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Bac Ha market for early risers

Bac Ha market for early risers
Photo Information
Copyright: Paul VDV (PaulVDV) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4287 W: 17 N: 10059] (41378)
Genre: People
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2017-04-09
Categories: Daily Life
Exposure: f/0.2, 30 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2017-09-02 23:51
Viewed: 1458
Points: 62
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Bac Ha - Market for early risers

Dedicated to all early risers among the TE-members.

I’m not a morning person. Have never been one. Will never become one.
But necessity knows no law. In Bac Ha it’s very important to wake up early.

Bac Ha is located in the province Lào Cai, in the mountainous northwest region of Vietnam bordering the province of Yunnan in China.
This small town is famous for its Sunday market which starts at about 6 am and lasts until 1 pm.
Many local hill-tribe people come to this market both to sell and to buy. Among them the beautifully attired Flower Hmong.

In the mountainous northwest of Vietnam there are more markets where you can meet hill-tribe people. However, some of these markets can only be visited by private transport.
The small town of Bac Ha on the other hand can be reached by direct bus from the very touristy Sapa. Also from the town of Lào Cai and (with a transfer) from the slightly larger town of Ha Giang.

Someone in Belgium who had been there before advised me strongly to go already on Saturday, to stay in Bac Ha for the night and to visit the market early in the morning. This because many day trippers come there by bus from Sapa and from other places and their busses arrive around 9.30 to 10 am. From that time the market becomes a tourist afair.

That seemed to me very good advice. There are several smaller budget hotels in Bac Ha. So I booked one of them and left on Saturday afternoon.
Great was my surprise on arriving in Bac Ha to see already so many western tourists in the streets. Everyone was apparently given the same advice. It is furthermore also mentioned in Lonely Planet …

On Sunday morning at 6 am and before having breakfast I went to the market. It was really not that bad.
A Dutch couple I had met before and I were the only westerners.
Apparently, many tourists decided to stay in Bac Ha on Saturday night but only went to the market after 8 o'clock.

The market place in Bac Ha is quite large and covers a plurality of streets, squares and covered spaces.
The three of us had good opportunities for photographing with only local people in sight.

That changed during the course of the morning and once the tourist buses from other places had arrived, it became a real tourist spot. Frankly, it was just a zoo where people go to look at other people.
Also here, I left with mixed feelings. I had taken the pictures I had dreamed of but the way things changed during the morning gave me a dissatisfaction …

So what can I advise ? To visit remote markets where you can only come with a rented motorbike ?
But you must know that there’s often no insurance when renting a motorbike and Vietnam has a lot of traffic accidents.
During the 9 days of the Tet holiday in 2015 there were 536 traffic accidents with 317 deaths and 509 injuries. The daily average number of traffic accidents in Vietnam is 100 and the average death is 27.
Vietnam of course is a very big country. With an estimated 92.7 million inhabitants as of 2016, it is the 14th-most-populous country in the world. (Wikipedia)

papagolf21, Fis2, cornejo, Tue, holmertz, jhm, gervaso, ikeharel, ChrisJ, dale54, danos, jean113, PiotrF, adramad, COSTANTINO, Cricri, pierrefonds, maloutim has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To gervaso: indeedPaulVDV 1 2017-09-03 02:08
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Critiques [Translate]

Salut Paul,
C'est coloré et vivant, un bonne photo de marché exotiqueavec une vue d'ensemble et un focus sur ces quelques marchandes en points forts, jolis vêtements de couleurs.

Dobar dan.
Lep pogled i trenutak, interesantan i dobar tekst ...
Dobar rad sa lepim fotografijama u radionici, lepo pokazano, dobar kontrast i perspektiva, lepe boje, lepo uhvacen trenutak. Lepa pijaca i zene u narodnium nosnjama.
Zelim vam lep dan za odmor, sve najbolje.

Good day.
A nice view and a moment, interesting and good text ...
Good work with nice photographs in the workshop, beautifully shown, good contrast and perspective, nice colors, nice moment. Nice market and women in folk costumes.
I wish you a nice day for rest, all the best.

  • Great 
  • emka Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 10118 W: 144 N: 25314] (123311)
  • [2017-09-03 0:09]

Hello Paul,

So the dedication is for me - I am often an early riser. I like to go in the city when the busy day has not yet started (problem when I do not travel alone), and in some places like this is necessary. fantastic scene from the market. I love such places. Strange but I haven't seen such market in China recently. Fantastic view of the sellers in traditional cloth. Stunning composition, colours and sharpness. I would be delighted to see this place.

Kind regrad s Malgo

Bonjour, cher Paul,
Nous sommes au coeur de l'action et ce grand marché composé de petits vendeurs ne disposant pas de présentoirs de haute technicité révèle une authenticité manifeste.
Une composition très réussie.

  • Great 
  • Fis2 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 9583 W: 157 N: 15497] (123957)
  • [2017-09-03 1:18]

Witaj Paul!
Very interesting scene from daily life.
Very impressive market.
Good frame and colors.
Excellent reportage shot.
Well done.
Nice sunday.

Hello Paul, good photo of this interesting scene of daily life in the market, very well captured in this interesting image, with good sharpness, light, color and quality. A great job perfectly done, my congratulations, my friend. Thank you for sharing this interesting work.

Good afternoon and happy start to the week.
All the best from the south of Spain.

  • Great 
  • Tue Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 9132 W: 57 N: 15332] (56812)
  • [2017-09-03 2:04]

Hallo Paul,
Dat was een goed advies. Het was zo vroeg op de dag al een aardige drukte op de markt, dus als er nog enkele busladingen toeristen bij zouden komen, zou je al helemaal door de mensen de markt niet meer zien. Deze foto geeft een prachtig overzicht van zowel de lokale bevolking op de markt als alle koopwaar. De kleuren zijn heel aantrekkelijk, vooral de vele blauwe en paarse tinten.

Hello Paul,
Even though this photo is not intended for me I take the liberty of watching and enjoying it (and the workshops that are just as interesting). Actually, on rare occasions I have also risen for the same reasons that you describe. These are all beautiful, colourful and fascinating photos giving the impression of a place untouched by the outside world, looking the same as decades ago. I would have loved to be here, even without having breakfast. Your long and well written note once again makes me wonder why on earth so many people travel on arranged tours.
Kind regards,

  • Great 
  • jhm Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 24394 W: 523 N: 40801] (175578)
  • [2017-09-03 4:24]

Dag Paul,

Markten zijn niet zo verschillend dan bij ons, alleen hier mag blijkbaar alles op de grond liggen en bij ons moet alles netjes in vakken op een kraam.
Ik ben ook steeds een vroege vogel op de markt de maandag morgen soms wel de eerste cliënt aan het groeten en fruit kraam.
Kleurrijk beeld en heel mooi scherp, want we kunnen de kledij van de vrouwen bewonderen.
Heel mooi foto werk, bedankt.

Prettige zondag,

Hello, Paul!

I don't care about waking up very early during my trips, I do it all the time! In the Atacama I believe you also had to do it. This is a very interesting photo, so full of colorful details to see, with so much life with the presence of all these people! Beautiful daily life scene captured! Excellent job!

Good afternoon Paul,
A very colorful, vivid picture, vibrant scene.
Those many ladies selling veg.'s and fruits in the outdoor market, marvelously enliven the scene, which you very well spotted and shown on photo.
My best regards,

Bonjour Paul,

Il y a beaucoup de choses et de personnes à voir dans ce cadrage serré sur la place du marché vraiment très haut en couleurs. L'essence de la vie.



  • Great 
  • Nicou Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 13800 W: 0 N: 16043] (169174)
  • [2017-09-03 7:23]


quelle compo et scène merivelleux quel marché avec ces dames qui vendent leur produit posés sur le sol sueprbe scène et iamge et elles sont protégé du sosleil.
BrBravo et amitié

  • Great 
  • dale54 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 908 W: 0 N: 1370] (12661)
  • [2017-09-03 10:29]

hello paul and good evening...excellent daily life shot,plus this lively-colourful scene+dresses does it for me! tfs dale

  • Great 
  • ChrisJ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 14254 W: 1033 N: 28539] (135736)
  • [2017-09-03 10:39]

Hello Paul,

I have been to Lai Cai but spent most of my time in Sapa on the way to Yunnan in China. A nice dedication to Malgo. Colourful and sharp. Tfs!

  • Great 
  • danos Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 13692 W: 295 N: 27269] (109493)
  • [2017-09-03 11:39]

Hello Paul,
splendid this colourful crowd from local hill-tribe natives in the open air market of Bac Ha.I like the lot of different fresh fruits in the it with the most of the vectors to are women wearing their natives costumes.


  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 11746 W: 126 N: 21116] (108775)
  • [2017-09-03 12:16]

Hi Paul,maybe one of the most colorful composition in the TE's history...ehehe..what a lovely capture from this open air market,a great capture of this daily life scene made in the usual top quality,i like it! Have a nice week and thanks,Luciano

Hello Paul, such a colourful scene.
Your notes give us an excellent insight into what we are seeing; and good advice,get up early before the tourists arrive.There are some very interesting looking items for sale.
Excellent shot.
Regards Jean.

Ciao Paul
i mercati sono sempre dei luoghi molto interessanti per fare foto, molto più curiosi e ricchi di colore sono quelli orientali, proprio come ci mostri tu con queste splendide foto.

  • Great 
  • PiotrF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3967 W: 2 N: 6661] (33090)
  • [2017-09-03 15:31]

Hello Paul,
I do not like to get up early, but I like pictures like that.Large series of photos in the workshop. This is a very good reportage from this place.A amazing capture with very good colours and sharpness.
Fine presentation.

Hi Paul
Excellent vibrant capture of the famous tribal market. like the one woman looking back at you...
adds the human interest factor so nicely. Hats off to you this is a colourful frame filling travel photograph, Congrats
Best regards

Hello Paul.
Very interesting your note, to introduce ourselves in the peculiarities of this market, that here we see full of people and articles.
Very nice colorful, in a few tones, very attractive.
Good lighting management and superb sharpness.
Very well done. My congratulations.
All the best and have a good start to the week.

Dag Paul
Het is altijd goed om zo nu en dan los te komen van je vaste patronen (niet te vaak, natuurlijk), maar deze kleurrijke markt met dit prachtige gekrioel van, voor het merendeel Vietnamezen en de fris uitgestalde etenswaren zijn de moeite waard om de wekker op 6 uur te zetten.
Mooi overzicht en ook nog een boeiende tekst.
Groet Rob

  • Great 
  • Periko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 700 W: 129 N: 1121] (7483)
  • [2017-09-04 17:53]

Hi Paul
These women wearing colorful clothes and the variety of vegetables make an interesting composition. The scene reminds me that I see in some villages of Chiapas, in southern Mexico.


Hello dear friend and have a nice time
and a happy new day for today
my personal opinion is that this photo is
one of your best a photo that has everything
color beauty and movement and thanks for
your dedication dedicated to all early
risers among the TE MEMBERS
nice photo describing an open market

Hello Paul,

good image of this market, I like the scene you present here with the women dresses with the typical clothes of the place, it must be an interesting market to visit, well seen,

Best regards,


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  • rychem Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3344 W: 0 N: 7655] (55867)
  • [2017-09-05 8:42]

A very rich and detailed photo, so many people and so many interactions between these people, simply great colorful market scene, bravo

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  • Cricri Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 15430 W: 159 N: 26989] (141616)
  • [2017-09-05 10:46]

Bonjour Paul
Belle scène du marché, tellement colorées , de jolies tenues des dames, intérêt pour la note, surtout au sujet des moto , cela fait réfléchir,
très belle présentation
Belle soirée

Bonsoir Paul.

Tu as bien capturé les activités au marché. La prise de vue permet de voir les détails des fruits, des légumes à vendre et des vêtements des personnes. La bonne luminosité met en valeur la beauté des couleurs. Bonne soirée.


Olá, Paul!

Composição bonita com vários elementos e bons contrastes. Esse mercado parece ter uma grande variedade de produtos para comprar. As três mulheres do primeiro plano tem feições interessantes. Foto com ótimas cores e nitidez.
Boa captura!

  • Great 
  • jmdias Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 10498 W: 174 N: 17824] (79159)
  • [2017-10-17 16:06]


very nice view of the market. lots of details to enjoy including the personages, the clothes and the good they sell. I am ever a morning guy, waking up at 5 am at home. while travelling I usually visit the places as early as possible.



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