Visit the traditional Pa Co market and immerse yourself in the culture of the Hmong, one of Vietnam's many ethnic groups. Whether you are with your partner, with friends, or with family, this timeless experience, where traditional costumes and everyday consumer experiences blend in a warm atmosphere, will not fail to fascinate you. Visiting a local market in Vietnam is one of the best ways to discover the country's rural life.
Vietnam has 54 ethnic groups, all of which have their own cultures and traditions. Each ethnic group in Vietnam is identifiable by its traditional costume. It is handmade, rich in detail and embroidery, and often requires several months of work. These costumes, as well as other local handicrafts, are often sold in traditional markets.
The Hmong people, famous for their textile know-how and their indigo-based dyes, mainly frequent the market in Pa Co. It is held every Sunday morning and is easily accessible from Mai Chau, which is only about 20 kilometres away. If you are in the area on a weekend, Pa Co is the ideal place to meet surprising local people in Vietnam, and we insist you take a stroll around this market.
IN THE PROGRAMME
To fully enjoy the market and its animation, it is essential to arrive early. Once there, all your senses will awaken. You will be fascinated by the colours of traditional costumes, bewitched by the smell of local food, and bewildered by the spoken language, different from Vietnamese.
The scenes of life that can be observed in the market will not fail to disorient you, and photographers will find their happiness amid the stalls mixing local fabrics, more classic clothes, modern gadgets, live animals, and food products.
The market is also a place of socialization, where men and women from the surrounding villages meet and exchange, and where children gather to play.
Discovering a traditional market is also an opportunity to immerse yourself in the life of the village. After your visit, why not explore the surrounding area? The neighboring mountains will offer you a view of the village. You can then discover local crops, including some tea plantations.
Afterwards, enjoy a lunch with a local resident, an experience that always guarantees you to learn from local people in Vietnam.
In the afternoon, for example, you can learn about batik, a technique that uses beeswax to create patterns on fabrics, and which is still widely used today in the making of traditional costumes.
If you are a rather natural person, you can also go to the Tat Nang waterfall and, on the way, admire the superb landscapes of the region.
You will return to Mai Chau at your own pace, after a colourful day that you will not soon forget!
Ethnic markets take place throughout the north of the country and are an integral part of the local culture. While some of them occur on a fixed date, such as the Bac Ha market, which takes place every Sunday, or the Can Cau market on Saturdays, some markets are based on the lunar calendar and do not always happen at the same time. This is the case, for example, for many markets in the Ha Giang region.