Photo Essay – Can Cau and Bac Ha markets, North Vietnam

The Can Cau and Bac Ha markets are weekend markets on the Vietnamese side of the border between China and Vietnam.  They are frequented by a variety of hill tribes including the very colorful Flower Hmong tribe.  Most people traveling to this region use the town of Sapa, Vietnam, as a home base, which is about eight hours north of Hanoi.  This region was one of the highlights of my month in Vietnam and I feel any backpacker traveling through northern Vietnam should make the effort to get up there – especially for the weekend markets.

Three men survey the water buffalo for sale at the Can Cau Saturday Market.

Three men survey the water buffalo for sale at the Can Cau Saturday Market.

A market stall sells colorful fabrics with terraced fields cut into the hills in the background.

A market stall sells colorful fabrics with terraced fields cut into the hills in the background.

A young Flower Hmong woman watches her little brother while waiting on customers.

A young Flower Hmong woman watches her little brother while waiting on customers.

Most of the market deals in clothing and fabrics for local tribes people.

Most of the market deals in clothing and fabrics for local tribes people.

Market goers span generations at the Can Cau Market.

Market goers span generations at the Can Cau Market.

The women on this set of stairs are all selling home-brewed rice-based moonshine.

The women on this set of stairs are all selling home-brewed rice-based moonshine.

One of the local merchants.

One of the local merchants.

Some merchants sell fabric by the piece while others sell entire outfits.

Some merchants sell fabric by the piece while others sell entire outfits.

The detail in the dress of the women of the Flower Hmong hill tribe is extraordinary.

The detail in the dress of the women of the Flower Hmong hill tribe is extraordinary.

The male members of the tribes dress much more subdued than their female counterparts.

The male members of the tribes dress much more subdued than their female counterparts.

A couple young shoppers seem to be checking how much money they have left to spend.

A couple young shoppers seem to be checking how much money they have left to spend.

It's been a long day at the market.  You might notice that they use human hair as the straps used to carry their baskets.

It's been a long day at the market. You might notice that they use human hair as the straps used to carry their baskets.

  • http://twitter.com/GettingStamped Getting Stamped

    Looks amazing! Great photos!

    • Anonymous

      Thank you! Well worth the trip if you can make it up there!

      – T