Sapa markets are some of the many distinctive and interesting traits of the tradition of Northern Vietnam. A whole unique and colorful world is waiting for you to explore!
Speaking about the Sapa markets is not only talking about selling and buying goods. More than that. Sapa markets are the hub of the minorities’ lives, the place local people gather to entertain and seeking lovers!
Colorful, exciting and one-of-a-kind!
Going to the Sapa markets is the easiest to learn more and deeper about the way of life of the native people here. Furthermore, tourists will have a chance to enjoy local specialties and get unique Sapa souvenirs. So, let’s go explore all of the Sapa Markets!
>>> See more unique What to do in Sapa! <<<
In Sapa Vietnam, there are dozen of markets active every day, but there are some only open once or twice a month. Here is a list of the most famous and worth visiting markets in Sapa, just for you:
There are many unique markets in Sapa and each Sapa market has much to offer. If you want to visit as many exciting places as you can, contact AZ Local Trip for a FREE Itinerary planning that help you make the best of your trip out there!
1. Bac Ha Market
Bac Ha Market, a Sapa weekend market which holds on every Sunday, is needlessly the most famous Sapa market among all. This large market sells all the things, from ready food, traditional handicrafts, Tho Cam clothes to vegetables and other daily necessities.
It is said that in Bac Ha Vietnam, you can see most of the ethnic minorities of Sapa gathering together, making a vibrant and bustling atmosphere.
It is located in Bac Ha District of Lao Cai province and is about 70 kilometers away from Sapa town. The road to the Bac Ha market can be quite challenging at some point, but the beautiful landscape along the trip will make up for the rest.
This is recommended that you should try some local dishes in Bac Ha Market, and a sip of rice wine if possible. Buying souvenirs at Bac Ha Market is also a good idea.
Bring home these unique souvenirs!
2. Coc Ly Market – One of the best Sapa markets
On every Tuesdays, the local hill tribe people coming to Coc Ly Market in Sapa. This is the hub of the Nung, Black Dzao, Tay and Flower Hmong people from all Sapa village to buy and sell their goods.
This market is mainly for the people who are living in the Northwestern part of Lao Cai province, more precisely, Bac Ha District. However, nowadays a lot of tourists also come for this colorful market once every week.
Located near the bridges on the Chay River, Coc Ly Market is the place for local people to trade the local specialties and handmade traditional costumes.
This Sapa market consists of many different parts, each selling one type of good, for example beautiful, handmade traditional clothes, accessories or jungle herb. Pure honey and valuable types of mushrooms are easily seen at Coc Ly Market.
Find some herbs in Sapa? Come to Coc Ly market!
Of course, in the market, native people sell their signature traditional dishes. You can have a try at some of the dishes of the minority tribes at a very cheap price. The colorful and exciting atmosphere of Coc Ly market makes it one of the best spot for a market visit in Sapa.
Even though the market seems to be small in size, its business still running well and this is one of the places that you can see so many different traits of ethnic minorities mixing together.
Each minority dress in their different traditional clothes, making this Sapa market more vibrant and lively!
3. Sin Cheng Sapa Market Vietnam
On Wednesday, going to Sin Cheng Market is a good option for any tourists while staying in Sapa.
This a small market located in the Si Ma Cai District of Lao Cai province. Sin Cheng Market is only around 10 kilometers away from Sapa town, but due to the bad condition of the road, sometimes it is impossible to reach this bustling market, especially with bad Sapa weather.
However, if you have a chance to visit Sin Cheng Market, don’t miss it. This is maybe one of the fairest Sapa markets– little to no bargaining happens here. The sellers only offer one price for their goods, mostly things they spend their own labor to create.
And if the buyers don’t agree with that price, they just simply take everything back home with them and try another time.
In Sin Chai Market, the most famous goods are rice; it is said that the rice from Sin Chai Market is of top quality. Other popular goods of this Sapa market are ducks, rice wine and Tho Cam clothes.
A special thing about this Sapa market is that tourists can catch sight of the minorities riding horses to commune.
4. Sapa Town Market
Also known as Love Market Sapa, this place once was the destination for young adults seeking marriage partners. Nowadays, Sapa Love Market is open every Saturday, not functions only as a matchmaking place, but like a real market.
At Sapa Market, you can find different races of ethnic people and tourists busy selling and buying things for themselves. The most famous goods at the Sapa market must be the brocade products of the local craftsmen. Besides, local specialties such as fresh vegetables, fruits, and spices are best-sellers for both locals travelers.
5. Cao Son Market in Sapa
Also rivals with Sin Cheng Market on Wednesdays is Cao Son Market. This Sapa market is quite near the Chay River, and tourists can also take a boat trip on this river for relaxation and sightseeing on this beautiful river.
If you come to Cao Son Market early, you can easily see many local people coming here with large baskets on their back – which is known as “gui”, either full of goods to sell or empty to fill in later. They may go on foot in a group, but some will ride horses or motorbikes to carry heavy goods.
In Cao Son Market, tourists will have a chance to see the beautiful and bright Hmong and Dzao girls in their traditional Tho Cam clothes with an also colorful umbrella on their hands. They represent elegance, charm, and liveliness of the market in Sapa.
6. Can Cau Market
A bit further to the North is the Can Cau market, which is only a few kilometers away from the Vietnam-China borderline.
On every Saturday and Sunday, this market will be held in Can Cau Ward of Si Ma Cai District. There is not an actual platform for this Sapa market, rather it only pops up alongside the street.
Coming to Can Cau Market, you will have a spectacular view of the Sa pa terraces right above you. The majority of the traders here the Flower Hmong and Giay people, so you will see a lot of their traditional clothes and handmade goods being on sale.
There are separated areas in Can Cau Market with different kinds of goods: jungle herb, vegetable, brocade, and utensils. Food stalls are also easily seen with an attractive smell and mouth-watering dishes.
Can Cau Market’s view is ideal for a photoshoot, so you’d better get your camera ready. Or, you can just go for a small vendor, eating some of the local dishes with rice wine, and feel the life on the clouds here.
The taste is unique so make sure to try it out!
7. Muong Hum Market
Another Sunday market Sapa, Muong Hum Market is also an attractive destination for travelers coming to Sapa.
This Sapa market is located in Bat Xat District of Lao Cai province, having a really dreamlike and peaceful surrounding with a valley and streams running across.
Not only the picturesque landscape is the strong point of Muong Hum Market, but this market is also well known for the business and lively atmosphere with the mixing of so many ethnic minorities.
At this market in Sapa, it is not rare to spot Hmong, Giay, Dzao and Ha Nhi peoples, each people with distinctive ways of dressing and speaking.
Muong Hum Market is a photogenic tourist attraction not for the market and good itself, but for the beautiful and dreamlike scenery and people.
Hundreds of local people dressed in colorful and unique clothes blend nicely with the lush green valley and crystal-clear streams. Definitely, a good place to visit!
Pay attention, please!
However, what to do and how to get the best out of Sapa markets trips is another thing.
You can know how the way to the market, but which things to buy in Sapa and how to discover the way of life there? You will need skills and tips to go shopping in Sapa markets:
- Brocade products are the universal souvenirs from Sapa markets. Brocade products like skirts, bags or scarves are all handmade from colorful threat knitting together.
The patterns and color choices are up to the makers, normally each minority people have their special way to make beautiful brocades.
The great thing about brocade is it is made from nature, even the linen and cotton threat are made from the forest trees. The color is also dyed naturally from turmeric, indigo leaves, and other ingredients.
The local makers create brocade products with their traditional method, making them so unique and charming.
- Fruits are what you should buy at Sapa markets. Sapa is really famous for the fruits that only grow well in the cool climate, for example, pears, plums, and peaches. They are usually fresh, picked by the hand of the local people and have a sweet taste. If you are in Sapa around May, definitely try some of these great fruits.
- Apart from the brocade product, Sapa markets are well known for silver jewelry. Gemstone and gold jewelry are not common here, but the silver has been in trade from thousand years ago.
Silver jewelry is not only worn for its beauty, but it is also for a religious and spiritual purpose. There are many types of silver jewelry, from earrings to necklaces with beautiful and signature decoration and carving on them.
The popular decorations are inspired by nature, such as leaves and flower designs.
- Bring small notes of money if you wish to buy goods. Using a big note like 500.000 VND can cause some trouble for the small vendors.
And, all of the goods you can buy in the market can only be exchanged for cash, so credit cards will not work in Sapa markets.
Which Sapa market is your pick? How many Sapa markets will you visit the upcoming trip?
For the further question or a FREE itinerary planning to make the best of Sapa, feel free to contact AZ Local Trip. Our local experts are here for you!