This fascinating open-air morning market, 20km north of Bac Ha and just 9km from the Chinese border, only attracts a trickle of outsides. It’s a mecca for the local tribal people, including Flower H’mong and Blue Hong (look out for the striking zigzag costume of the latter).
It spills down a hillside with cook shacks on one level and livestock at the bottom of the valley, including plenty of dogs. Locals will implore you to drink the local ruou (corn moonshine) with them. The market is only open on Saturday. Some trips from Bac Ha include the option of an afternoon trek (for those still standing after ruou shots) to the nearby village of Fu La.
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 Can Cau Market next day or return to Sapa for overnight.
How to get there ?
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.