Bac Ha, the largest town in this northern region of Vietnam, is famed for its colourful Sunday market - a pivotal meeting place for the local ethnic minorities.
Home to the Red & Flower Hmong minorities, Bac Ha comes alive on market day as tribal groups don their best traditional costumes and meet to stock up on produce, sell their wares, and socialise. This colourful bazaar overflows with goods, from delicate embroidery to lacquerware, livestock and food stalls, and is a fascinating place to witness the diversity of northern Vietnam's minority cultures.
Hoang A Tuong Castle is one of the area's architectural highlights, combining Western and Asian influences in a vast, incongruous, colonial-style mansion complex. Built at the beginning of the 20th Century for a local tribal chief, the complex is just 300 metres from the market and overlooks the Bac Ha valley.
Bac Ha itself is not a picturesque town, but it's a quieter alternative to the tourist hub of Sapa - and the surrounding countryside, characterised by mountain forests and rice terraces, is well worth a couple of days' exploration.
Featured trips including Bac Ha
- Ba Be
- Meo Vac
- Yen Minh
- Hoang Su Phi
- Bac Ha
- Halong Bay
Discover life on the roof of Vietnam, where rice paddies climb mountainsides like staircases and hill tribes follow customs unchanged for centuries.
12 nights: from US$2389 pp (twin share) Read more >