Day 2 – Bac Ha Sunday market

 The 10-hour train ride was on the whole comfortable enough. Many of us were woken up intermittently throughout the journey and the hesitant brakes didn't help. Imagine a brake system that appeared to fail initially and suddenly decided to work. That was how jerky it was at certain stops along the way. Even then we had a good rest probably because of a tiring day.

We arrived at our destination Lao Cai (end of the line) at about 5am. Lao Cai is a border town between Vietnam and China. After we washed up at the leaky station toilet we walked out of the station and was greeted by a zillion taxi drivers. Thankfully we had prior arrangements and our driver soon arrived to take us to our first stop, a coffee break at a restaurant overlooking the bridge linking Lao Cai to China.

To the left of the bridge is China while on the right is part of Lao Cai.


Nike coffee anyone? Actually it was the very fragrant Vietnamese coffee.


After coffee and a toilet break we soon embarked on our journey to Bac Ha, a 2-and-a-half hour drive away. Bac Ha is a small town famous for its Sunday market where the local folks and the neighbouring hill tribes especially the Flower Hmongs, come to sell their produce and wares, and in return buy their provisions. Yes, only once a week and only on Sundays. One can find almost anything including horses, pigs, ducks, dogs, buffalos etc for sale. 

We had another toilet break along the way and that was where I met this family by the roadside.



We soon arrived at Bac Ha.  This is the sight from the road leading the the market. Notice the colourful attire of the Flower Hmongs.


Hey, we are on candid camera!


Ladies will be the ones doing the selling while the men sit around and meet up with friends.


Elaborate decorations.


Horses for sale.


A light moment.


Checking it out.






The smile.


The market square.






Panorama of the market square.


We met up for lunch at a local restaurant and left for Sapa after that.

Continued here - Sapa market.





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