Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Coc Ly market ( Only Tuesday )

Sapa Coc Ly
Location : The road trip takes 1.5 hour from Lao Cai or Bac Ha( About 55km) and 2 and a half hours from Sapa( 90km)
It is the colorful market in a mountainous area where the Flower H’mong mainly gathers to exchange their homemade products.This Tuesday market is about 35km from Bac Ha. You can get here via a fairly good road, or by road and river; hotels in Sapa and Bac Ha can organise trips.
Coc ly is a small village on the Chay river inhabited by the Flower H’mong Minority people. The Flower H’mong traditionally wear a distinctive and bright coloured costume. Because Coc Ly is more remote than Sapa, the dress and way of life is more traditional than in the large centers. The market deals in fruit, vegetable, pork and chickens, in addition to colourful fabrics and items of traditional dress. There is a buffalo sale in progress and many of these placid animals are tethered close to the market.
Coc Ly market

Pha Long market ( Only Saterday )

Pha Long market in Sapa
Location : Coming to Pha Long market takes 2 hours by road from Lao Cai town (68km) and 3 hours from Sapa 95km.

Locating just few kilometers away from Chinese border, on a hill top amongst perfect nature setting, the Pha Long Market is a very rural and seldom visited by tourists. Every Saturday morning, local peoples from H,mong, Zao, Zay, Pa Zi, Tu Zi and Tu Lao, the 3 small branches of the Bo Y group with just some thousands inhabitants, living in the villages along the border gather here.

Pha Long is famous for Gau Tao festival in spring. “Gau Tao” means climbing mountains, and it starts from 3th to 6th in lunar calendar. People, who live in vicinities such as Bac Ha, Mu Cang Chai, and Chinese border, also come to Pha Long market.  There are a lot of ceremonies and traditional game in this festival.
The colorful traditional clothes of ethnic minorities combining with the beautiful color of mountains and forest will attract any tourists who come here. Coming to market is a traditional habit and a beauty of cultural in the life of people here.

Attending the market, it is quite easy to realize that many peoples at the market know one another well because the population of the region is small and relationship among the people is strongly maintained. The market is often over around noon, and it is a great experience to follow some local to their village near by for an interesting discovery of local culture and living way. The market surrounding area offers a breathtaking scenery of the mountain terrain featuring with lush forest.

Muong Khuong Market ( Sunday only )

Muong Khuong market
Location: Muong Khuong is 50km from Lao Cai, 1.5 hour to drive and 87km from Sapa, which takes approximately 2.5 hours.

Bordering with Chinese Yunnan Procince, Muong Khuong is a district of Lao Cai Province which is home to a diversity of ethnic minority groups including H’mong, Zao, Nung, Pa Zi and Tu Zi. Located at the center of the township, Muong Khuong Market, the most important market of the local ethnic peoples takes place on every Sunday, is always crowded with some thousands minority people from early morning. The H’mong and the Zao peoples, especially women are always wear their best colorful traditional costume and take the largest number. The Tu Zi and Pazi are of minor number but their traditional costume are of special model with dark color and high top hats. There are also many ethnic minority people come from the other side of the border, who often bring cheap Chinese made commodity to add to the variety of goods for sales at the market. Beside a collection of most popular commodity such as clothes, vegetable, food, farming tools, animals… which can be found in other market in the regions, some local specialties can be found at Muong Khuong Market including resin, incense made from tree bark, and medicinal herb for treatment together with acupuncture. Our one day trip to Muong Khuong from Sapa or from Lao Cai for those clients taking Saturday night train from Hanoi offers not only a chance to join the ethnic locals at this impressive market but also many opportunities to pay visiting to near by villages and admiring stunning scenery around the region.

Lao Cai Simacai market

Simacai marketLocation: Si Ma Cai market is 27km from Bac Ha, 98km from Lao Cai City and 135km from Sapa.
Si Ma Cai is not as frequented as Bac Ha or Sa Pa, also located in the mountainous province, since it is nestled at the far end of a road near the border with China.The name Simacai means “horse market” in H’mong language and old peoples said that it was the biggest horse market of the region. However, life is changing fast and horses are not the only purchasing objects nowadays.
The market place is simply a large ground near the recently developed town let of Simacai District with some thatched huts built to accommodate shops and food stalls.
In recent years, the charms of Si Ma Cai have been awakened and have become attractive to travelers due to the flower-colored clothes of the Mong and Red Dao ethnic peoples, by the greenery of mountains and hills, and by the legends.
Every Sunday, Simacai market attracts some thousands of Flower H’mong, Zao, Phu La peoples from villages in the region come to shopping, enjoying themselves meeting friends and relatives…after hard working days. They spend most of their time at the market talking, chatting and also drinking a lot.