The Bắc Hà Market

Five women. 'Five' women and a girl at the Sunday market in Bắc Hà Clouds above San Chai. The inspiring country to the east of Bắc Hà town, on the road to Xin Mần This page is the first of two on Bắc Hà, which is home to northern Vietnam's most famous market every Sunday. This page shows something of those selling their wares, the next page is about the customers. Women walking to market. Venders going to market Buffalo and market. Buffalo watching over the throngs Traders at edge of market. The town and hills at the edge of the market Horse market. A key sector is the sale of horses Embroidered hangings. Embroidered hangings in the textile area Ducklings. Ducklings by the crate load This market is big, with areas devoted to everything from horses to chillies, providing tourists who flock in their thousands with endless photographic opportunities. Two venders in traditional hats. Many people from the ethnic minorities store their cash wealth as gold teeth Cutting stalks off chillies. Working her way across the pile she is cutting the green stalks off the chillies Bunches of chillies. Here a larger variety of chillies have been carefully threaded onto strings Vietnam is proud of its ethnic diversity. While over 80% of the population are Viet (commonly 'Kinh'), there are also 53 other groups with there own customs and languages. Some 14 of these groups are found in the Bắc Hà district and six of these are H'Mông peoples. The eye catching clothes, that make this market famous, are worn by the 'Flower H'Mông' - their informal name. Woman tying headscarf. This woman is selling the yarns that are used in the needlework Woman with bags. Many women come to the market to sell their embroidery, here in the form of bags, and cannot leave their infants behind Woman dispensing liquid. A woman dispenses paraffin Besides the normal diversity of sales and services found in any Vietnamese market, Bắc Hà offers all that is needed to put the 'flower' in Flower H'Mông - and so creates a key attraction for tourists. Woman selling nuts. Nut sales Haberdasher stall. Here the item being bought is a zip from the haberdashers Gathering under umbrellas. Umbrellas are vital even in April - and the sun will get hotter for another two months Blind salesman. You probably can't see the eyes of this man but his right hand is delicately poised to fill in for his lack of sight Adze seller. This woman has adze-like farming tools for sale Protection from the sun is a top priority for everyone. For this umbrellas are popular, while being rather little help against the torrential rain of the summer. Shop-like stall. Well laid out stalls like this are found in all the markets; laboriously set up and taken down everyday Pots at cafe. At cafes fireplaces are fashioned from the stones found nearby Woman selling medicines. The selling of medicines in rural communities is big business, but conducted in a small non-business way. Often it is older people who provide what is in effect a service, passing on their experience for little return. The products usually cover a range of Western, Chinese and purely folk remedies. Next week the page continues this visit to the Bắc Hà market, but attention is turned to the customers. Two women. line
Saturday 12th November 2016 Murphy on duty

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