Coc Pai The Highest Ethnic Market in Ha Giang, Vietnam

Coc Pai is a humble town in Xin Man district with only 3 km long, but it is the main street connecting Coc Pai bridge and the entrance to Nan Ma valley. It is considered as one of the smallest yet highest towns in Vietnam. Despite being established in 2009, Coc Pai always possesses extremely stunned sights that any adventure lovers, who join in the Vietnam Offroad Motorcycle Tours, shouldn’t pass by.


Thrilling Roads

If you travel from Ha Giang Province, you will have to go through Yen Binh Town,then go alonga craggy dirt road with hundreds of bends. It's a daredevil drive flanked by towering cliffs on one side and the edges to the other. The steep slopes of the 62 km long pass leading from Yen Binh T-junction to Coc Pai are truly unforgettable “obsessions” to drivers every time they drive here. Motorbikes are the ideal vehicle for all routes. It took us 3 hours to get to the destination. To us, this is one of most challenge roads in Ha Giang province and the Northwest as well.

Peaceful Landscapes

Coc Pai is known as Sa Pa of Ha Giang due to cloudy and cool weather all year round. Although the town cuts across the only road linking between Bac Ha and Lao Cai, itstiny main road is always hidden in the mist of cloud ocean that even makes it more peaceful and mysterious.

In the mountainous area, the higher we climb, the fresher and cooler the air is.Brick houses left behind useach timewe made small turns in the town, and the unique ones with rammed earth walls came out beautifully. Houses of Mong, Nung, La Chi, Cao Lan ethnic peoples and immense terraced rice paddies are all coated by the silver gray fog.

Colorful Ethnic Market

Coc Pai Town has bustling days when the market is opening every Sunday. We saw plenty of farm products, livestock, poultry, consumer goods, brocade clothing and hand-made fabrics. The HMong people wearcolorful skirts; deep blue and indigo blue skirtsbelong to Dao and Nung people; black ones of Tay and Cao Lan people; or floral ones of La Chi people. When they all appear togetherin a small town, they look like vivid butterflies adorning the market.

Coc Pai market is where the resident purchases, exchanges the goods, meets or even dates others. Food stalls are usually the most crowded places that people often stop by when over the half session of the market. They are busy and exciting.

People visit the market not only to trade but also to hang out and eat with their friends. We – as backpackers – come here to enjoy every specialty and to fit in noisy and energetic markets.

After greeting, several cups of wine andcarefreelaughter of highland people can be seen everywhere in the market. In other discreet corners of young couples, we saw glittering eyes, gentle smiles and rosy cheeks blushed when they met the eyes of strangers.

The trip to Coc Pai Town is absolutely a unique experience to us.After the thrill caused by alpine craggy cliffs, we had the chance to watch a small peaceful town and took breathing fresh air. This made ustotally relax and left behind all worries of life.

Joining Vietnam Offroad Motorbike Tours is a helpful and time-saving way to enjoy the whole trip tothe Northwest mountainous area of Vietnam and Coc Pai Town as well.

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