Tam Duong Market - Typical For The Northern Mountainous Culture

Nga Do
Tam Duong market in in Lai Chau city is a typical mountain market. It’s not just a trading place but also a meeting venue of the Dao, Mong, Thai, Giay, and Lu ethnic minority people.

Located at the foot of the Hoang Lien Son mountain range, Tam Duong market is where the locals meet every Thursday and Sunday to trade local specialties and production tools.

Nguyen Tung Hai, a Lai Chau resident, says the market was upgraded a few years ago. It is sometimes called San Thang after the commune, but the name Tam Duong feels more familiar to the locals.

"Tam Duong market is where I go on the weekend. Like many others, I come here to buy things and to relax after a hard workg week. I often bring my friends. Abults and children both love visiting the market,” says Hai.

As well as Bac Ha market in Lao Cai, Tam Duong sells a variety of locally-made products and reflects the local culture in the colorful costumes of the market goers and locally-made musical instruments like flutes and pipes.

“I live in the mountain region but I’m very impressed with the San Thang market session. This is my first visit to Lai Chau and I really like this market. Local people are of different ethnic groups and they are very friendly. Most of the agricultural products are locally-grown and reasonably priced. I bought a bunch of things,” says Tran Van Tuan, a visitor from Yen Bai province.

The main session of Tam Duong market is on Sunday. It is the main market of Lai Chau province. Hoang Chi Tinh, Chairman of the San Thang Communal People’s Committee says nobody knows the age of the market but during the French colonial period, it was a meeting point for the locals, their friends and relatives. 

Some young people come here to make friends and seek partners while older people come to meet their old flames. The market has become a tourist attraction.

"We plan to upgrade the market to promote cultural and trade exchanges between regions. Because the market embraces our traditional cultures, we want to develop it as a tourist attraction and build a San Thang cultural village," Tinh adds.

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