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Sapa

Sapa What to buy?
Sapa, the small tourist town of Vietnam’s northwest region, reminds us of a wildly beautiful area where travellers can gain great trekking experience while discovering the rich culture of ethnic minorities groups. The wet markets and souvenir shops here are also the perfect places for ones who are longing to buy local unique gifts.

Brocade



Visiting Sapa market, you can easily get lost in the maze of colorful brocades. It is amazing when knowing that only a one-span piece of brocade can take up to two weeks of sewing. Local girls may spend months just completing one dress, as the clothes represent their skills and extreme patience. Nowadays, in an effort to satisfy the complicated requirements of customers, there are two kinds of brocades available in the market: mass-produced and handmade ones. Mass-produced brocade is brighter with more designs, while the handmade one is darker with more harmonious pattern, containing the high traditional value. Brocade can be made into clothes, dresses, bags, backpacks, purses, scarfs, and even bed coverings.
Another place to get your brocade is to get one when you trek to ethnic villages such as Cat Cat and Ta Phin. Many women offer in-house shopping and you will know for sure you are supporting the less advantaged.

Local fruits



With the much cooler climate than most of other areas in northern Vietnam, Sapa brings tourists a chance to try the special local fruits that can only be found in temperate zone such as peach and pear. Fruits are grown organically in gardens scattering along mountain sides. Sapa’s peach and pear are not larger than a tea cup, covered by a thin layer of white powder, with a sour, sweet and a little bit acrid taste. Fruit are not kept in plastic bag but in bamboo baskets that help avoiding bruised. In addition, tourists can buy local vegetables like chayote and dried mushrooms.
Note that many countries impose a law against carrying foreign fresh fruits and plants home so double check before you pack. These fruits also do not contain preservatives so it is best to be consumed while inland.

Vietnamese medicinal herbs



You can find various kinds of Vietnamese medicinal herbs, both fresh and dried in Sapa market. However, foreign customers are advised to have a local friend or guide in order to choose the right herbs they need at reasonable price. Herbs are sold separately or packed together for treating different diseases. Those herbs can be used for herbal bath and traditional massage as well. In addition, raw honey is also among one of the most favorite products in Sapa. Light weight make these products all perfect to carry home.
Bac Ha Market
Bac Ha Market is a active and busy bazaar which is the main market in Bac Ha proper. The sellers here largely are the H’mong minor from the surrounding hills wearing colorful skirts with elaborate floral decorations. Items on sale are from wide range from animals like water buffaloes, pigs, horses, dogs and chickens to tourist handicrafts, textiles and firewater. The market opens only on Sunday and it is highly recommended to get here early.
SaPa Silver Shop
Address: 019 Muong Hoa Street, Sapa Town, Vietnam
Tel: 0169 5091 506


Description:

Sa Pa Silver shop specializes in handcrafted silver jewelry. This little shop is so special that you can actually watch the silversmith named Duc Khanh at work making the glittering pieces of splendid silver jewelry. The shop offers a good ion of silver jewelry from ear rings, necklaces, bracelets and every things of that kind with highly competitive prices.
InViet Travel Co. Ltd
Address: 9 Cau May Street

Description:
InViet Travel is a great travel stores offering a wide range of travel equipments including hiking shoes, sweaters, fleece jackets, toques, back packs, day packs and, interestingly, the obligatory souvenirs. The outdoors of the store is packed with back packs, warm North Face jackets, and Daypacks and the indoor provides you with the wider range of products. The staff here is friendly and often offers a good deal although bargain is highly recommended.
Local Handicrafts
In Sapa there is a high chance that every female meet on the street will try to sell you handcrafted goods. It is an amazing scene to see them making colorful handmade crafts which could make unique presents to bring home whenever they sit down for a moment; They also sell hats, traditional jewelries, necklaces, bracelets and also all kind of colorful wall-decorations. The price is about US$1-5 depending on how much you are willing to bargain and how nice the lady you bargain with is.
Wild Orchid Shop
Address: Cau May St., Sapa Town
Tel: 871-665


Description:

Wild Orchid Shop is a small shop with very colorful and interesting paintings about the daily life of minority people. Its owner is the designer of all the styles of minority people’s costumes, specializing in Homing and Dzao people. The cheapest thing in the shop is a small scarf at the price of US$3.
Indigo
Address: 9 Muong Hoa
Tel. 020/387-2568

Description:

Indigo is a special boutique run by Tanh, a local Hmoung minority, and her Japanese expat husband. The place offers simple, modern takes on traditional ethnic clothing. Specially, the mostly solid-colored cotton or linen clothes are dyed by natural vegetable dyes. Unlike those which are sold at markets or by street sellers, Indigo's pieces are properly dyed to ensure colors won't run when thrown in the washing machine. The boutique employs local disadvantaged workers to sew and embroider their clothing and wares. The Indigo line is also sold at the Victoria Sapa Hotel gift shop.
Shopping in Sapa
As a tourist attraction in the northwest mountains of Vietnam, Sapa is an ideal destination for those who are looking for unique shopping experiences in an area of picturesque hilly nature and rich ethinic cultures.  Strolling around Sapa town’s placid streets, you will soon find some sourvenir shops here and there. Your purpose may be just to have a look to get a feel about that something special of Sapa. But, in no time, you will become captivated by various handicrafts delicately designed in the style of minorities such as silver accessories, animal – modelled wooden sourvenirs or clothes with colourful patterns. They all could make good presents for you to bring home. 

What is more interesting is that you save your time trekking down the hills and discover traditional markets of local  ethnic minorities like Sapa market, Bac Ha market, Coc Ly market. Here you will have a chance to buy souvenirs from the local hilltribes themselves. They trek surprisingly long distances to gather here and sell you their hand – made nice items, most impressive of which are colourful clothes made of local fabrics (tho cam). 
If you set off your trip to Sapa on weekends, Sapa market would provide you a deeper understanding of the local culture and lifestyle. Every Saturday and Sunday, local people, especially the youth, gather in the market to meet and get to know about each other through exciting songs for courting. You will hear flute tune, khen, dan moi which are local musical instruments and enjoy romantic melodies filling the night air. That’s why Sapa market has another meaningful name – Love market.

And if you visit Sapa right a few days before Tet holiday, you will be struck by Sapa’s peach markets. The whole Sapa will be covered by blossoming peach flowers. Choose yourself a peach branch or tree and your Tet in Vietnam will be more fullfilled by Sapa’s natural beauty in your beloved house.