We were jarred awake from our Ruou fueled slumber by Vietnamese blaring from speakers mounted on the hill above Bac Ha. The Missus, rolling over, trying to escape the commands being issued, mumbled, "this is so Communist!" Having been raised in Qingdao, I'm sure She'd know. Raising my head, I noticed that the back door to our room was wide open! Instantly wide-awake, I started checking our belongings. After making sure that everything was in place, I'm guessing it was probably just the wind(?), or maybe Obake? After washing my face, and brushing my teeth, I noticed that the Missus had walked out to the balcony, where She snapped a few photos of the people down below. It looked like everyone was on their way to Market.
All together now, "Hi-ho, Hi-ho, it's off to market we go!"
Not so fast. We met Thinh downstairs having tea, and he told us that things are just getting set-up. So why not grab some breakfast? Why not? We walked past various people making their way to market. Oh, and what was being blasted from the speakers? Thinh told us; "they are telling people to do their exercises!" The Missus turned to me and said; "see, I told you, this is soooooo Communist!"
Watching this woman made my back hurt. I wanted to go over and help her, but she looked like she'd be able to body-slam me, and make me scream uncle, so I left her alone.
Thinh walked up to this doorway, took a peek inside, smiled, and walked in.
So of course we followed, and found a Mom-and-Pop kitchen going full blast.
One of the great things about these places is that you can get up close and personal with your food.
Of course the dining area included the standard kiddie stools and low tables(makes it easier to attain the squat-eating position), and even a communal Diếu Cày(bamboo smoking pipe), which I made sure to keep away from the Missus.
The Missus and I shared Banh Cuon and Bun Cha(15,000 VND just a bit onder $1 US):
This version of Banh Cuon had the least amount of filling of any we tried in Vietnam, but the "noodle" had a nice toothsome-elastic texture, and was not as "Sticky" as other versions. The Bun Cha, was on the chewy side, but the Nuoc Mam Cham(fish sauce based dip) added a nice savory touch.
Overall, quite a filling breakfast.
After breakfast, we found that we were still a bit too early for market. So we strolled over to Ngan Nga for some coffee. And just to "people watch".
While this young lady was getting some help adjusting her little one, her pony was eating the profits!
This Ruou Ngo(corn wine) vendor was doing some great business.
The Young Flower H'mong Women were wearing their "Sunday best", better to catch a mate with.....
Even though the Bac Ha Market is off in another part of the village, you wouldn't be wrong if you said the entire village becomes a market on Sundays. In every corner, every nook and cranny, is a stall or table selling something. Whether something for the tourist trade.
Or fresh vegetables.
It was time to head to market.
Won't you join us?