Can Cau Market

Can Cau Market, Sapa: Address, Can Cau Market Reviews: 4.5/5

Can Cau Market
4.5
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Michael P
Chiang Rai, Thailand3,225 contributions
Another market well known for colorful minority people and livestock
Sep 2019
Another market well known for colorful minority people and one of a handful where large livestock (cows and buffalo) are still traded. I have been to this market many times as it is easy enough to reach by bus from Bac Ha town center.

Located 12 highway miles (19 km) north of Bac Ha, the small village of Can Cau hosts a smaller version of the Bac Ha market every Saturday morning. Overlooking a beautiful valley blanketed in rice terraces and cornfields, the market is spread out over a fairly large area. Situated along provincial road DT- 153, it feels less crowded, and until recently had fewer tourists than the market in Bac Ha. Since many of the vendors are selling their wares on the highway itself, it is easier to move around and take photographs.

Much like Bac Ha, Can Cau market attracts the colorfully dressed Flower Hmong people who both buy and sell fresh produce, livestock, farming equipment and all sorts of clothing and household goods. In the very back of the market is a long-curved path where vendors sell handicrafts, trinkets, and souvenirs to a growing number of tourists.

The trip from Bac Ha to Can Cau takes about forty minutes, so I recommend getting an early start. The market can be reached by bus or motorcycle taxi; a one-way moto ride costs around 200,000 VND. Another option is to hire a motorcycle taxi and after seeing the market make a tour of the surrounding area. Drivers can be arranged through hotels to do a six to eight-hour sight-seeing tour for around $30 USD.

To reach Can Cau by bus, take any of the local ones marked "Lào Cai - Bắc Hà - Si Ma Cai". These buses pass directly in front of the market which happens to be on the main road between Bac Ha and Si Ma Cai. Since buses make frequent stops, the journey takes at least one hour. The cost, each way, is 40,000 VND.
Written 30 December 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

bobnrobyn
Gympie, Australia657 contributions
Long mountainous drive
Sep 2019
Long mountainous drive from Sapa , very pretty . Passed through lots of pretty villages all busy , clean , tidy and prosperous . Markets amazing , full of colour and activity . Local women beautiful in there traditional costumes . Water buffalo's changing hands for loads of cash , chickens and piglet's caged up on the back of scooters . Well worth the drive .
Written 22 December 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Kecil5
2 contributions
Can cau market
Nov 2018 • Solo
For me it’s just like the other common traditional market in asia. The different is you will find many hmong women here with their traditional outfit which is very interesting to see. The rest is just ordinary...food, clothes & goods trader. I went there by motorbike which i rent from a hostel in bac ha plus a driver and it took about an hour from the city centre. Better go there in the early morning so it will not to crowded with the tourist...
Written 9 October 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Ellen
Niagara Falls, Canada131 contributions
Amazing Market
Feb 2019
This is one of the most colourful markets I have ever visited. The women are dressed in traditional clothing which in February is brand new and clean! They sell everything from seeds, tools, fabrics, clothing, and medicines to live water buffalo. Located close to the Chinese border, this market brings Chinese buyers who cherish Vietnamese water buffalo. The market is an amzing experience, not to be missed!
Written 28 July 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Steve W
Karratha, Australia1,116 contributions
Great location and experience.
Nov 2018 • Solo
There's nothing like true markets in SE Asia.
Not the city ones that are really just for souvenirs, but the ones with the livestock and local foods.
Can Cau is one of the classic local ones and it sits in amongst rice terraces so you get the views as well.
Bustling with people and full of goods to buy. Yes, some souvenirs, but you really have to expect that in Vietnam.
Written 20 July 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Mike H
38 contributions
Great local market
Sep 2018
Well worth the 2.5 hour drive from the Topas Ecolodge. It is genuinely a local market with a little bit of touristy stuff at the back. The colourful local Flower H’Mong women were the highlight.
Written 29 September 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

pkastan
hanoiu3 contributions
Skip Sapa and stay in Bac Ha
Jun 2018 • Solo
Can Cau Market is great. Base yourself at Bac ha Friday night. Take the cool funky local bus to Can Cau market early sat morning. Takes about 45 min to an hour through mountain villages. This market is in a valley in the countryside with no building but with very colorfully dressed Flower Hmong women. There is also a large colorful water buffalo sales area. If you go from Sapa you will get their much later and is not recommended.
Written 19 September 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Alan W
17 contributions
It doesn't worth the long trip
Aug 2018 • Friends
Hot, dirty, crowdy; yes you can have a look at the Hmong costumes but on my opinion it doesn't worth the long journey by car. In the market there is nothing interesting, it is just a classic stop in most of the Vietnam tour.
Written 20 August 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Barbara F
London, UK34 contributions
Can Cau Market - go early and not with Sapa O'Chau
Apr 2018 • Family
Can Cau was the only market that we could visit during our stay in Sapa and it was a disappointment not in itself but for the tour that was organised for us. We booked with Sapa O'Chau, which seems to be a ethically run company but it is also a very disorganised one.
- when we arrived in Sapa, nobody apparently knew about our booking of this trip.
- the departure at 7:30 is clearly too late. We arrived in Can Cau at around 11, when many stalls were already closed and people were leaving. Had we known that, we would have left earlier.
- our guide had not been instructed on our tour, so, after the market and the lunch, he was to bring us directly to the train station and he had to call the office to know what to do next.
- the lunch was not as described on the website. We should have tasted bufallo meat, as advertised on your website, but a very poor lunch in a mediocre restaurant.
- the supposed trekking was a 5-minute walk in a deserted village where we did not meet anybody a part from a man making wine. Nobody explained to us the process or gave us any introduction about te villages. We were supposed to visit Flower Hmong, Tay, and Nung minorities (and this was one of the reasons why we decided to spend considerably more money to book this tour compared to other tours offered by other tour operators) but we did not see them. IN particular, the website advertise the visit to the house of Mr. Ho, a man of performs traditional music, danc and story telling, but we did not do that as well.
In conclusion, the trip was very disappointing and did not meet our expectations and te description on the Sapa O'Chau website. In this conditions, better to rent a car with a driver and go without a guide. You will save a lot of money and will enjoy the experience.
Written 17 April 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

p4sta
London, UK156 contributions
Busy and colourful market
Jan 2018 • Couples
It takes a while to get to this market from Sapa and via Lao Chi right on the Chinese border. The journey was around 3 hours and you get dropped off a short walk from the market. we had a driver and a guide. The market itself was very colourful and busy with local north Vietnamese tribes people and Chinese. The road was full of people, cars, lorries and bikes all trying to get somewhere and not moving fast. If you don't like to see animals in discomfort you may wish to avoid this market. The ethnic tribes people's outfits are wonderful to see. When we were there, few European tourists were at the market. Maybe because it's along way to go to a market. But if in this region in Vietnam then may aw well go.
Written 30 March 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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