Can Cau market is one of the most fascinating open-air markets in the region, specialising in livestock. It’s 20km North of Bac Ha and just 9km south of the Chinese border. Visitors are generally H’mong groups from highland villages. The local H’mong are the famous variegated or Flower H’mong due to the intricate and colourful nature of their costumes, and their colourful dresses makes is a beautiful sight.
Almost every Saturday around 8 different minorities are represented at the market. Travel is often made by horseback as a way of carrying the heavy loads to and from market. Can Cau also attracts a large number of Chinese traders, evidenced by the booming dog trade here.
Can Cau Market hold on every Saturday from 6hours until midday. Though small but it is the place where you can encounter Flower H’mong, Phu La, Black Dao, Tay and Nung minorities in colorful costumes. What to do?
Set in the mountains near the Chinese border, Can Cau Market is the area where different minority groups in colorful dress exchange local items. You will spend the whole morning there then go to Bac Ha for lunch. Light trekking to nearby villages and visit the old castle of the former Hmong king are also highlights of trips.
You can stay at hotel in Bac Ha waiting for Bac Ha Market next day or return to Sapa for overnight. When to go? The best option is to take night trains from Hanoi to Lao Cai. From Lao Cai, we take approximately 2- hour drive to reach Can Cau Market.