Coc Ly Market in Lao Cai, Vietnam

Rachel Tran
Rachel Tran | Published: February 5, 2020

It can be generally said that Lao Cai – a mountainous district of the upland northwest in Vietnam, is renowned for many unique fairs that strongly uphold not only national characters but attractions in living cultures of peoples settle here as well. Among those fairs, any visitors who have ever travelled to Lao Cai have probably heeded the name of Coc Ly Market

Coc Ly Market is currently situated in the northern region of Coc Ly Commune, Bac Ha District, Lao Cai Province. Having a trip to Coc Ly Market at this time of the year, you can possibly meet with the kindly mountainous peoples from different tribes who wear traditional colorful costumes scattering on the roads to the fair while contemplating idyllic natural sceneries of this beautiful land.

    Location: 12km from the centre of Bac Ha Town, Coc Ly Commune, Bac Ha District, Lao Cai Province
    Opening hours: Wednesday every week

Highlights of Coc Ly Market

In the distance of 1km, the Coc Ly Fair Market dimly loom in the thin veil of the morning, shaping like a vivid picture painted by wild nature of northwest landscapes, followed by groups of people carrying packs of goods on foot, wagons, pedicabs, etc. to arrive at the fair punctually.

As a tradition since Coc Ly Market is established, it is held on Wednesday weekly. Coc Ly Market, or Plum Stump (Gốc Mận) as the patois, despite being relatively restrained in its covering, the fair possesses such influential meaning and role to the majority of ethnic groups living here such as the Flower H’Mong, the Black Dao and the Nung peoples. They consider the fair as not only a particular place for trading and working but it’s also a rendezvous for meeting and updating about each other’s recent life after a busy week absent. 

Perhaps the primary reasons why Coc Ly Market differentiates itself from other ordinary fairs from plain markets in big cities is the feeling of an open space where people can freely come and socialize, look for interesting stories. Moreover, by participating in buying and exchanging goods here, privileges simultaneously learn about habits and customs of inhabitants from another culture.

What to Buy in Coc Ly Market?

Mostly presented goods in Coc Ly Market are local products and household utensils that are directly produced by residents here. The rest is merely domestic wares brought up from plain areas or imported from China. 

Each type of goods is particularly contributed to its specific area. Forest-like products such as veggies, herbs, field mushrooms, wood-ear, honey, corn-wine, jewelry, and colorful brocades and patterns are gathered at a spot, displaying on the ground in their best quality.

What is more, we can not avoid mentioning about cattle area which is the most popular area gaining lots of attention from buyers in the marketplace. This site put all kinds of poultry and livestock on sale such as cows, pigs, horses, chickens, buffaloes, etc. The animated atmosphere is filled with strange languages spoken by locals from various minorities and nationalities, sounds of people chatting and bargaining, satisfied expressions from goods-consumer coming all the long way from far-away countries and regions. All have absolutely proved how astonishing Coc Ly Market is, therefore it will undoubtfully impress any person who set foot on this land for their first time.  

How to Get to Coc Ly Market?

In order to get to Coc Ly Market, start from Lao Cai Province, follow the highway 4D to reach Phong Nien Commune, Bao Thang District. Then, head straight through the provincial road 153 to reach Bao Nhai Bridge, drive along the serene Chay river for approximately 10km more until you set foot at Coc Ly Market. This is a favorable chance for travel lovers who love to be close to nature and explore the wildlands to immerse themselves in the charmingly superb nature of northwest plateau.

In case you are not the type of traveling-alone goers and expect to enjoy the trip with your partners in a more advantageous way, booking a tour is always a smart choice. At this time, tourists have a wide range of possible choices in customizing suitable tour to travel. Thus, an attached tour in several famous destinations including visiting Coc Ly Tour in Sapa is recommended. 

Tips on Visiting Coc Ly Market

  • Coc Ly Market is a special fair that opens only once time per week in specific hours, so it’s better to have a second look at your travel plans so as to not miss out any of them.
  • After visiting Coc Ly Market, you can consider ending your trip by walking down the beautiful Chay river or hire a motorboat to sail across its bank, witnessing and experiencing the late beauty of tranquil nature here in the afternoon.

If you are planning for a perfect trip to remote areas like Lao Cai or Ha Giang, Coc Ly Market is definitely an indispensable destination that will help you obtain unforgettable memories this holiday. What are you waiting for? Head forward to it immediately, enjoy and do not forget to share with us your stories after reached the site. 

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