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Worthwhile to go Bac Ha on a Weekday?

Kuala Lumpur...
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Worthwhile to go Bac Ha on a Weekday?


We shall be reaching Lao Cai on a weekday (tuesday morning), for a 2-night stay.

A little bumped that we shall be missing the famous Sunday market at Bac Ha.

Thing is, our hotel is offering a free pick up from the train station to Sapa.

Was wondering if it is worth while to give that pick-up a miss, and still travel down to Bac Ha for a visit before going back to Sapa via Lao Cai later in the afternoon?

On the other hand, I've heard abit of info about the Coc Ly market on Tuedays.

Seems interesting.

How far is the journey from Lao Cai to Coc Ly? How long is an estimated trip to to go Coc Ly + a trip down Chay river, + the journey back to Sapa?

Wondering if I should arrange prior for a tour from Lao Cai (not sure of any good agencies) or just do it myself (grab a bus when i reach, bargain for a river cruise at coc ly, and grap a bus back) ?

Thanks in advance!

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1. Re: Worthwhile to go Bac Ha on a Weekday?


If you arrive in Lao Cai on tuesday, should go to Coc Ly market over 55 km - 1.5 hours transfer from Lao Cai. it is nice and interesting but smaller than Bac Ha market. The trip can be taken 1 day including boat cruise on Chay river. No bus or group tour to this market, so you can arrange private car to get there then back to Sapa in the afternoon.

Good trip

Hanoi, Vietnam
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2. Re: Worthwhile to go Bac Ha on a Weekday?

I wouldn't bother with Bac Ha mid-week - the Sunday market is Bac Ha. I would take the free ride to the Sapa hotel and get settled B4 going elsewhere - just my opinion.

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3. Re: Worthwhile to go Bac Ha on a Weekday?


Can any one tell me how can I get to Bac Ha market as we will be arriving on LaoCao on Sunday morning.? Are there private cars that we can hire for 2 people to take us to Bac Ha market, then drive us to our hotel in Sapa in the afternoon? If so, how much would this cost? Does anyone have prior contacts they can recommend?

Thank you,

Melbourne, Australia
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4. Re: Worthwhile to go Bac Ha on a Weekday?

you can take group tour from Laocai to Bacha Market at 18US$/a person(after finish this tour they will take you back to Sapa).

you can hire a car at 63US$(private car)to Bacha


Sydney, Australia
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5. Re: Worthwhile to go Bac Ha on a Weekday?

Why would any tourist go to Bac Ha on any other day than the Sunday Etnic Minorities Market?

True, I have gone to Bac Ha for trekking in that region but always in association with the Sunday Market.

Except for the Sunday Ethnic Minorities Market it is a very quiet town indeed.

Best regards. Ian

Sydney, Australia
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6. Re: Worthwhile to go Bac Ha on a Weekday?

I cant believe that you ONLY go there on a sunday. My partner and I got there on friday morning, and it was truely amazing being one of the only non locals in town. Nobody asks you to buy anything, so you can simply relax in a great town. Food is great also. On saturday we headed on a tour of 4 villages amoung other things, and was the best day of our whole months trip to Vietnam. The tour guide then gave us a free tour the next day of another village, before then heading to the markets later before the Sapa crowds, thus was not packed.

Was truely amazing, and I would tell anyone that no matter what day it was, there was amazing things to do in the small town.

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7. Re: Worthwhile to go Bac Ha on a Weekday?

If you hire a private car for $63 from Lao Cai to Bac Ha on a Sunday morning, does it include driving from Bac Ha to Sapa after the market? What did you do after the market? Did you use a hotel/travel agency to book the car?

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8. Re: Worthwhile to go Bac Ha on a Weekday?

Laloosh80: yes, it will include the drive from Bac ha to Sapa after the market.

People still do the Chay river cruise after the market before heading back to Lao Cai/Sapa. You can book the services through hotel or travel agency.

James L: go for Coc Ly, the market is smaller than Bac Ha but less travellers.

Pennsylvania, USA
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9. Re: Worthwhile to go Bac Ha on a Weekday?

Hi James, aqlthough Bac Ha is the largest in the area, I really think Coc Ly is the most scenic and beautiful. Its on the bank of a river and gets fewer tourists than Bac Ha so I find the visit much more enjoyable.

I think you should give the free transport from your hotel a miss and instead arrange to be picked up in Lao Cai and taken to Coc Ly and then to Sapa. Visiting one of the local markets while in the Sapa area is really a highlight.

If you scroll down to the bottom of this web pafe you will see a map of the Lao Cai area with the locations of markets and the day they are held:


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10. Re: Worthwhile to go Bac Ha on a Weekday?

Went to Ba Ha market on a Sunday a couple of weeks ago. Local told us that it is the best day to go. Saw amazing sights. Up to you but I recommend you go to Coc Ly Market.

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