Lao Cai is famous for its various and unique fairs which represent the daily-life beauty of local people. Coc Ly Market is also one of those markets well-known for their distinguish and original features. 12km away from the centre of Bac Ha, Lao Cai, along Chay river, Coc Ly fair market organized by H’Mong, Hoa, Tay and Dao ethnic groups is held on every Tuesday morning.
Apart from going along the road from Bac Ha town, tourists can also travel by boat on Chay river, through Bao Nhai bridge, and continue going about 3km to arrive the market. If you decide to travel by boat, you should detailedly ask people in Bac Ha whether there are any transportations carrying you to the market. Dissimilar to other markets in Northwest areas which have somehow become a commercial market, Coc Ly market still preserves its tradition which is considering market as a place to date, to meet and to play, not just a location for trading.
Beside small scale, dreamy scenery, what makes Coc Ly market so different is that people here don’t consider money so valuable. It is likely that you can go to the market and come back home with a full basket of goods without spending a cent. This is because the residents still maintain their ancestors’ tradition, bartering.

Coc Ly Market

Coc Ly Market

What to do
Like other market in Sa Pa, Coc Ly also provides customers a wide range of choices such as brocade fabric products including bags, clothes, purses, etc. and exquisite hand-made jewelry like earrings, necklaces and bracelets made of silver. What is more, you can take photos with local boys and girls who are wearing their most beautiful clothes chatting with others.

What to eat
Coming up is the food court with billowed smoke from many food stalls. Eating many specialties of local people such as “thang co” – made of horses’ meat and viscera, adding some spices and herbs, cooked in a large wok and barbecue along with drinking corn liquor or eating some bamboo-tube rice or sticky rice with the barbecue is just second to nothing.

The way to the Coc Ly Market

The way to the Coc Ly Market

What can be seen
From distance, Coc Ly market is just like a gorgeous painting: the water flows slowly, surrounded by Bac Ha’s greenish mountains hiding behind the plain fog. Spotlighting that stunning natural beauty is flow of the Mong, Dao, Tay, Nung wearing their typical clothes embroidered with subtle pattern from all around villages walking to the market.
Tourists will be attracted by the traditional beauty of regional boys and girls. They usually gather together at one end of Bao Nhai bridge to show off their dresses and especially to make friends. This is also a distinguish feature of Coc Ly Market compared to other ethnic markets.

Ethnic hairstylist in Coc Ly Market

Ethnic hairstylists in Coc Ly Market