Lung Phin Market in Ha Giang

The Backward Market in Ha Giang, Vietnam

Rachel Tran
Rachel Tran | Published: February 5, 2020

Ha Giang is a beautiful land in Vietnam, renowned by not only endless lush flower fields but also unmistakable and unforgettable experiences it offers any travel lovers that uphold its name. If you with your partners or family or even with yourself, have an opportunity to spare time traveling here, Lung Phin Market will probably be one of the must-visit destinations in Ha Giang that you should not miss out.

Lung Phin Market is separately situated in Lung Phin Commune, Meo Vac District, Ha Giang Province, the fair features itself from special opening schedule to specific purposes and interesting reasons why it attracts so many sellers and buyers from neighboring areas in the time being.

    Location: Lung Phin Commune, Meo Vac District, Ha Giang Province
    Opening hours: From 4-5 a.m to 3-4 p.m, each fair is held every six days on Tiger (Dần) and Monkey (Thân) days in a month

Why is Lung Phin Market so Special?

Still querying whether should or should not go? Check out these reasons why you should immediately pack up and head straight to Lung Phin Market!

1. Opening Schedule

Normally in Vietnam, a fair will be held once time a week, last from 1 to 3 days. However, Lung Phin Market only open in the Tiger and Monkey days in a month (12 animal designations symbolize for every year in Vietnam, including Rat, Ox, Tiger, Hare/Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep/Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig), each fair is reopened after every six days. This means if the market takes place on Tiger day this week, Monkey day is the launching day in the next week as a consequence. Thus, people in Ha Giang cherishingly nicknamed it “backward market” as they commonly mention.

2. Love Market: Shop for Goods or Shop for Love?

Another remarkable point of Lung Phin Market is its operation method. Located on rocky highlands with a special geographical position, the fair relates to an occasion when 16 ethnic minorities who settle around this area gather up and have fun. 

On this day, youngsters of all ages and genders dress up, travel to the fair hoping to find themselves a good ending for their love affairs. H’Mong girls dress nicely in stunning floral pattern costumes while Dao girls pick shiny pieces of jewelry as their own choices so as to impress those they’re in love with. Even small kids can feel the animated atmosphere here, they ask their parents to have them wear new clothes and go along to the fair. They all seem to enjoy the market in their own ways, yet not by working or shopping obviously.

What to Buy in Lung Phin Market?

As a habit that forms from their typical way of life, people from mountainous areas and neighboring districts around here are up at the very early time of the morning, preparing to pack bunches of their goods and commodities to arrive at the market on time. They simply deliver them by horses or pedicabs, some even carry heavy papoose on the back, slowly moving in queues to the fair.

Unlike other typical fairs, Lung Phin fair offers such a variety of local products. Mostly there are essential commodities for ordinary life such as rice, meat, and hand-made garments like household appliances, agricultural implements, clothing, textiles, etc. originally made by peoples in the most meticulous and scrupulous way. 

Besides, what’s really intriguing visitors is how conventional the presented goods are, since sellers here sometimes only bring to the fair a pair of chicken, a dozen of egg or simply several bundles of sugar-cane. Especially specialties of this stone plateau such as mint-honey, Lung Phin snow-tea, brocade, etc. are much more in demand. Thanks to that, tourists have more options to purchase presents and souvenirs for their beloved ones when they visit the market. 

How to Get to Lung Phin Market

After getting to Meo Vac District in Ha Giang, starting from here, head straight to the Highway 4C of linking road Dong Van – Meo Vac – Yen Minh, you’ll reach the Lung Phin Market in 15km further. Plus, there are particularly blue signposts along the way as well as noticeably mountainous inhabitants strolling near the fair that you can ask for the right way.

On the other hand, when traveling to Ha Giang there are many full-tour including guide services and planned schedule for sightseeing recently. It will rather be more appropriate and advantageous to voyage on remote areas by specific tours. 

Tips on Visiting Lung Phin Market

  • Carefully check your itinerary before set off since the opening time of Lung Phin Market is unlike other fairs and not steadily held in specific days like Saturday or Monday in a week.
  • Be sure to visit the fair on time because it mostly opens during daytime
  • In case you are confused by the sinuous roads to the fair, do not hesitate to ask residents around there. They are such friendly and welcoming people.

Lung Phin market is not only a regular fair for those who like to shop freely while traveling but also an open space for those who expect to explore more about mountainous customs as well as to meet various generous minorities in the beautiful land Ha Giang, Vietnam. Do not forget to add this interesting market complex to your itinerary and share with us your observations and experiences of this destination.

(Image source: Kyo)

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