Sapa, considered as the fog city, not only attracts tourists by its enormous and gorgeous wide range of mountain and natural landscape under the cool and cold weather but it also appeals a large amount of travelers coming to experience the colorful picture of lives of local people especially at the night market. Having to say, Sapa night market has become a traditional and unique feature of ethnic minorities there and played an essential role in their daily life.
Generally speaking, night market is only held on one day and the time is different based on different regions. However, in order to reconstruct the traditional customs, the Sa Pa Market Space Center Information and Tourism Promotion Lao Cai organized activities take place all night market on weekdays (from 16h – 22h), especially the night market Sa Pa is reproduced intact cultural space, held on Saturday evening. This activity is meant to increase the number of tourists to Sapa, creating more space for visitors to tourist resorts in Sapa, exploit the strengths of the intangible cultural heritage of ethnic minorities increased incomes for themselves; at the same time, contribute to limit the locals clinging guests hawkers.
It has been thought that Sapa at night was a peaceful and quiet town when everyone and everything deepened into their sleep. Nevertheless, in reality, it is so much opposite. Sapa seems to wear a new dress, beautiful, glamorous and exciting with the charming fog and the exciting noise of people coming from every tribes of Sapa. It is the market of the ethnic minorities gathering at the stone Catholic church to trade, exchange goods and to communicate with each other. Needless to say, Sapa is where various group of people stay and live. Therefore, that helps create a cultural diversity that is so unique compared to any other regions of Vietnam.
Sapa Night Market now has 34 business household products in Sapa souvenir booth and join the nearly 80 people are ethnic Hmong, Red Dao usual hawkers in area towns took time sale products characterized by ethnic minorities Sa Pa (Brocade, honey, rice wine, vegetables, bathroom medicine of the red Dao, candle wax, oil, cardamom …). Sapa town is also famous for the night market which offers different delicious dishes, most of which are grilled or roasted ones. Visiting Sapa without trying a dish of baked or grilled meat, beef, fish, and vegetables is a great pity. These specialties can be eaten with chili sauce or lemon-salt. There are many other delicious dishes to be explored in Sapa. If you have chance, do make a cuisine trip along Sapa night market and enjoy the wonderful night moment.
One of the most famous and attractive night market that should not be ignored when visiting Sapa is the Sapa Love Market held in every Saturday night. There is an interesting paradox in the name Love Market. Market is for trading: buying and selling. But no one there buys love or sells it. So why do they call it Love Market? Ironically, lovers take advantages of the market to see each other. Therefore, in a nutshell, Love Market is the place where people date and express their affection. However, it is also the place where cultural activities of people in the highland occur. Locals say that the love market is a unique tradition of the H’mong and Dao ethnic minority people in Lao Cai province. Even after market-days, many couples have got married. Once joining in the market, tourists can notice many girls dress up in colorful costumes and silver ornaments. They hang little bells on their outfits in order to add festive atmosphere. They look for the guys dressing in traditional clothes of the same colors who hold in their hand small radio blaring cheerful songs. People stand in groups, singing and dancing their traditional dances until the night comes.
Discovering Sapa Night Market has never been so boring to tourists. Lives of people at night would be different from that in big cities. That is the feeling of tranquility, of peace but also of charming and wonderful beauty so uniquely only in Sapa. Only when you take a trip to Sapa could you experience all of those interesting things there.