Bac Ha Market Vietnam!
Rescuing photos from memory (physical and symbolic), I remember the Bac Ha market, in the mountains of North Vietnam. One of the markets that I remember the most in terms of color. The women’s dresses are just as mind-blowing as those from remote Guatemala , and actually very common among each other for their intricate designs and as I say absolutely colorful.
(Bac Ha Market Vietnam)
Immersion in the Bac Ha market, in the mountains of North Vietnam
Let me start with a few photos so you can understand what this festival of color is like.
Unlike the nearby Sapa, this market is very little frequented by tourists and travelers who come to these latitudes. Thanks to this, the atmosphere is more authentic and calm.
In general, people spend a lot of time on you, and while you are browsing the stalls, as in any traditional market organized by genre: meat, vegetables, textiles … the feeling of transporting you to other times is much greater.
(Bac Ha Market Vietnam)
A market where women are the queens
Here the ethnic groups of the Lao Cai province meet : the HMong, Tai, Giay, Miao and Dao Do.
Among them they are distinguished by their clothing, although frankly I am unable to differentiate them.
Now, reviewing the images, I can get to distinguish the women who have their heads shaved in the front, making their forehead much more pronounced. Or those who wear the dress adorned with fluorescent colored plastic balls. But there, for nothing!
Men, on the other hand, dress in the western style and with very little color.
Maybe it’s the photos I took that day, or the selective attention when I was around, but I’d say they were the queens, in every way. Those in charge of selling and buying, loading and unloading.
In the back, beyond the stinking meat stalls, is the area for the sale of live animals … to cook them too.
Pigs, ducklings and even puppies to raise and finish roasting.
You already know that in Vietnam you eat dogs , while you don’t eat rabbits. This second gives them as much apprehension as the first one.
The cattle trading area is a little further apart. When I looked out there was almost no one left, so I suppose that for that part you have to get up a little early.
This is a Sunday market that takes place throughout the morning, but it is in the central hours of the same when it is most crowded. In the early hours many have not yet arrived from their villages, and at the last minute (after 12 or so) they start the march home.
Despite everything, tourism has also come here
A part of the market is focused on the few foreigners who come there, although perhaps this has changed over the years, since I was in 2009. At that time it was in a kind of street that deviated from the spine and the center of “your” market.
I remember the long haggling I went through to buy a bag like the ones they carried. Laughter, a point of overwhelm when up to five women offered me their bags competing with each other. And the laughs again to end with an “ok!” They are part of the experience in markets like this, and I do not change it for the world. And you?