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Where are the Ethnic Markets in Vietnam?

ethnic-markets-in-vn Bac Ha Market, Lao Cai, Vietnam

Vietnam has 54 ethnic groups in total, with the Kinh ethnicity being the majority, and the remaining communities still maintain their colorful cultural traits. And one of those is the ensemble of ethnic markets in Vietnam. Scroll down below to explore more!

What are the Ethnic Markets in Vietnam?

The S-shaped country has many types of markets, including the colorful ethnic markets in Vietnam! They are held by different communities but the most famous ones locate in the Northern mountainous areas, especially Ha Giang Province. Some ethnic markets in Vietnam take place daily, but most occur weekly or even monthly due to their less accessible locations.

ethnic markets in vn view sapa original

On your way to visit ethnic markets in Vietnam, you’ll pass beautiful roads like this

If you visit these ethnic markets in Vietnam, you can witness the lifestyles and traditions of our ethnic groups, go somewhere less “modernized”, admire the drop-dead gorgeous surrounding sights, and best of all, discover a part of Vietnam that no normal sightseeing can offer.

Ethnic Markets in Vietnam that You Have to Visit

Khau Vai Love Market (Ha Giang Province)

Google Maps location
Time: Once a year on March 26 or 27 (Lunar calendar)

ethnic markets in vn khau vai

Dressing up for Khau Vai Love Market

A love market? Now that’s something you don’t hear about every day! For the past century, Khau Vai’s been a meeting place for ex-couples and single men/women to find their beau. They gather in Ha Giang, sing, dance, and talk about each other’s life. There are vendors who sell souvenirs in Khau Vai, but the highlights are the games and performances.

Dong Van Market (Ha Giang Province)

Google Maps location
Time: 6 AM - 11 AM on Sundays

ethnic markets in vn dong van

Giay women selling rice at Dong Van Market

While you’re in Dong Van to see buckwheat flowers, check out Dong Van Market too. Here they sell everything from food, textiles, to even cattle! It’s a fine way to taste the local cuisine and see how the people of H’Mong, Dao, and Lo Lo ethnics interact.

Bac Ha Market (Lao Cai Province)

Google Maps location
Time: every Sunday

ethnic markets in vn bac ha

The bustling scene at Bac Ha Market

Bac Ha is most frequented by tourists thanks to its accessibility. It’s a must-visit destination on any trip to Sa Pa. At Bac Ha, not only will you get to buy delicate products from brocade fabric and taste exotic food, but you’ll also have a chance to witness the biggest horse market in Vietnam! Sometimes the number can go up to hundreds!

Sin Ho Market (Lai Chau Province)

Google Maps location
Time: every Saturday and Sunday

ethnic markets in vn sin ho

Sin Ho Market upholds many of its traditional features

Sin Ho Market is held by the Black Dao and the Red H’Mong groups. They offer textiles, household products, and food. However, what sets Sin Ho apart from the rest is its ability to keep the authenticity of traditional ethnic markets in Vietnam.

What to Do at Ethnic Markets in Vietnam?

Buy Accessories and Clothing Made from Brocade Fabric

ethnic markets in vn brocade fabric

Brocade fabric makes amazing artworks and souvenirs

Brocade fabric is a special product of the Vietnamese ethnic communities that are characterized by vibrant and multipatterned texture. People often use this material to make intricate products including clothing and accessories, which are great souvenirs.

Try Ethnic Cuisine

  • Street food: Ethnic markets in Vietnam have one of the cheapest, yet most delicious street food. Whether it’s night or day, you’re sure to find a satisfying meal that’ll never break the bank. The most popular dishes are BBQ and grilled/smoked meat.
  • Horse meat hotpot (Thang Co): Test your limit with “Thang Co” - one of the smelliest foods in Vietnam! It’s a traditional dish of H’Mong people, made from horse meat, for their honor guests.
  • Corn wine: Corn wine is a signature drink of the H’Mong and Dao people in Northwestern Vietnam. If you’re visiting during the winter, a small bowl of this booze will warm you up.

ethnic markets in vn pho chua original

Pho Chua is a staple breakfast item in Bac Ha, Ha Giang Province

ethnic markets in vn ox meat original

Smoked ox meat is one of the rare things that you can only try in Vietnam Highlands

Take Pictures

Situating among Vietnam’s high mountains, ethnic markets in Vietnam have a pristine beauty that no other places can offer. Photography lovers can take pictures of the surrounding life or scenery and bring home one-of-a-kind shoots.

ethnic markets in vn take picture original

People from ethnic communities are very friendly towards visitors

Tips on Visiting Ethnic Markets in Vietnam

Our Thoughts on Ethnic Markets in Vietnam

Though getting to ethnic markets in Vietnam isn’t an easy feat, we guarantee you that the adventure will be worthwhile. Through this article, we hope that you’ve found the necessary information to experience this unique culture first-hand. For more details on Vietnam Travel, check out our comprehensive guides to different Vietnam provinces.

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© Written by Ngan Mai for itourvn.com

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