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Bac Ha's majestic countryside is equally as enchanting as its neighbour Sapa, but the peaceful town has somewhat escaped the over-development and has managed to retain its authenticity as a market town. This rural district doesn't have the modern comforts that can be found in Sapa, but what it lacks in that respect, it makes up for in character.

The town itself sits amidst towering mountains and rice paddies, and each week it is the home of one of the biggest ethnic minority market in the region. Each Sunday morning, as the sun breaks over the rolling mountains, hundreds of local people from the Black Dao, Red Hmong, Tay, Nung, La Chi, and other ethnic minority communities flock to the market creating an explosion of colour in the green valley.

Best time to visit

The best time to travel to Bac Ha is in springs (February – April) and winter (November – January). Be careful if you travel to this district in summers since heavy rains may affect your trip.

Some most attractive times to travel to this destination:

  • In springs, before and after Lunar New Year is the peach blossom season.
  • Festival of Earth and Water Greeting is held on the 15th day of the first lunar month every year.
  • In March, all the hills are covered by the white color of plum blossom.
  • Water pouring season in May, which turns the rice terraces into magnificent scenery
  • The traditional Bac Ha Racing Horse Festival is held in the sixth lunar month after the plum is ripe.
  • Bac Ha Market on Sunday
  • Bac Ha Temple Festival on the 7th day of the seventh lunar month
  • Harvesting season in September

Check the below table for the general idea of Bac Ha weather throughout the year.

Month Avg. High (°C) Avg. Mean (°C) Avg. Low (°C)
Jan 11.2 8.1 5.6
Feb 15.3 11.7 8.5
Mar 19.6 15.6 12.1
Apr 21 17.3 14.4
May 23.4 20.1 17.3
Jun 22.9 20.2 17.8
Jul 22.3 19.6 17.5
Aug 22.6 19.4 17.2
Sep 21 18.1 16.1
Oct 18.6 15.5 13.3
Nov 16.4 13.6 11.3
Dec 11.8 8.8 6.5

Bac Ha’s current weather and 7-day forecast


After spending time in a Sapa excursion, it will be fun to continue your ethnic exploration in Bac Ha. Trekking to ethnic tribes, interacting with the locals in their market and admiring majestic trails in the mountain’s midst are main things travelers can do here.

1. Ethnic Markets

Bac Ha Sunday Market

Location: In Bac Ha District, 80km from Sapa

Characteristics: It is absolutely regretted if you do not spend time in Bac Ha Sunday Market when coming to this district.

Every Sunday, H’Mong, Red Dzao, Ha Nhi and other ethnic minorities gather here to exchange agricultural products, enjoy a cup of corn alcohol and talking to each other.

Lung Phinh Market

Location: Lung Phinh Commune, 12km from Bac Ha

Characteristics: It takes place every Sunday. If you prefer an authentic market without any commercial interference, head to Lung Phinh.

Can Cau Market

Location: 20km north of Bac Ha

Characteristics: Can Cau Market takes place every Saturday morning. You can see mainly H’Mong and Day ethnic people in this market.

Coc Ly Market

Location: 35km from Bac Ha

Characteristics: Coc Ly Market is organized every Tuesday. This market is considered as a meeting place for H’Mong, Black Dzao and Nung people. After visiting this market, you can take a boat trip along Chay River, admire the beauty of Tay and H’Mong people’s ethnic villages and take photos of spectacular waterfalls.

Sin Pheng Market

Location: In the center of Sin Pheng Commune, 10km from Si Ma Cai District

Characteristics: Despite not being as large as Bac Ha Market, you can find everything in Sin Pheng Market. Organized on Wednesday every week, this market is the most crowded at noon.

2. Hoang A Tuong Palace

Built in 1914 and complete in 1921, Hoang A Tuong Palace is attached to a tumultuous history. This palace belongs to a Tay person named Hoang Yen Chao, the father of Hoang A Tuong. Prior to 1945, Bac Ha was a ‘semi-feudal, semi-colonial’ society in which the wealthy upper class, including Hoang A Tuong and Hoang Yen Chao, exploited the working class by occupying fertile lands and monopolizing the sale of essential products such as salt and foods.

This place is the combination of French and Chinese architectural style with a two-storey structure. Its long and imposing corridor reflects the glorious time bygone.

Location: In the center of Bac Ha Town

3. Fairy Cave (Dong Tien)

This is the must-see place after visiting Coc Ly Market. The surrounding Chay River and fauna system offer Fairy Cave a fascinating beauty. You have to take a boat ride along the river to visit this cave.

4. Fairy Mountain (Nui Co Tien)

From the north of Si Ma Cai District to Bac Ha township and at the height of over 1,000m above the sea level, Fairy Mountain stands out as an imposing scenery. This is the heaven for adventurous tourists who love trekking, hiking and conquering a new peak.

5. Ban Pho Village

Ban Pho is located at the highest point of Bac Ha District, inhabited mainly by H’Mong and Dao people. The main crop grown in this village is maize and you can only find some families grow rice. There are three traditional handicrafts in Ban Pho which are making alcohol, brocade weaving, and hammering.

6. Bac Ha Temple

Built in the 19th century, Bac Ha Temple is dedicated to Vu Van Mat, the hero who defeated Northern enemies during the reign of Emperor Le Chieu Tong (1516). Bac Ha Temple festival is organized in the 7th day of the seventh lunar month every year.


Add: 135 Ngoc Uyen, Bắc Hà, Vietnam

BAC HA DRAGON HOTEL has a restaurant, bar, a shared lounge and garden in Bắc Hà. Boasting family rooms, this property also provides guests with a terrace. The accommodation features a 24-hour front desk, airport transfers, room service and free WiFi.

The rooms at the hotel have air conditioning, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, dvd player, and a private bathroom with a bidet, a hairdryer and free toiletries. All units will provide guests with a desk and a kettle.

Saturday Hotel 

Add: 126 Ngoc Uyen, Bac Ha, Lao Cai, Bắc Hà, Vietnam

Featuring an on-site bar, Saturday Hotel offers pet-friendly accommodation in Bac Ha. Free WiFi can be accessed in all areas and free private parking is available on site.

Certain rooms have air conditioning. You will find an electric kettle and a flat-screen TV in room. Rooms include a private bathroom fitted with a bidet. For your comfort, you will find slippers and free toiletries.

You will find a 24-hour front desk, gift shop, and shops at the property. Horse-drawn vehicles and trekking tour can be arranged upon request.

You can play darts at this hotel, and bike hire and car hire are available.

Bac Ha Lake View 

Add: D2, Nam Sat 1, Bac Ha, Bắc Hà, Vietnam

Bac Ha Lake View features a restaurant, free bikes, a bar and shared lounge in Bắc Hà. Featuring room service, this property also provides guests with a terrace. Free private parking is available and the guest house also provides bike hire for guests who want to explore the surrounding area.

A continental breakfast is available daily at the guest house.

The area is popular for cycling, and car hire is available at Bac Ha Lake View.

Wandering around Bac Ha Market, you definitely have to try the following delicious dishes to experience the unique culinary culture here.

1. Men men (Rice made of corn)

Men men is a popular dish of Northwestern mountainous ethnic tribes since corn is their main crop. To cook delicious men men, only high-quality corn is chosen, neither too old nor too young. The corn is ground into powder, and mixed with a suitable amount of water. Then, the mixture is cooked in a pan until it has a distinctive sweetness and color.

The price for a bowl of men men is cheap, for VND 10,000 dong you can enjoy this dish’s appetizing flavor and appealing smell.

2. Banh duc ngo (Plain corn flan)

Similar to the regular banh duc (plain rice flan) you can try in Hanoi, Banh duc ngo is made of corn grown by Northwestern ethnic people. Banh duc ngo is cut into small pieces and served with broth, green onion, cilantro, and chili. The price for this dish ranges from VND 8,000 – 10,000 dong.

3. Pau po cu (Corn cake)

This is another dish made of corn that will make your trip to Bac Ha unforgettable. Corn is ground, put into banana leaves and steamed in several hours. Pau po cu is sweet, fragrant, and sticky. Local people eat it as a snack; however, you can enjoy this cake for breakfast as well. Pau po cu can be stored for a week since it is soaked in water.

4. Banh chen (Chen cake)

Chen cake is the combination of rice flour and corn flour. When Pau po cu is fragrant but a little bit dry and not so sticky, local people have added rice flour to make it stickier and softer. Similar to Pau po cu, Chen cake is wrapped in banana leaves and steamed in hot water.

5. Xoi ngu sac (Five-color sticky rice)

This is the traditional dish of Tay ethnic people. The name comes from the fact that it has five colors. These five colors represent the five elements of life in their belief: yellow is earth, green is plant, red is fire, white is metal, and purple is water.

No chemical is required to make this colorful sticky rice, only natural leaves are used. The leaves are boiled before being put into a large bowl with rice to create different colors.

6. Thang Co (a special kind of hotpot)

Thang Co is widely known as the most traditional dish of H’mong ethnic group. This food is made from beef, buffalo, pork and horse meat. However, local residents often use horse organs such as heart, liver, bone, and meat to cook this dish. All these organs are put in a big pan of water and stew in a long time. Some particular seasoning and vegetables are often served with the dish to reduce the fat taste.

7. Bac Ha sour noodles

Despite being made from the same ingredients as Hanoi noodle, Bac Ha noodle taste is particular and special.
In order to process sour noodle, the chef uses indispensable raw materials: pickles, green vegetables (lettuce, basil) finely chopped; pounding roasted sesame and peanuts; a few seals to add special flavor; and of course noodles and broth. Before tasting this food, you should add some salt because this noodle will be slightly fainter for people from other places. Sour Noodle should be served cold, so it is the good choice for summer. If you visit Bac Ha in winter, there is a little chance for you to taste it.

Getting to Bac Ha

By bus

From Hanoi, you can catch a bus to Bac Ha from My Dinh Bus Station. You can buy a ticket from Hai Van at VND 250,000 dong. Buses start at 9:00 pm and arrive in Bac Ha the next morning. There are 18 buses every day.

We recommend you check the latest bus schedule and price via

By train

You buy train tickets from for Hanoi to Lao Cai which depart at about 8-9 pm from Hanoi and arrive in Lao Cai at 5 am. Then, from Lao Cai, you can catch a bus to Bac Ha from Lao Cai Bus Station at 7 am, 12 pm, 1 pm, and 2 pm. Tickets are about VND 50,000 dong.

From Bac Ha Bus Station, you can find a bus to Sapa if you want to visit both places but do not want to ride a motorbike yourselves.

Getting around Bac Ha

Bac Ha is relatively small so you can explore either by motorbike or on foot. You can rent a motorbike here or find a motorbike taxi (xe om) who can take you around the town. If you want to combine your Bac Ha trip with other places in Lao Cai such as Si Ma Cai, Y Ty or Sapa, it is recommended that you rent a motorbike in Hanoi and then ride here.

Contact us to get more information


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