Can Cau Fair Market is organized by Mong Hoa and Day people, but it is based on the Dao’s way of trading. The fair convenes every Saturdays and festivals all year round.
From Lao Cai City, traveling along 4D highway, tourists will arrive Phong Nien village, Bao Thang district, Lao Cai province. And then going along road number 153, through Bac Ha town, you reach the destination.
From distance, Can Cau’s scenery is so glorious and animated. The market is located right in roadside of 153 road – the only way connecting Hac Ha town with the border town Si Ma Cai. The market is surrounded by numerous terrace paddy fields clinging on the flank. A little further is the majestic Northwest mountains lines after lines with no end.

A corner of Can Cau Market

A corner of Can Cau Market

What to buy
The market is divided into many smaller areas, each of which sells a particular type of product. Things like vegetables, herbs, spices, household appliances and colorful brocade products made by clever Mong Hoa women are put on nylon mats and sold in an area. However, the most outstanding place may be the area where cattle and poultry are purchased because Mong, Hoa and Giay people are fond of raising cattle and want to pick strong cattle for agricultural purposes. The atmosphere here is very animated as buyers and sellers either stand or sit to bargain with each other.

What to eat
Besides, the area for ethnic traditional dishes is also quite energetic. Coming here, you can hear the sound of local people whispering mixed with the sound of bowls and chopsticks squeaking together. Seeing this plain scene, tourists may want to take a seat in a stall here and join tribal people to enjoy their cuisine. Among these special dishes, perhaps “thang co” is most loved by local people. This dish is a combination of hygienic viscera of some animals like pigs, cows and buffalos and then cooked in a large wok.

Water buffalos for sale in Can Cau Market

Water buffalos for sale in Can Cau Market

What is special – buffalo market
This is one of the biggest buffalo market in Northwest because hundreds of buffalos from all areas in Bac Ha, Si Ma Cai, Muong Khuong or even Sin Man, Ha Giang are gathered here.
Can Cau buffalo market was spontaneously formed about ten years ago because of the demand for trading buffalos for breeding and agricultural purposes of Si Ma Cai – Bac Ha farmers and also exporting buffalos to Ma Quan, China.
The market has attracted a huge number of domestic and foreign tourists in recent years. The visitors often aggregate around the buffalos to watch, to comment and take photos of the buffalos.
Visiting Can Cau fair, visitors can broaden your knowledge not only about a culture-rich market in highland area but about the daily life of people here as well. Furthermore, you can enjoy both some specialties and apple alcohol of ethnic people. If having chances, you really should try “pho” in the market because it is totally different from “pho” in plain area because it has no additional substances, but still keeps its original flavor.

Three generation of a Hmong family in Can Cau Market

Three generation of a Hmong family in Can Cau Market