The market in Sapa Vietnam has proven itself to be one of the most interesting yet rawest markets I’ve ever been to.
The combinations of interesting aromas, unique people and, even more shocking, the items on the shelves created an environment that was similar to the floating market of Taling Chan as well as the Night Market in Chiang Mai, except with a bit of a twist leaving its visitor with the perfect cultural experience that anyone could ever ask for.
As I walked outside of the guest house I had been staying at for the past few days, I took a sharp left leading down the stairs and into a back alley towards mid-town Sapa.
I had passed by it several times while lollygagging around town but have yet gotten the chance to explore it a little more. The entrance was marked by an alleyway that would’ve fit little more than a small truck or a couple of scooters.
To the right stood a few baskets & boxes that were worn and broken in. Inside those baskets sat a variety of different vegetables like red tomatoes, some green fruit & a great variety of greens. Accompanying them against that back wall was a cage packed to the brim with chickens.
Sapa market in Sapa Vietnam
Looking deeper into the collection of assorted meats, poultry, and raw fish, I allowed myself to get fully immersed into the atmosphere. There’s just something about fresh markets that I really enjoy…maybe it’s the fact that you know exactly where the food is coming from and how it’s getting treated. Either way, the Vietnamese sure don’t hide the facts of life (and death) that’s required to create a full meal.
The collection of aromas mixing together ranging from seafood, river fish, raw meat and chicken shit really left my stomach a bit queasy. There was certainly not going to be eating from any of the street vendors going on here! I was happy to move briskly through this section and explore what kind of fresh veggies they had available.
I found the squid very interesting as well as the dried meat. But what really caught me for surprise was the readily available Cobra in a Bottle. All for your drinking pleasure!
I’ve never found any market to be short on supply when it came to fresh herbs and teas. In Sapa, there was no exception either.
After walking halfway through the market I began to circle back around and explore everything else the local woman were selling that I somehow managed to miss while looking through the lens of my camera.
Raw Markets of Sapa Vietnam Part 2 of this photo essay is even more interesting as I managed to come across things like fresh honey, squirming grub worms, pork intestines, chicken feet & even (dare I say it) decapitated dogs that have their hind-quarters ready to cook up for the upcoming festival.
What would you do if you explored a raw market like the one in Sapa, Vietnam?