Sa Phin Market
You can get to Xa Phin market when coming from Yen Minh on the QL4C but it is likely that you will arrive too late in the day to see anything. More likely is that you will back track from Dong Van to get to the market and then head up to Lung Cu Flag Tower.
The market is only 15km from Dong Van and it doesn’t take long so you can get to it nice and early. You need to be early to catch the locals and it is most likely that you will meet several market goers on the road going home from market. Sa Phin market is surrounded by standard yellow Chinese style buildings but made extremely colourful by the fashion sense of the locals. It is quite striking.
Market day is every 6th day, meaning that this week it may be a Sunday market, which makes next week a Saturday market, and then a Friday and so on.
The market is not that well known or visited. Most tourists tend to head directly for the H’mong King’s Palace which is just a little further on. This means you will see a more authentic sight. However, it won’t be that amazing as Sa Phin Market is a very practical one.
Local women will be stocking up on the essential supplies that they need for the next week. There will not be another market for 6 days and they have to trudge a long way to get back home.
You will, however, see how the locals go about their business. The women bartering for goods and getting supplies, the men chatting and drinking (often a bit too much), and the youngsters flirting with each other around the edges of the market. The latter reason is why Xa Phin Market is considered to be a ‘love market’.
The local markets are great opportunities to see local life and get some great photos. Have fun.