Monday, November 30, 2009

Bac Ha Market, Bac Ha

Today is 30-11-2009

29-11-2009, Ba Ha, Vietnam
Bac Ha Sunday Market, Bac Ha Town

View Larger Map

Bac Ha Sunday Market - Some 100km (62 miles) from Sapa, this is probably the most famous market in the region. Here, various hill tribes converge every Sunday morning to conduct business.

Yesterday (29-11-2009)we were in Bac Ha town, visiting Bac Ha Market, where the flower Hmong(or Hua Miao) are having their Sunday market. Bac Ha is 7 km from China border. The weather is fine, with heavy train during the morning while we were still traveling in the van. The rain stopped half way during our journey to Bac Ha. It was a long journey of winding road by the van, to reach Bac Ha town. The travel along the winding mountain road take about 3 hours to reach Bac Ha from Sapa. If you are fearful of height, the travel along the winding mountain road may be frightening, it is better to close your eves and have a short sleep like some members did. Other than our family, there were 2 Singaporean, 3 Malaysian from KL and Sarawak, and two Spanish girls, Eva and Betta. Eva and Betta worked with the airline.

It was sunny, when we reached the town. The market was very vibrant and crowded with many flower Hmong people doing their weekly marketing. The most interesting part of it was the selling of buffalo,pigs and dogs. Yes they sell dogs, which they eat.(Note: Not only Vietnamese eat dog, Korean, Naga(from North East India), the North Burmese, Northern Thailand, and of course the Hakka Chinese; so animal right lobbyist, do not be surprise ). The market is good place for photography.

After the market visit, the tour group members are still busy shopping; I have finished my photo session at the market , and have extra time to venture into the local community. I witnessed the trading of the firewood, where a horse cart were used to transport by firewood trader to their customers. I have a nap in the tour van, and over slept; the tour leader was looking for me for the lunch at the town restaurant. When they finally located me in the tour van, the other tour members have finished their lunch, I was the last to take the lunch. What a shame....

After lunch, the tour van took us to the flower Hmong village nearby. We visited the village house, many tour members were shocked to see the poor condition of the house and the standard of living of Flower Hmong. They are curious to explore inside the house. The chicken, the pigs, and the human are living together within short distance from each other. The floor was not cemented and with bare earth. The house unit is just bare basic, the wall was home make earth wall. I really feel that if we buy anything directly from the tribal people we should not have bargain as we used to do in our shopping at Vietnam. The little money that the tribal people earned from their handcraft will support the whole family,and improved their living...why don't we contribute and share our little wealth to buy handcrafts from them with the price they ask?.... I did not stay long in the house, my heart felt uneasy and pain to see the living condition and we are watching them like in the zoo. I preferred to talk with the children outside, the smile from the kids despite their difficulty in life. I hope they will never grow up to know the hard part of their lives and future....

we were actually scheduled to take a van to Lao Cai, may be a stop at the China/Vietnam border. But the tour guide suggested a boat trip along the river to Lao Cai. But the trekking to the river bank took longer time as expected, the boat ride was cut down from 1 hour to half hour. We took of from the river bank 5 km from Lao Cai.

After the dinner at Lao Cai, we waited at the same restaurant where we waited on our arrival from Hanoi night train. We have dinner at the restaurant. It was a long wait for the time to take a night train. The time to depart was 2100 or 9.00p.m. Again, it is a solid 8-9 hours train ride to Hanoi. But we have good sleep in the train.

For a more adventure tourist, nearby Saturday market, Can Cau Market. Sprawling near the banks of a river, Can Cau Market is a clearly defined shantytown, packed with crude stalls covered with thatched roofs. The start of a few simple settlements can be seen high above, many of whose residents now make their weekly pilgrimage to the market. The Can Cau Market is only 9kms from the Chinese border and some traders make the journey across from China on horseback. Few foreigners make it to Can Cau; those that do brave the journey come either with a small tour group in four-wheel drives, or if on a tight budget come by riding on the back of a motorbike. Can Cau Market is predominately a livestock market and not the sort of place to buy some choice gifts for the folks back home. Beyond the fenced-in perimeter, pot-bellied pigs, chickens and water buffalo wait patiently by the river to be sold. They rub shoulders with magnificent wild horses, some of whom will be transporting their masters back over to China. But the market also sells the basics: traditional clothing, sacks of rice, bundles of coarse, raw wool and ironware. Some stalls sell fresh tobacco and a rather sad array of root vegetables. Many women sell their wares from large, wicker baskets and sit weaving whilst waiting for a sale.(ref:

30-11-2009, Hanoi, Vietnam
Hanoi to Danang

The next morning(30-11-2009), we were picked up by the hotel staff when the train arrived at Hanoi Railway Station. The staff led us to the taxi hired by the hotel, which has been waiting at the railway station for our arrival. The breakfast is also ready at the hotel.

After a morning shower, I am now writing the blog.

Today the weather is sunny, we will be in Hanoi for the morning, and taking the plane to Danang in the afternoon.

We will be pick up by hotel at Da Nang airport, and take us directly to Hoi-an for the lantern festival.

No comments:

Post a Comment