Dong Van is the northernmost district of Ha Giang province and located in the most unique karst plateau geopark in Vietnam. Arriving in Dong Van, tourists will have the chance to admire the majestic beauty of rolling mountains and forests as well as to learn more about the daily life of Dong Van residents. The Dong Van market is one of the most popular visiting sites for tourists.
The Dong Van market is one of the most popular visiting sites for tourists.
The Dong Van market is about 150 kilometres to the northeast of Ha Giang city, along National Highway 4C. The fair takes place every Sunday and is a trading place among ethnic minorities such as Tay, Nung, Han, Hmong, Hoa, Dao and Kinh.
Each group of people eagerly travel to the market, with pedestrians carrying baskets of vegetables, fruits, chicken cages, bird cages, buffaloes, cows, and those on bicycles and motorbikes transporting bundles of goods or small pigs. Others are dressed in colourful ethnic costumes and come to the market from hamlets far away just for fun and entertainment.
Children follow their parents to the market. Shiny items on sale at the market are a big source of attraction to them.
The increasing number of tourists to the market, result in a more bustling atmosphere. Right from the market gate, sellers and buyers talk with each other in the languages of each ethnic group. Inside the market, commodities are clearly categorised to serve the needs of buyers. Items sold at Dong Van market are mainly vegetables, fruits, spices, food, colourful brocade products, household devices, cloths and several types of livestock, such as pigs, buffaloes and cows.
Like other upland markets, Dong Van market also serves unique food dishes of ethnic minority people, such as buckwheat cakes and corn wine. A big buckwheat cake or corn cake is sold at VND10,000 (just below half a US dollar).
Children also help their parents sell items at the market.
In addition to essential household items, a young mother buys herself a new pair of earrings.
A watch repair shop is also ready to serve customers.
Clothes remain the most sought after product at the market.
Home-made wine is also indispensable at the market. A 20 litre barrel of wine is sold at VND200,000 (US$8.8). Guests can feel free to try the product before deciding whether to buy or not.
After buying all that is needed, friends gather at teahouse for relaxation.
Hot bowls of pork Pho or buckwheat pink rice are what children like most at the market.
A 70-year-old elderly lady shows off her new shirt.