ExperiencesCity & CultureColorful flea market in the border region of Y Ty
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City & Culture

Colorful flea market in the border region of Y Ty

Translated by Bing
The flea market of Ha Nhi, Mong, Giay ethnic groups in the border commune of Bat Xat district, Lao Cai province, is brilliant with the colors of traditional brocade costumes, agricultural products and folk dishes in the region.

Y Ty is a commune located on the Chinese border of Bat Xat district, about 70 km from the center of Lao Cai city. Located at an altitude of more than 2,000 m above sea level, Y Ty is famous in the eyes of tourists with its "specialty" of thick, white clouds.


Like other highland communes, the people of Y Ty hold a market once a week on Saturdays in the center of the commune. Y Ty flea market is a gathering place for ethnic minorities in Bat Xat district, in which Ha Nhi ethnic group constitutes the majority, then Mong and Giay ethnic groups.


To get to the market, many people from far away have to hunch their rows on their backs, starting from 2 to 3 am in the cold rain, walking a long distance through the forest, wading streams to arrive. In the cold season, the market meets later than summer and starts crowding around 7-8h.


Y Ty market is not as big as in Meo Vac, Ha Giang, but has its own attractions. At the end of the year, people come to shop, prepare for the New Year, the atmosphere is bustling, sellers and buyers are all smiling and excited.


The market is divided into 4 areas selling 4 main items: traditional costumes, cuisine, agricultural products outdoors and warm clothes, casual clothes indoors.


The brilliant handmade dresses, shirts, and brocade scarves displayed in the market are the point that impresses visitors. Traditional costumes not only show the skillful and meticulous workmanship of the people but also show the multiculturalism of ethnic groups.


Going around the market, visitors can see the diversity and differences in the culture of each ethnic group.


The costumes of the Ha Nhi people (pictured) are usually recognizable with blue, black or indigo tones, while the costumes of the Hmong people are more eye-catching with striking colors. The jewelry of the Hmong people is also more detailed, while the Dao people mainly use silver rings with carvings on the surface.


The most prominent place in the market is the booth selling fabrics, clothes, accessories and traditional items of the Ha Nhi, Mong and Giay ethnic groups in Bat Xat district. This area attracts women to beauty shopping.


People bring to the market to sell self-grown agricultural products such as chickens and pigs; vegetables, tubers, fruits; cooking spices; agricultural tools; some herbs such as jagua lam, Huangsin Co earth ginseng.


But the specialties of the Y Ty flea market must include wild vegetables picked and brought to the market by people such as wild vegetables, fertile vegetables, fresh vegetables and cardamom.


Donuts (pictured), flower cakes, jellies are popular at the market and sell very well. Donuts cost 2,000 VND each, while noodles and pho cost 30,000 VND a full bowl, full of vegetables and meat.


Located far from the center of Lao Cai City, not many tourists come to Y Ty flea market, especially when it is cold and foggy, the roads are muddy. The peak season of Y Ty tourism falls on September ripe rice season, October and November cloud hunting season and after Tet, Hoang added.


In addition to learning and experiencing the daily life of people through the market, visitors can feel the difficulties and hardships of the highlanders here.


In addition to the purpose of buying and selling goods, Y Ty market is also a place where people come to exchange, visit relatives, share experiences in labor and production.


The flea market has become a typical culture, deeply ingrained in the life of Italian people. Highland children often follow their parents and grandparents to the market from a young age.


According to VnE

Photo: Nguyen Tran Hieu

Image source: Multiple authors
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