|Trinkets: There will be plenty of souvenirs to pick up before going home. |Viet Nam News
The Bắc Hà market in the mountainous province of Lào Cai is the largest market in this part of the country. The market is held every Sunday with people from 14 ethnic minority groups in nearby towns and villages coming together to trade, exchange news and socialise. The market used to be the region’s hub for the buying and selling of horses – the most popular method of transport in the mountains — but now it’s a bustling market with a wide variety of goods.
The market is divided into different sections: livestock, handicraft products, clothing, herbs and spices as well as many outdoor eateries for hungry traders, some of them having walked for miles to get there early in the morning. The Bắc Hà market is a well-known attraction in the northwestern region.
Tourists, both Vietnamese and foreigners, are often mesmerised with traders’ colourful outfits, local specialities such as horse stew and corn alcohol and the sheer number of items on sale. Among which, they may find a family of potbellied water buffalos and cute little puppies. Don’t be too surprised. It’s just another sunny Sunday at the mountain market. — VNS
|Take a break: Tourists eat at an outdoor snack stall at the market. |
|Hot and spicy: An ethnic woman shows off her string of dried chillis, one of the most popular spices. — VNA/VNS Photos Thanh Hà|
|Shopping heaven: A corner of the market with shops selling colourful traditional clothes. |
|Sprawling space: View of the market from the top of a nearby hill. |