Bac Ha Market - Sa Pa Lao CaiEarly Sunday mornings, villagers from various ethnic communities gather to sell their products or livestock at the market of Bac Ha, which then transforms into what may well be one of the most colourful markets in Vietnam. Many people arrive on foot, on ponies or if some are rich enough can drive motorcycles or be carried by motorbike carrier.
Overview of Bac Ha District
Bac Ha is an upland district located in the North East of Lao Cai province. It is adjancent to Si Ma Cai distric in the North, Ha Giang province and Bao Yen district in the East, Muong Khuong district in the West and Bao Thang district in South. The per capita income is 1,800,000 VND/per annual. Bac Ha is an extraordinarily disadvantaged district (20 out of 21 communes are classified as disadvantaged communes of Vietnam which is beneficial for Policy No135). The economy is underdeveloped and material infrastructure is difficult. Number of poor household is 3301 out of 8307, accounted for 39.74%.
Bac Ha district has 20 communes and 1 town, 213 villages. The total population in the district is 45,982, in which 22,667 are women, 39,285 are ethnic minority people. The population density is 64 per km square. There are 17 ethnic groups living together with 40% is H’Mong ethnic group.
In the district, the production capacity and awareness on environmental preservation is limited. Burning forest callously for rice field has eroded the land, make local climate becomes harsh. Consequently, forest fire continuously happens and many rare species of animal is in danger of extinction.
Description of location:
Natural area of Bac Ha district is 68,678 ha, in which 12,442 ha is agricultural land (account for 22.5%), forest land is 19.101 ha (accout for 27.8%), unused land is about 36,232 (account for 52.7%).
The average height comparing with sea level is 1,000 m (the highest areas is 1,532m). The semi-temperate climate is coverage about 2/3 of the district, humidity is about 87%, average rainfall is 1,800 mm/year, average temperature is 18.30C.
Agriculture and Forestry are the main sectors of the local economy. In the agriculture, planting is the key production with rice, maize and cash tree such as tea, soybean. The fruit trees, which are suitable for local climate and land, are peach, pear, and plum. In the forestry, the main trees, which are planted, are pine, bead, mo tree, lat tree.
Bac Ha Market – one of the most attract sites in Sapa Lao Cai
Facts and Info
Bac Ha Sunday Market, opened every Sunday, is famous for colourfully-dressed Ladies.
Situated in the far North of Vietnam, near the Chinese border, Bac Ha is easy to reach from Sapa, a touristy place approx. 75 km to the west.
There are regular (mini) buses between Sapa and Bac Ha. From the capital of Hanoi (330 km). The most convenience for tourists is to book trips with many choices at the travel office - Sapa Budget Tours. The market can be very muddy and misty, bring good shoes and a light rain coat.
Early Sunday mornings, villagers from various ethnic communities gather to sell their products or livestock at the market of Bac Ha, which then transforms into what may well be one of the most colourful markets in Vietnam. Many people arrive on foot, on ponies or if some are rich enough can drive motorcycles or be carried by motorbike carrier. Visiting the market, you will have chance to see traditional blacksmiths repairing the hooks of the local farmers using open fires, men surrounding piles of tobacco and checking the quality, resulting in beautiful smoky sights, colourful women selling small pigs or cute little puppies in cages. The Flower H’Mong women are extremely colourful, with their gorgeous attire in vibrant colours, layers of dresses and underskirts of printed and embroidered fabrics, heads covered with interesting shaped and folded scarves.
Tips for photo hunters in Bac Ha market
Travelling to Sapa is to seek for a limitless source of inspiration for professional photographers and simply tourists who want to have a collection of photos of their own. Knowing the people photographers wish to portray on a more or less intimate basis, is an invaluable prerequisite for the personal photography they wish to present. Coming here, tourists will not have any difficulty taking photos because the colourful Flower H’Mong women generally don’t object having their picture taken. The market and food stalls are a sight for sore eyes.
In effect, tourists should know when it is the best time to take photos. As with most markets, early morning is the best to photograph the Sunday market of Bac Ha, when there are most people, when the light is less harsh and when many villagers enjoy their steaming Pho something like Pho Hanoi, the traditional noodle soup.
It is advised that a wide-angle lens is perfect to capture the vibrant scenes. As for portraits, don’t hesitate to ask people – using sign language – since they are generally very friendly and co-operative.Tour to Bacha Market - Sapa