Lai Chau mountainous province upgrades markets to preserve ethnic culture hinh anh 1Lai Chau focuses on upgrading and renovating local markets (Photo: VNA)
Lai Chau (VNA) – Lai Chau mountainous province is investing in upgrading and renovating its typical mountain markets with an aim to draw in fresh tourism numbers. The idea is to also help smooth out market operations, increase goods traded to improve the economy, and ease spiritual lives to help promote markets and their unique cultural identities.

The northern mountainous province is home to 20 ethnic minority groups. Each ethnic group has its own unique culture, empirically demonstrated in local markets.

Among the markets in Lai Chau, the most crowded are San Thang in Lai Chau city, Sin Ho in Sin Ho district and Dao San in Phong Tho district. Although these markets meet every Sunday morning, from Saturday afternoon, people line up for the markets.

The most unique is probably the "Sung" (horn) market in Si Lo Lau border commune, Phong Tho district, about 105km from Lai Chau city. “Si Lo Lau” means “12 mountain passes” in the Dao language. To reach the commune, people must travel through 12 mountain passes. Featuring the cultures of the Dao and Ha Nhi ethnic groups, the market is held every six days. The market is also held on the days of the goat and the day of the buffalo, which are two special days in the month.

Lai Chau mountainous province upgrades markets to preserve ethnic culture hinh anh 2San Thang market in Lai Chau city (Photo: VNA)
Tran Dinh Tien, Vice Chairman of Lai Chau city People's Committee, said that mountainous markets are an indispensable cultural activity for ethnic minorities. To preserve and promote the cultural value of this kind of market, the city People's Committee has been promoting sightseeing and local tourism experience activities for visitors. It has also been organising dance activities and cultural exchanges at the market.

Attention is paid to bettering knowledge on local culture and tourism for locals so that they can be “tour guide” ambassadors to help promote the image of the community beyond their stay.

The city has also asked local authorities and the market management boards improve local awareness of environmental sanitation, to increase the value and attraction of traditional products and specialties./.