10:46 | 17/02/2017 Travel
(VEN) - “It’s really great,” enthused a South Korean tourist after walking around the bustling Ta Phoi-Hop Thanh Market in the northwestern city of Lao Cai and being drawn, in particular, to the colorful locally produced brocades at various stalls.
Ta Phoi-Hop Thanh Market is located more than 30km from the city of Lao Cai on the Vietnam-China border. According to Nguyen Van Minh, a resident of Ta Phoi Commune, the mountain village used to receive state support under Program 135 for impoverished households, but in 2004, it became the first commune nationwide to withdraw from the list of this program beneficiaries. In 2006, Ta Phoi was merged into the city of Lao Cai. To eliminate the gap between rural and urban areas, in early 2012 the Lao Cai City People’s Committee decided to allocate land in the market to residents and small traders from Ta Phoi and Hop Thanh communes.
Initially, due to poor management, Ta Phoi-Hop Thanh Market did not encourage local residents to join trading activities. In recent years, however, it has become a vibrant trading point that reflects the cultural identity of the various highland ethnic groups.
Minh said that Ta Phoi-Hop Thanh Market opens every Sunday, attracting people from the two communes and southern wards of the city of Lao Cai, as well as domestic and foreign tourists. Being on the border with southwestern China, the town and market are also a popular venue for Chinese tourists.
The market mostly sells agricultural products, such as rice, maize, potatoes and sweet potatoes, chickens, dogs, sweet potato cakes, and com lam (rice cooked in bamboo-tubes).
The market gets more crowded during times close to the Lunar New Year (Tet). People from Hop Thanh and Ta Phoi communes sell not only agricultural products and different kinds of food and beverage, but also clothes, fabrics, household utensils, and electronic appliances.
Residents of Ta Phoi and Hop Thanh communes have seen positive changes in their lives since the market opened.
The market has attracted an increasing number of buyers, significantly contributing to promoting agricultural production in Lao Cai and encouraging local farmers to restructure crop growths and livestock breeding to create products that suit consumer tastes and demand.
The busy Ta Phoi-Hop Thanh market days explain the improved lives of highland people in the city of Lao Cai and its environs.
The farmers and traders work hard to produce and sell their products at Ta Phoi-Hop Thanh Market, auguring well for the highland city’s further development, as well as further improvement in the lives of its residents.