Though not as busy as Sa Pa Market or Bắc Hà Market, Cán Cấu Market in Si Ma Cai District, the northern province of Lào Cai, has its own unique features that have existed for hundreds of years among locals.
These features are imprints of the identities of various local ethnic minority groups including the Giáy and Mông.
The market takes place every Saturday. VNA/VNS Photo Lê Minh Sơn
The market is on Road 153, the only road linking Bắc Hà Town with Si Ma Cai Town.
The market gathers hundreds of locals on Saturdays and public holidays, running early morning to the afternoon.
People offer agricultural produces. VNA/VNS Photo Lê Minh Sơn
Locals bring various kinds of goods to trade here like agricultural products, clothes and household utensils. The market also has a large area for selling buffaloes.
From afar, the market looks vivid with the colours of goods and ethnic clothes. Approaching closer, one can hear sounds of the laughter of people, who come not only to trade but also to socialise.
Surrounding the market are terraced rice fields on the vast mountains.
People can find local delicacies like thắng cố (a kind of stewed horse meat, intestines and herbs), maize wine and also traditional weaved cloth.
The food area is always bustling. VNA/VNS Photo Lê Minh Sơn
Each market day trades in hundreds of buffaloes from Bắc Hà, Si Ma Cai, Mường Khương, Hà Giang and Yên Bái. Sometimes, locals hold buffalo fights for entertainment.
Locals consider buffaloes as important property and they come to Cán Cấu Market to buy strong buffaloes to help them in farming. They also seek fertile buffaloes to breed future herds.
People choose buffaloes at the market. VNA/VNS Photo Lê Minh Sơn
Many locals also come here to seek weak buffaloes for a cheap price. They bring them home to feed them well and sell them at the same market later in the year for a higher price.
Local authorities plan to develop the cultural features of markets as a tourism product for the region. VNS
People come to the market to catch up with their friends. VNA/VNS Photo Lê Minh Sơn