Can Can Saturday Market is a weekly meeting in the middle of
Can Chu Su slope, Can Cau commune,
Si Ma Cai district of Sapa town. From early morning, people from all
parts of the district and communes in
Bac Ha, Muong Khuong,
Bao Thang, Bat Xat flock here, even people in Sin Man
district, Ha Giang and the Chinese as well.
After October when the crop has been harvested, most
families have people going to market, not only adults but
also children and old people, making the market like a
festifal. Special thing in Can Cau Market is, in addition to
local tourists and foreign visitors, most of the
participants are of Hmong and Dzay people, but trading in
the market is conducted with business practices of the Dzao
Can Cau Market is divided into three areas, of which the
largest place is used for trading cattle. Although there are
cows, goats, horses, but most of them are buffaloes.
Therefore, Can Cau Market is also called buffalo market. As opposed to a
noisy spontaneous market in your imagination with voices of
bargaining and bartering, visitors to Can Cau Buffalo Market
only hear murmuring sounds of negotiation and evaluation
between sellers and buyers.
The mountainous ethnic people are honest so sellers never
put a high price, buyers bargain for good luck. Buffalo
owners and customers speak just enough for each other.
Before purchasing, customers often consider very carefully,
meticulously every ox sold. The buffalo are selected for big
feet, firm spine, wide opened horns and slender belly.
Price for a buffalo in Cau Market range from 6 to 20 million
Vietnam Dong (300 - 1000 usd), depending on black or white
skin, male or female, good looking or not, and purchased for
plowing or meat. As the Northwest's largest cattle market,
a market day has nearly hundred buffalo bought and sold.
Consequently, very few people going to buy buffaloes have to
go home empty-handed.
When the deal is completed, the sellers and buyers go to a
Thang Co (a kind of soup) stall and sip some rice wine,
at the end of the market day the purchased buffaloes wear a
pine-shaped bronze bell and follow the new owners to
village, The music sounds every step all the way home.
Although not as famous as the cattle market, but the food
and local produce stalls, household items are very popular
with tourists. Locals call this is a market for women, for
the men to Can Cau market primarily to purchase buffaloes or
eat Thang Co.
Most impressive in this market area is the colorful dresses
of flower Hmong people for sale, you will be surprised to
see sophisticated designs of the dresses, some of them take
up to a year to make, no wonder that the price is up to
millions. In addition, visitors are easily attracted by the
jewelery stalls with all kinds of rings, bracelets,
In the food stalls, beside Thang Co and corn wine there are
many shops with great dishes, something similar to the
noodle soup in the cities, but the dark -colored bread which
can be eaten with boiled pork stew or broth from the bones.
Also a lot of bread made from corn flour, cassava, sticky
Like other fairs, Can Cau Market is also an opportunity for
couples dating and chatting with friends. They are not in
the market for the purpose of buying and selling but mainly
to entertain and communicate with each other. Therefore, Can
Cau market is not merely a trading activity but has become a
distinctive culture of people in the north west.