Bac Ha, Coc Ly or Can Cau
Replies: 7 - Last Post: Aug 2, 2012 6:51 AM Last Post By: NanaimoJim
Jul 26, 2012 8:08 PM
Bac Ha, Coc Ly or Can CauI'm looking at heading to Sapa and have seen some old posts on the markets and know many people who have been to Bac Ha, albeit years ago. My question is, which of the markets is the best to go to? I know Bac Ha is the most famous, but is it ruined as a result of its fame?
Thanks in advance!
Jul 27, 2012 7:38 AM
Can Cau Market is held every Saturday and is incredible. It is out in the countryside and the setting is just spectacular. The people are friendly and the place is so photogenic in addition to being interesting. It is hard to believe there are still places on earth as lovely as this. The drive there is also scenic and interesting.
Bac Ha market occurs on Sundays and is also interesting. It is in the town of Bac Ha with a town setting. What makes Bac Ha intersting is being there Saturday evening to watch people setting up and then all the colorful people walking into town with all their wares to sell at the market. The town of Bac Ha is also interesting to walk through.
We were in both places the end of March, 2012 and glad we did both as they are somewhat different.
We went from the train (~05:00 arrived in Lao Cai) directly to Can Cau for the day and then late that afternoon drove to Bac Ha for an overnight and the Sunday market there.
There weren't that many tourists in either. When looking through my photo's after the trip several people have commented that they "see no tourists" and it was easy to avoid them. Unfortunately we are tourists. (-:
I can't comment on Coc Ly as I have not been there.
Hope this is of help.
If you want any other information send me a send me a private message and I will try and help.
Jul 27, 2012 3:35 PM
2Bac Ha market is much bigger than Can Cau. Most of the tourist buses arrive mid morning by which time it becomes so crowded it is difficult to move around. Both markets have the same crowd selling tourist goods that would not have been sold at all in the original market. I spoke to some of the stall holders and they told me that they came from Bac Ha. I found the behaviou of some of thE tourists pretty horrible, shoving their huge camera lenses into people's faces to get cute shots. The whole area is great for scenery.
Jul 27, 2012 7:08 PM
3#1 did the right thing to head out to Can Cau & Bach ha on Saturday .... the tourist trail heads to Sapa and then over to Bac Ha on Sunday ......
You need to get up nice and early to see the people coming in on their little horses.... and stay to watch the women carrying their drunk husband home ... again on the horses .If you also want to head over to Sapa ... you will have had your fill of Bachha enough to leave as the tourist buses start to arrive around 10.30-11am
while there is some tourist stuff on sale at both markets ...there is still plenty of local trade going on ....the area selling livestock is fascinating men's business ... and the women picking through the ethnic skirts is like watching new yaer day sales ... a complete hoot .
Jul 27, 2012 10:19 PM
Jul 28, 2012 7:55 AM
5If you do go to Can Cau one very interesting thing to see is the bartering for livestock. When we were there they were selling the Water buffalo and some other stock on the lower area and up above the road selling the ponies. We watched several people bid on a pony for over an hour.
If you go to Bac Ha a really interesting thing is the morning meal which is in one corner of the market. Many people come and set up their cook fires and prepare food and many of the locals and merchants/sellers come for breakfast. We ate there and it was just great. I arrived at the market about 06:45 and there were meals already in some places and some people were eating. If you get a good seat you can watch others arriving and setting out their stuff.
The post above is correct many tourists arrive by bus around or just after 10:30 in the morning. Probably some from the train and others from Sapa.
It is best if you get permission if photographing locals as they seem to watch and if you randomly stick a camera in peoples faces they treat you differently than if you treat them with the respect they deserve.
Remember some of the people at these markets have walked many miles and may have started walking at 3:00 AM to be at the market.
Yes there are tourists but by being early and careful you can pretty much avoid them and it is well worth the effort.
Aug 2, 2012 1:49 AM
6both Can cau and Bac Ha markets are great. Contrary to what is written, it is not a place drowned with articles for tourists ; those 2 markets are crowded with locals who can travel long distances on motorbikes or public buses for 3 reasons : buy what they cannot find in their village (tools, textiles, sugar cane, etc.), sell what they make (mostly corn alcohol and artifacts) and gather between themselves (and for the men, getting dead drunk with corn alcohol). There are stalls for tourists, owned not by local h'mongs but by viets, and there are in a corner of the market so, you do like me, you just pass them !!!
On Sunday, there are also markets in small villages between Bac Ha and Can Cau (for ex in Lung Phin) ; you can rent a motorbike to go there, the road is very good
Coc Ly has been more or less razed for the dam, now finished, so the Thursday market is not what it used to be.:
Aug 2, 2012 6:51 AM
Bags feeling light?
Coffee table looking bare?
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