Sunday markets of the flowered Hmong people of Bac Ha

Sunday markets of the flowered Hmong people of Bac Ha

Sit back and watch Bac Ha come alive every Sunday, as colourful villagers from surrounding hill tribes descend on this small Vietnamese town. Situated 80 kilometres from Sapa, the Bac Ha market is the largest in the area. Villagers walk several hours for the It gives locals the opportunity to not only trade and barter food, animals, clothes and household goods but to chat and catch up with friends. Bac Ha is home to the Flower H’mong people, the largest of the ethnic minorities that dot the hillside. In their elaborate, brightly coloured traditional dress they are easy to pick among the other groups that make the weekly trek into Bac Ha, including Dzao, Giay (Nhang), Han (Hoa), Xa Fang, Lachi, Nung, Phula, Thai and Thulao. No visit to the market is complete without throwing back a shot of corn whiskey. This potent bew is produced by the Flower Hmong and Bac Ha is the only place in Vietnam where you can find it. There's a whole area of the market devoted to it, and you'll probably smell it before you see it! By now, your senses will be on fire and the colour and sounds of the market will really come alive. The faint-hearted should probably avoid the fresh meat section, and head for the intricate clothing and homewares instead.

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