Hoang Su Phi Market is held once a week on Sunday morning. It takes place along the main street, a few kilometers long, in Vinh Quang Town in Hoang Su Phi District, Ha Giang Province.
No one knows exactly how long the market has existed in the area. However, it has played an import role in the lives of ethnic people of the Mong, Dao, Tay, Nung and La Chi who are living on the Tay Con Linh Mountain Range.
They go to the market not only to exchange their products, but also to meet and chat with others. Therefore, the market in Hoang Su Phi still preserves many unique cultural features of a traditional market in mountainous areas.
The market opens at the first gleam of daylight and becomes crowded when the sun rises above the peak of Tay Con Linh Mountain. To arrive at the market, the ethnic people from remote hamlets like Ban Luoc, San Xa Ho and Nam Ty even must leave their houses before the cock crows and pass over a long stretch of dozens of kilometers of mountainous roads to arrive at the market. Here, they sell products, such as vegetables, fruits and chickens, grown in the terraced fields or fetched from the forest.
Surprisingly, if they find no buyers and can not sell out their products, they still feel happy because they may have found some other things in the market. Unlike other markets, the market in Hoang Su Phi is rather quiet with little noise because both buyers and sellers seem to come to the market to only look and then return to their hamlet.
Visiting the market, one will be charmed by a distinctive aroma of Mac khen, a spicy like pepper floating in the air, which is brought to the market by Dao girls from Luoc Hamlet. Here, there is also the aroma of Thao qua (Fructus Amomi Tsaoko) of Mong girls in San Xa Ho Commune.
It is impossible not to mention the corner where people sell wines in the market. It is rather strange when both the wine sellers and the buyers are women. In another corner, young men from Ho Thau sell their goats. In the middle of the market are piles of colourful brocades and cloth dyes.
The market in Hoang Su Phi is really an interesting destination for those who want to learn about distinctive cultural features and the strange customs of ethnic people in the mountainous area of Ha Giang.