The Xin Cheng Wednesday Market is located near the town of Bac Ha. You really need to think twice if you want to go there especially during the rainy season.
The only road to get to the market was really in a very poor condition, no big deal to get there as the road goes down but to come back up the same road was a different story, the car could not past the muddy area so we were stuck there for about one hour.
We had to fill the muddy holes with rocks and branches from the nearby trees. We were sweating and covered with mud. One tyre got an ugly cut and had to be replaced.
I can tell I was the only foreigner to go to that market on that day. Usually tourists only go for the weekend in that region as the bigger Sunday markets of Bac Ha and Sapa attract more people.
I thought I had things under control from a photography point of view, I had been to the bigger Bac Ha Market three years ago with my Nikon D300… Oh dear! I was so wrong!
I felt overwhelmed, so colourful, so many people, everything so beautiful. It was like everything I know about photography was being wiped out.
It was a funny and strange feeling, how to frame while people keep on moving, how to avoid distracting backgrounds, I could not think about any of these basics.
I kept wandering for a few minutes until I got the nerve to take the first shot.
Some people were kind enough to let me get close. I always keep my best smile ready when people notice my presence, sometimes I wave and usually I show them their picture.
From comparing this trip to the Xin Cheng Market to the one I made three years ago to the Bac Ha market I dare to say that there are more younger people starting to adopt a more western dressing style.
Are these colourful markets going to be a thing of the past as happened to the floating markets in Thailand and even worse to the hill tribes in northern Thailand now transformed into ‘human zoos’? Time will tell.
I hope to write more about this trip in further posts very soon but I am recovering from the sudden death of a Solid State Drive (SSD) where I had the operating system and all the programs installed and I am in the process of installing everything again. Glad I never leave important data on SSD’s.
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