The surroundings of Bac Ha are picturesque but not nearly as spectacular as SaPa. What makes Bac Ha a very pleasant place to stay for a few days? It is off the tour group trail, except on Sundays when busloads arrive at precisely 09:30 am for the popular market.
An early start will get you ahead of the masses. From 7:00 to 9:30 am, Bac Ha Sunday Market is yours, a festival of colors, a true photographer’s dream. Locals come down from surrounding villages and trade things needed for everyday life: food, rice wine, clothes, you name it! And they couldn’t care less for the few visitors that are meddling in the crowd.
When the masses arrive, it is time to jump on a motorbike (you can get a motorbike taxi if you do not feel like driving yourself) and head for Luong Phin Sunday Market, much smaller but completely ignored by the tourist masses who stick to Bac Ha. There again, bright colors everywhere, with mostly H’Mong women still traditionally dressed for their Sunday shopping.