Muong Hum is the center commune of Bat Xat (Lao Cai) district, 45 km from Sapa town; it is considered as capital of economic exchanges and culture of ethnic groups such as Hmong, Dao, Giay, Ha Nhi. Muong Hum the most typical and colorful market in this area which you should not miss when traveling to Sapa.
Muong Hum market opens only in Saturday weekly. Upland people go to the market not only for the purpose of exchange goods but also exchange culture and making friends. In the market everybody wears the most beautiful dress. We can see the girls with colorful traditional clothes holding umbrella, wearing baskets beside back. Some boys bring small pig under arms, hands holding rope of buffalo or horse. They look so happy make the market becomes lively.
It is more interesting if tourists can drive on a motorbike through curve road to come to the market because you will have chance to admire many beautiful view and breath the fresh air. You will cross one old cardamom forests and meet some locals camping to pick and roast cardamom. They waves hands and smile to greet local people coming to market.
The market is not famous as the Bac Ha market or the love Sapa fair. But it remains the original tradition of this region. In early morning, the town is awakening by human and horses sounds and colored by the costume worm by local people come down from mountain around. The product of the forest will be sold down market such as honey, mushrooms, wood ears, etc. Those made by the people here like: Cattle, horses, pig, chicken, soybeans, corn liquor or brocade, etc are sold in the market.
Besides going to the market for shopping or selling, an indispensable activity of the local are meeting friends and exchanging alcohol. They also eat traditional dishes as thang co, pho chua and grilled meat. They will drink until the sun going down the mountain, then say goodbye to each others. It is also the end of a bustling market day.
In the way coming home, tourist can meet many funny local couples: the drunken husband sitting on horse, and the wife following the horse.
Visiting the Muong Hum market is an opportunity for tourists to feel the hidden beauty of ethnic culture. Therefore each Muong Hum fair always gives an unforgettable impression of visitors every time they visit.