Sapa Markets: list of all Famous markets in Sapa


Bac Ha is a highland town which is about more than 100km away from Sapa. The town certainly is not suitable for comfort travelling because of its infant stage of tourism. If you do not mind a modest accommodation, long walking distance and some dirt, you will enjoy Bac Ha for its sense of authenticity. The town hosts two famous weekend markets -Bac Ha market on Sunday and Can Cau market on Saturday. With its scarce, the town is rather deserted on weekdays. Only on weekdays, the hill tribes scattered around a large chunk of mountains walk dozen miles to attend to the largest markets. They are different ethnic groups -Hmong, Zao and Tay. Bac Ha market is the biggest, most commercialized market where spices, cattle, vegetables, farm tools, food and especially wines. The northern hill tribes are "notorious" for their large consumption of home-made wines. The wines are usually brew from corn, cassava and cat apple. Their flavor is mellow and mind-blowing. They are a certainly a must try if you can handle strong alcohol. Smaller in the size but with the same commodities is Can Cau market on Saturday. The market setting is located among scenic mountains. A visit in September would guarantee a nice watch of beautiful terraced paddies. The group of Flower Hmong are the most frequent patronage of the market. It is easy to recognize them as they are the most colorfully dressed ethnic group.

Sapa Markets


This Coc Ly 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 colored costume. They are a gentle, softly spoken people who live in the steep mountainous country close to the Chinese border. 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. Buffalo are still widely used in the growing process, especially in the mountainous regions. Horse are an important form of transport in the North West and a quite a few, sturdy ponies were tied to tree around the market. The horse carry a light timber frame on their back to carry produce to and from the market.


Can Cau market is one of the most fascinating open-air markets in the region, specializing in livestock. It’s 20km North of Bac Ha and just 9km south of the Chinese border. Visitors are generally H’mong groups from highland villages. The local H’mong are the famous variegated or Flower H’mong due to the intricate and colorful nature of their costumes, and their colorful dresses makes is a beautiful sight. Almost every Saturday around 8 different minorities are represented at the market. Travel is often made by horseback as a way of carrying the heavy loads to and from market. Can Cau also attracts a large number of Chinese traders, evidenced by the booming dog trade here.
Can Cau market tour is organized by Sapa Travel every Saturday from Sapa town

Sapa Markets


Every Saturday, the picturesque mountain village of Sa Pa comes alive with shoppers who know what they want: love. They travel from near and far to size up the goods of the day, hoping something will tickle their fancy.
Tall or short, sweet or sultry, they are all on the market, looking for love. Love markets (cho tinh) take place in the northern mountain provinces of Lao Cai, Ha Giang and Son La. A rare opportunity to mix, mingle and find a match, they are often a not-to-be-missed social event. For many young villagers, the love fests are a vital marital resource, given that many live in villages where all the inhabitants are blood relatives.
Here’s how it goes: singles strut their stuff through the market, hoping they will be lucky enough to be asked out on a date. What follows is not as simple as dinner and a movie – amorous couples must abide by the ways and mores of their ethnic nationality.