than that, you can buy seven-colored sticky rice, sour noodle, Bac Ha plum, and carried underarm pork.
Local food at Bac Ha
There are many ethnic tribes living nearby the market if you have time for trekking and exploring daily life of the local tribe. It will be a great experience.
Bac Ha market has a large zone used for cattle and poultry trading. There are many animals for people to choose from, including pigs, cows, buffaloes, birds, dogs, and horses. The most crowded zone is the buffalo market because they need buffaloes for the fieldwork.
Festivals are held in the springs and during this time, tourists can take part in many special festivals. If you have a chance to Bac Ha at the being of the year, you should join such these important occasions:
Say San Festival: 2nd – 6th of January.
Ruoc Dat Ruoc Nuoc Festival: 15th of January.
Horse Racing Festival: early June.
Bac Ha Temple Festival: 7th of July.
What to do around Bac Ha?
There are many places to visit in Bac Ha, Lao Cai, such as Hoang A Tuong palace, Ban Pho Market, Fairy Cave, and more.
This used to be the most important building in northwest of Vietnam. Before 1945, the region around Bac Ha was under Tay ethnic minority control with French colonial support. The Tay king lived in the palace and had a monopoly on the trade of medicines, salt, and food.
Hoang A Tuong palace
It takes 2 hours from Lao Cai station to get to Ban Pho market. The market is famous for its specialty “corn wine”, considered the best wine in Bac Ha. One more great thing to experience is to enjoy a special barbecue with pork, goat, and cow.
Fairy Cave owns pristine beauty and is an amazing area for nature lovers. Surrounding the cave is the Chay river with cool blue water with cavernous rocks. It is not only majestic but also peaceful and poetic at the same time.
If you plan a tour to Lao Cai and visit Bac Ha market, do not worry about where to stay because there are hotels and homestays on a long list to choose from.
Bac Ha Eco Homestay
Address: Nam Cay Village, Bac Ha District, Lao Cai
Tel: 0941 050 178
This is a great homestay with clean rooms, a good view and heating pads. The bathroom is clean with the heater for cold days. Bac Ha Eco homestay is decorated with many brocade pattern cloths and a window in each room.
Cho Family Homestay
Address: Phec Bung Village, Ban Pho Ward, Bac Ha District, Lao Cai
Tel: 0949 423 221
Cho Family Homestay is considered great accommodation by many tourists. It is like a small house in peace, and the staff are very friendly. The price is reasonable, and the view for Bac Ha is amazing.
Bac Ha Boutique Homestay
Address: Na Co, Bac Ha
Always on top of the best homestay in Bac Ha, Bac Ha Boutique Homestay is famous for its wide room full of colors and decoration. The homestay has a large terrace with a mountain view, a private restaurant, and a small coffee shop for tourists to enjoy drinks and food.
Homestay La Beauté Bac Ha
Address: Na Lo Village, Ta Chai, Bac Ha
Travelers who want a peaceful accommodation to immerse themselves in nature can book a room at La Beauté Bac Ha homestay. This is a great place for you to relax, and practice meditation or yoga. You can even experience doing field work such as picking fruits and planting vegetables.
We hope you all can get enough information to prepare a wonderful tour of Bac Ha market, If you have any questions please feel free to contact Go Viet Trip: Email: Email: Goviettrip@gmail.com or hotline +84968667589. We are guarantee about quality and prices. Get a full refund if you do not feel happy with our services.
Author Hoan Nguyen
Photos: Go Viet Trip & internet
He has over 10 years of experience working in the tourism sector and operator. He has traveled to many places in Vietnam and around the world.