Ha Giang fair market is held once per week. There are some fairs organized on animal designation days or it is also called backward market. For instance, last week, the fair was held on Sunday, then next week it would be held on Monday as Lung Phin fair which is held on Tiger and Monkey day, XaPhin is held on Snake and Pig day,…

Exciting things in the fair market

Today, the fair is often organized on Saturday or Sunday from very early in the morning when the sun has not risen yet. Those people living on halfway on the mountain and far away hills up to “three knives thrown” go down to the market since the dew and gentle clouds are still sleeping by the mountain’s slope.

“Come as dated”, streams of people going down from the high mountains, from the valley to the market make the fair more crowded, busy and noisy than quiet usual days.

Highland fairs have had great influence on people’s thoughts and lifestyle here as well as other visitors coming to contemplate the beauty of highland fairs.

Each ethnic group brings its own character and beauty to the fair. Visit highland market, everyone will be immersed in colorful brocade, beautiful Nung, Dao, Mong, Lo Lo… girls in their traditional costumes which creates the fanciful, colorful and joyful atmosphere on this day.

Walking around the market and have some fun with highland fair makes us feel the real mystery beauty inside. No need to show it off but it still remains the humanistic and natural beauty.


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Local products sold and exchanged at the market are the crystallization of their diligent labor in highland where people have so many difficulties in life such as water and land shortages but they still move on and live happily with their passion. Moreover, those products also express their “life’s breath” culture of each ethnic group, for example, linen, brocade craves, food, musical instruments (Hmong pan-pipes) shops…

People coming to the market also have many different purposes: exchange, trade, meeting, love… All of those have forged the beauty of highland fairs. At any markets, we will see “thang co” pots are boiling and people drink wine, eat traditional dishes.

Everyone drinks to get drunk in love, in gratitude and in stories. Fair market is the place where people come to meet, share and pull string for each other. The girls will choose for themselves the most gorgeous dress to wear. Splendid dresses, graceful smiles, skillful and passionate pan-pipes sounds have connected many couples together.

They fall in love with each other since the first dance, first song and the first pan-pipe sound and they are just keeping dating to each other at fair markets which have become the nostalgia to people coming to market.

The diligence and love of Ha Giang women are expressed by actions, they go to the market, work hard to produce skillful and great products from silk and linen. On fair day, anywhere, we can meet faithful and gentle wives are holding umbrellas for their drunk husbands and lead the horse home.


Besides exchanging products, local people also exchange the culture as well. Cultural galas, art propaganda guidelines and policies of the Party and State’s law are also taken place on the market day by agencies organized functional units in order to raise awareness of people; propagate cultural life and promote the nation’s cultural identity. The skits, repertoire and dance also reflect the lives, customs and traditions of the people of the highlands, the intangible culture, which attract many people to view and interact with and which haave become “a spiritual food” important, meaningful for the people.

Now, the lives of the people grows, markets are also many changes but the traditional beauty, the cultural identity of people forever endure and are still the unique traits of the regional highland markets Ha Giang.

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Because Myanmar is just opened to visitors in recently years, the development of facilities in the country cannot meet demands of the rapidly increasing number of visitors. After one year, the price for tourism services in Myanmar increases by 100%. So the visitors, especially the one who like to have a private Myanmar tour, should read the tips for their safe and economical trip.


Visitors can find modern hostel or stay in a traditional style hotel in Bagan with affordable price. It is picture of Nyaung U Hotel in Myanmar.

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In Myanmar, the price of hotels on Internet can varied from 30 USD to 40 USD per nights. Some visitors can heritage to book a private Myanmar tour, because the price of a single room is nearly similar to a double room. But in fact, it is not difficult to find a resting place in Myanmar. Visitors can choice to book a room on a recommended website, or search directly for a suitable room in each tourism place. Because of the fact that almost of the hotels in Myanmar do not have website, visitors have to work wth an intermediary for a room with higher prices. Some hotels leave their email on the Internet, but they hardly answer guests through email because their rooms are usually fulfilled. However, as long as visitors know the places where the hotels gather, they can easily find a suitable room. In Mandalay, many hotels locate on 85th Road in the city center. In Bagan visitors can easily find a cozy place in Nyaung-Oo. In Nyaungshwe, the place around the market (about 2 minutes on foot from bus station) and in Yagon, China Town are streets of hotels. Go out from the bus, visitors can take a motorbike or taxi and ask them for the places. Even in the high peak of tourism, visitors can find a satisfied room.

In fact, the rooms in almost of the hotels are not too expensive. For a single room with fully equipped in a guest house and hotel, the price is from 15-20 USD per night. There are some hotels with affordable price for private tour: Joe Lay Guesthouse (Mandalay), Eden Motel (Bagan), Winner Guesthouse (Bagan) and Diamond Star Hotel (Nyaungshwe, Inle Lake). The price includes breakfast with omelet, breads, butter and jam, coffee, juice and fruits. In Joe Lay Guesthouse, they offer breakfast with Myanmar style (noodle with vegetable, fried rice and so on).


Joe Yoe Lay, a hostel locates near the city center of Mandalay, has very cozy rooms and satisfied service.

The service in hotels is perfect. Almost of the rooms are fully equipped and clean. The hotels offer cheap and very convenient laundry service (about 0.5 USD for a pair of pant and shirt). The staff members are enthusiastic and friendly. They can help visitors to plan their trips, call the taxi or motorbike or book the ticket at any time. Some staff can wake up early to prepare breakfast for visitors and help them for their trips, or check in/out at 3 or 4 a.m. Because there are many buses arrived so the staff members work nearly 24/24.

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How to planning your Myanmar tour Part two

The previous part includes the method to booking intercity bus and exchanging money in Myanmar. In the part, visitors can have specific information about domestic travel in the path chosen by Myanmar luxury travel: Yangon – Bagan – Mandalay.

1. Transports in Yangon
There are many taxis waiting on the two sides outside the airport, so visitors can easily pick one to their hotel. In Myanmar, people should ask the fee for their trips before going on the taxis. Almost of the visitors can have lower cost for a taxi in Departure place than in Arrive place in the airport, because the taxi already brings guests from the city center to the airport, and they need someone to share the petrol money on the way back. One important note is, before using any public transports, visitors should ask the cost and make a deal with the drivers. There are some cases, drivers cannot speak English, so visitors can ask them to write on paper to prevent misunderstanding.


Taxi is the most convenient transport in Yangon. However, all of the taxis do not have trip meter and the visitors should make a deal before starting their jouneys.

One taxi without air conditioner from Yangon Airport to Shwedagon Pagoda can carry 6 persons and it cost 5.000 Kyat (5USD) for total. The one with air conditioner cost 7.000 Kyats (7 USD). After visit Shwedagon, if go to Aung Mingalar Station to go to Bagan, tourists can take a taxi with the cost of 7.000 Kyats. The taxi with air conditioner from Yangon Airport to Sule Pagoda costs 6.000 Kyats (6 USD).
In Aung Mingalar Station, to have the best price for a trip to Yangon Airport, visitors can walk a little bit to the street and catch a taxi with the cost of 3.000 Kyats.

2. Transports in Bagan
The most popular public vehicles are horse cart and bicycle. One horse cart can carry 3 persons and they are willing to take visitors to tourism places all day with the cost of 25.000 Kyats (24-25 USD). A half day trip takes 15.000 Kyats (around 14 USD).
If having more time, one who visits Bagan in autumn should hire a bicycle or electric bicycle to fully enjoy the beauty and the cool weather there. A bicycle costs 1.500 Kyats (1.5 USD) and an electric bicycle costs 6.000-7.000 Kyats (6-7 USD) for one day.

3. Transports in Mandalay
Myat Mandalar Station in Madalay offers visitors taxi service for Myanmar luxury travel to all of the famous places including Mahamuni Pagoda, U-Bein Woody Bridge, Sagaing Hill and Inwa Ancient Capital. One half-day trip from the morning to mid-day costs 50 USD. From the city to Inwa Ancient Capital, visitors have to take a boat to go through the river. One round-trip ticket takes 1.000 Kyats (1 USD). In Inwa, they can hire a horse cart to travel around the place with the cost of 8 USD.


Cow taxi – a popular vehicle in Mingun Old Village, Mandalay

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If visitors have one more day to spend in Mandalay, Mingun Old Village is a promising place. The village protects pagoda, monastic and some important relics of Myanmar’s History. One round-trip boat from Mandalay to Mingun costs 30.000 Kyats (around 29 USD) and in Mingun, visitors can use the most popular transports to travel: Cow Taxi! One taxi can carry 5 persons and it costs 5 USD in total for one trip.

Nguyen Le translate from vnexpress.net

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How to planning your Myanmar tour

The information of transport fee and the way to travel from place to place will be valuable for your Myanmar luxury travel and help you to get Yagon, Madalay or Inle Lake easily. One promising path that is chosen by many luxury travels is Yangon – Bagan – mandalay – Pyin Oo Lwin and Inle Lake.


Inle Lake – one of the most famous destinations in Myanmar

1. Booking airfares and bus tickets
Air tickets to Myanmar
The airlines usually launch sale off campaign to boost the luxury tours to Myanmar. To go to Yangon, visitors can book a cheap round-trip ticket or fly to Bangkok and then buy a domestic ticket.

Internal bus ticket
Visitors can book ticket online from Seven Diamond Express Company for their trips via email. They can choose to go to the office to get the tickets directly, or wait until going to the airport and use the delivery service offering by the company. There is price list of some trips offered by Seven Diamond:
Yangon – Bagan (Ye’ Thu Aung Bus): 20.000 Kyats (around 19 USD)
Bagan – Mandalay (Myat Mandalar): 9.500 Kyats (9 USD)
Mandalay (Myat mandalar) – Heho: 12.000 Kyats (11 USD)
Heho (Shwe Nyaung) – Yangon (Yan Kyee Aung): 25.000 Kyats (24 USD)
They also offer delivery service to the airport with the cost of 10.000 Kyats (10 USD)
Some visitors can buy the bus ticket from Mandalay to Pyin Oo in the reception in their hotels to visit Pyin Oo Highland (it costs 8.600 Kyats or 8 USD for the air-condition bus).


Intercity buses in Myanmar are quite modern and comfortable

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2. Making plans and suitable schedule
Together with above trips, there are many attractive destinations for tourists to advance Myanmar. Each region has its own features and famous sightseeing: Swedagon Pagoda, Bogyoke Aung San Market in Yangon; Atumashi Wooden monastery and Mandalay Hill in Mandalay and the new capital Naypyidaw. Each place takes 2 days to tourists to visit and relax, so they should pay seven to ten days for a luxury travel if don’t want to miss anything.

3. Foreign currency
Tourist can exchange USD (the money should be new and have no curling at the corner) to Myanmar currency (Kyat) in the foreign currency exchange counters in the airports. The rate is updated each 10 minutes so 100 USD can exchange to from 88.400 to 90.000 Kyats. The money is quite thick and big, printed densely with colorful patterns and local numbers. Although the value is high, the denomination is small. Therefore, the value of the unit can be calculated by the thickness of the pile of money.


Visitors can find the currency exchange counters in Myanmar airport

Since 1990 until now, Myanmar circulates a lot of money with different denominations from 1 Kyat to 10.000 Kyats (issued in 2012). In daily activities, the money with lower denomination than 100 Kyats is hardly used and the one with higher denomination than 1000 Kyats is paid for luxury products in shopping malls.

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“Anyone goes to Tuyen Quang through Lo – Gam arc to my hometown, Na Hang or anyone flies to Thuong Lam region to see ninety nine mountains, which is my Na Hang hometown”. The first lyrics in the song “Heart-to-heart feelings of Na Hang young woman” of musician Le Viet Hoa seem to go into mind and captivate so many people listening to it even once. Since then, journey of learning and exploring Na Hang eco-tourism site will start.

Location of the Na Hang eco-tourism site

It is located in Na Hang and Lam Binh district with total area of 15.000ha including 8.000ha water surface. Na Hang hydropower reservoir has capacity of more than two billion m³, power of 342Mw. Annual output power reaches over 1.295 million KW. This is the largest hydropower reservoir in the Northern region.

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Boating along the flowing of the hydroelectric reservoir, we will come to the convergence of Gam River and Nang River. Landscape of ninety nine mountains is like “Ha Long Bay is in middle high mountains”. Beside these sites, other place-names and legends have gone in local history such as Khuoi Nhi waterfall, Pac Vang temple, Phia Vai cave, primeval forests which lengthen following two river’s edges. All of them create natural scenery exotically and romantically. There are many exciting tourist services on boats for visitors who come to Na Hang.

Interesting experience in Na Hang eco-tourism site

The interface of variety of ethnic cultures attracts tourists, particularly extremely unique culture of local people expressed through traditional festivals such as Long Tong of the Tay and Nung ethnic; Cap Sac festival, To Hong festival, wedding ceremony of the Dao ethnic group with specific brocade costumes. Besides, scientific tourists can visit other areas where fossils were found with dating back over 10.000 years old in archaeological caves as Phia Vai (Lam Binh district) and Phia Muon (Na Hang district). This confirmed this place that is one of origins of ancient Vietnamese people. In addition, visitors also have a chance to learn about Na Tham cave which was special agency of Central government during revolution against French colonists.

Tourists’s experiences in Na Hang are not only for sightseeing but also for understanding daily life of ethnic groups here with hospitality and enthusiasm. Hong Thai cultural village with beautiful terraced fields in the sunset and poetic and the charming scenery covered by mist around the year in Khau Tinh will definitely bring visitors an unforgettably impressive journey.

Eco-tourism, landscapes of mountains and hydropower reservoir, local festivals are key elements of unique and diversified cultural values of Tuyen Quang. All of them create colorful space with deep human culture.

Local culinary culture has also attracted many visitors to Na Hang eco-tourist site such as corn wine, Lang fish hotpot, dried beef, and five-color sticky rice or strange fresh vegetables which are given by nature. Unique and comfortable restaurants, hotels surely make anyone who has ever come to here feel pleased and satisfied.

The potentials of natural scenery, local people and diversified cultural traditions of ethnic groups exactly are the firm foundations to develop economy, culture and society. More importantly, the formation of economy, models and services of tourism as well as tours linking to the neighbor provinces like Bac Me district in Ha Giang, Ba Be district and Pac Nam district in Bac Kan will promote tourist activities and make great contributions to improvement of local people’s daily life and economic development of two districts, Na Hang and Lam Binh.

Source: Myanmar Diaries