Lao Cai is famous for many unique markets bearing bold beauty of the people here. Coc Ly market in Lao Cai is also a popular market because of its unique character. Let’s explore Coc Ly market in Lao Cai as well as Sapa tourism via a Sapa Coc Ly market tour to understand more

An overview of Coc Ly market

Coc Ly market is held every Tuesday. Although not being a large market, Coc Ly is very important for ethnic minorities in the northwest of Bac Ha. This is a meeting place to exchange and trade of Mong Hoa, Dao Khuyen (Dao Den) and Nung ethnic groups. The goods sold at the market are local produce and utensils brought from the lowlands or imported from China.

Located right on the romantic Chay river is the scene of the bustling Coc Ly Market. Coc Ly also means “the root of the plum tree”. With wild and unique features at this market, people not only come to the market to trade but also to meet friends, after a week away. It is different from the market in the lowland. Each time to the market, people are so excited like they are in the festival.

Coming here, visitors will have the opportunity to know more about the daily life of people in the northwestern region and have the opportunity to enjoy their specialties.

How to get there

From Lao Cai city, going along the National Highway 4D, visitors will go to Phong Nien commune, Bao Thang district, Lao Cai province. Continuing along the provincial road 153, tourists will visit Bao Nhai bridge, Bao Nhai commune, Bac Ha district, Lao Cai province. From here, go along the Chay River about 10km by boat, tourists will go to Coc Ly market.

Features of Coc Ly market

Coming to Coc Ly market, you will be attracted by the traditional beauty preserved from ethnic groups: H'mong, Tay, and Nung. The H'mong boys and girl carry horses and bring a basket on the back to put the corn wine and aromas of the mountains such as wood ear mushrooms, and honey. The old people bring buffaloes, cows, dogs, and horses to the market for sale.

Coming to Coc Ly, visitors will be able to see the ethnic costumes and hear their voices. The H’Mong girls are so beautiful in the brightly colorful dress and shy with umbrella overhead. They usually focus on the bridgehead to show off their skirts and more importantly to find a friend. This is also the difference of Coc Ly market compared to many other markets of ethnic minorities.

Coc Ly market is a market of ethnic minority people living in the northwest of Bac Ha district. The meeting place is right next to the bridge hanging over the Chay River. Each week, the market only has one session on Tuesday.

From a distance, Coc Ly market is like a painting of water and very lively: The flow of light is drifted in a gentle way over the years, surrounded by mountains and forests of Bac Ha. For the beautiful natural scenery, each group of Mong, Dao, Tay, and Nung wearing the costumes characterized by subtle patterns from all the villages in the area also gather together on the market. It is full of pedestrians, horsemen carrying textile products, agricultural products, and cattle.

The market is divided into separate zones. The products are bold flavors of the forest such as vegetables, herbs, mushrooms, wood ear, honey, corn wine, unhurried rice, home appliances, jewelry, and brocade items with many colors and vivid motifs which are concentrated into a zone, displayed on the sheet of plastic covering the ground.

However, the most prominent are still the cattle and poultry: cattle, pigs, chickens, dogs, horses, and cats. The atmosphere in this area is very busy with the buyers and sellers standing or sitting rubbish, making deals with each other.

In addition, the area for ethnic dishes is quite exciting. In the smoke rising from the restaurant, there are countless different sounds: the noise of the conversation, the chattering of the chopsticks and the excitement. The visitors will have to stop, sit down and join with the ethnic people to enjoy their cuisine.

The most attractive one perhaps is the customer service area, especially for men and women. Here, visitors can take photos with their relatives or friends as souvenirs or visit the "dental clinic" to make a gold tooth for a more charming mouth.

In the local language, Coc Ly means plum root and the beauty of this market is not just people coming here to buy and sell goods, exchange goods (used goods in exchange for goods) but also to travel, meet each other and share the love song together.

If traveling Sapa in Sapa Vietnam tour 1 day, do not miss this interesting market on Tuesday. Sapa also has many other markets waiting for you to explore!