Not only is it the convergence of goods exchanging among ethnic minorities, Coc Ly Market now is also one of the impressive attractions in Sapa. Tourists go to the market in order to immerse in the romantic nature and the unique features of the locals.
Coc Ly Market is held on every Tuesday. Though it is not a big market, Coc Ly plays an extremely important role to ethnic minorities in the west of Bac Ha. This is the rendezvous for meeting, goods exchanging, and purchasing of Hoa (Chinese) Mong, Dao Den (Black Dao) and Nung ethnic people. Goods sold in the market is the local products and utensils brought from the plains or imported from China. In addition, the market is a meeting place to display affection and feelings of ethnic minorities. Not merely exchanging goods, Coc Ly Market is one of the few markets in Sapa still retaining its traditional cultural features.
Far about 12 km from the center of Bac Ha town, Lao Cai, Coc Ly Market is situated on the banks of Chay River... Unlike some northwestern markets gradually affected by color of travel trade, Coc Ly Market always attracts tourists to travel to Sapa thanks to its wild and idyllic characteristics. Those who would like to find a full definition of a pure rural market cannot ignore Coc Ly Market, Bac Ha. This unique feature offers Coc Ly to gradually become one of new attractive tourist attractions in Sapa.
Like other Sapa markets of the ethnic people, Coc Ly Market gathers the wide range of goods from local products to utensils brought from the plain region and China as well. Yet the locals go to the market not only for shopping but also for meeting their friends, eating and interacting with each other. The market is divided into separate pavilions, namely area for purchasing cattle, buffalo, horses, area for sale of fruit, living utensils and area for food courts. Tourists will have a chance to witness the costume of ethnic groups and hear their own languages. Hmong girls are tremendously beautiful in colorful dresses and graceful with umbrella passing overhead. They usually concentrate at the bridge to show off their colorful dresses and more importantly to find their partners. This is also distinctive characteristic of Coc Ly Market compared to other markets of ethnic minorities in Sapa.
The Coc Ly Market attracts Dzao, Flower Hmong, Tay and Nung people from the surrounding hills. It’s about 35km southwest of Bac Ha along reasonably good roads. Tour operators in Bac Ha can arrange day trips here.