Dong Van market is one of the special highlights of Ha Giang’s culture. Tourists participating in Dong Van market can not only find some unique souvenirs but also explore the historical as well as cutural value of Dong Van in particular, and Ha Giang in general. Let’s find out what makes this market so special.
Why Dong Van market is so special?
Dong Van market is located in Dong Van district which belongs to Ha Giang province. Despite locating far away from the center of Ha Giang city, this place still attracts both domestic and international tourists.
The frequency of Dong Van market
Normally, markets are usually held everyday; however, Dong Van market is organized once a week every Sunday. Therefore, travellers must calculate and arrange their itinerary properly if they want to witness Dong Van market.
Besides, if you can, try waking up early to admire the beauty of Dong Van market in the early morning. That is when the locals are busy preparing for their stalls for the market, creates a charming scene of daily labor of highlanders and actually highlights the soul of Dong Van as well as Ha Giang city.
Since Dong Van market is the most crowded market in Dong Van Karst Plateau, it attracts people from many people from different ethnic groups such as Tay, Nung, Han, Dao, Kinh,… That is the reason that when you come here, you can see the cultural diversity from costumes, languages and goods. This is a chance for you to explore and have a deeper understanding about the ethnic minorities of moutainouse area of Vietnam.
Different as it seems, people here all share a common point, that is they are very friendly and hospitable toward people who comes to visit and experience the bustling atmosphere of Dong Van sunday market.
The cultural interference is also expressed through the Chinese architectural design style. This is quite understandable since this region has a 50km border with China so there Chinese cutural representative hidden in Dong Van.
The variety in goods and commodities
As mentioned above, cutural variation of Dong Van market leads to the diversity in goods and commodities. Here are the list of goods that you can purchase from Dong Van market:
- Agriculture products: rice, meat, wheat, fruits,etc
- Handicraft products: woven fabrics, handmade baskets, or bamboo products.
- Daily life products: shoes, bags, accessories,etc
- Traditional clothes
- Food, cuisine
There are so much more that you can find in Dong Van sunday market, you should try and explore it yourself.
Things tourists can do when partcipating in Dong Van market
With all the fun activities, I am sured that you won’t find yourself being bored when taking part in Dong Van market.
Buying and exchanging goods
Of course, when participating in a market, you can freely buy and sell goods, but what makes Dong Van market special is that in addition to paying in cash, you can exchange with the seller an item which has equivalent value.
Coming to Dong Van sunday market, you definately have to buy souvenirs that was made personally by the locals. From raw materials, they can craft sophisticated, useful objects for everyday use that cannot be found anywhere else.
Enjoying Dong Van’s market’s signature dishes
Cuisine of Dong Van market in particular and of Ha Giang in general has always been apealing to tourists, mainly because of the curiosity of unfamiliar dishes that they have never been heard before.
Ethnic people with unique ways of preparing dishes have created different dishes from the same ingredients, attracting many tourists to come here to experience. These are some traditional dishes that are recommended when coming to Dong Van market.
- Thang co (Meat soup)
- Lau ga den (black chicken hotpot)
- Pho Trang Kim (Trang Kim noodle soup)
- Thang den (Sweets made from glutinous rice flour)
- Banh cuon Đong Van (Dong Van steamed roll rice)
- Xoi ngu sac (five-color sticky rice)
- Men men (Steamed corn flour)
- To chua (sour ant nest)
- Banh tam giac mach (buckwheat cake)
As you can see, Dong Van market has a diverse culinary background with both savory and sweet dishes.
Learning about the culture and history of Dong Van market
At Dong Van sunday market, you can clearly see the traditional culture expressed through every single items. From the traditional clothes, handicaft products to the algriculture products that carry all the hard work of the farmers. It is the beauty of Dong Van’s people.
You can also learn more about the culture through talking with the tour guide. Usually, your tour guide will be the locals so they will know best bout Dong Van market’s history, culture and people. You can even have a small talk with the people here if you are willing to.
Routes you can take to get to Dong Van market
Dong Van market located in Dong Van district, which is the north side of Ha Giang city. To get there, you need to go through other famous destinations. Starting from Ha Giang city, you need to go through Yen Minh, Quan Ba district before reaching Dong Van. You can choose other routes as well but this is a most common itinerary for
You can use Ha Giang motorbike rental service to travel to Dong Van market since this kind of transportation is flexible and suitable for Ha Giang terrain.
If you don’t confident about your driving skills, you can have a tour guide to go with you by using Ha Giang motorbike tour service to assure the safety along the way. This is also the most popular mean of transportation that is highly recommended.
Ideal time to go to Dong Van sunday market
You actually can go to Dong Van market at any time of the year. However, I suggest you should go to Dong Van market during October and December. This is when buckwheat flower of Ha giang at its prettiest. Ha Giang during this time is filled with the color pink, white and purple of buckwheat flower.
Ha Giang weather from October to December is quite cold, represents the signature weather of the highlands of Vietnam. Remember to bring more winter clothes and accessories to keep you warm.
It’s undeniable that Dong Van market is a place that holds a lot of important traditional values towards the locals and is also a spot that tourists can come and learn about the culture and the people of the moutainous area of Vietnam. If possible, you should come and visit this destination when travelling to Ha Giang.