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Sapa Night Market, Sapa, Vietnam

5 min read
AsiaDessertsFoodMarketsSa PaViet Nam
Article author: michael
michael
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Cover Image for Sapa Night Market, Sapa, Vietnam

After spending the day trekking through the Muong Hoa valley, which I’ll get to in a separate post, we came back into Sapa Town to grab some dinner, and to check out what Sapa’s night market had to offer.

The restaurant we ate at was just across the road from the main day market, so it was a quick walk to the night market once we finished eating.

Now Sapa’s night market isn’t the biggest or best night market in Vietnam, but they have some unique things you’re not likely to find at other night markets in the country. Namely, the ethnic-style clothing and accessories, and the delicious dessert we found!

Sapa Night Market Info

  • Address: Chợ đêm Sapa, Lương Định Của, TT. Sa Pa, Sa Pa, Lào Cai, Vietnam
  • Hours: 18:00 to 22:00

Getting to Sapa Night Market

A few sites I found online mention that Sapa’s night market is located near the main Sapa center, but the easiest way to find it is to look for the main Sapa day market, because the night market is right across the road from it.

Now I mentioned above that we had stopped to eat dinner right across from the market, and finding Sapa’s night market was simply a case of walking around the market building.

Sapa Market

Sapa Market

In the above pictures, we were facing what I believe is the front of the building, with the night market being behind it from where we facing.

As we walked towards the right of the main market building, we started to see some of the fruit and vegetable stalls you’d see at any market…

Sapa Market

But we weren’t here for fruits and veg, so we kept walking towards the back, and that’s where we found the actual night market.

Sapa Market

The Stalls

Now I’m not sure if it was because of the time of year, time of night, or perhaps it was the specific day of the week (we visited on a Thursday, whereas Fridays and weekends are the real night market days), but the market was pretty quiet when we visited. You can even see in the pic above that a number of the stalls were closed when we arrived.

No problem though! There was still quite a bit to see, and the night market actually went on and on, for much longer than I expected.

Sapa Market

Sapa Market

Ethnic Vietnamese Clothing and more

One of the unique things you’ll find at Sapa’s night market are the Hmong and Red Dao “handmade” clothing, bags, tapestries, and other accessories. Now I say “handmade” in quotes because I’m not sure how much of this stuff is actually handmade, but they’re still unique to Sapa, and at least have that handmade look to them.

The sources I found online seem to suggest that the items are indeed made by the local ethnic minorities (the Hmong and Dao), but I suspect there’s a good chance the items are at least somewhat mass-produced. I have no idea though, so don’t quote me on that!

Sapa Market

Sapa Market

They were still quite pretty though, and we did end up buying a few things, including one of the really cute shirt and short sets for our son, as well as a couple of the little toddler-sized ethnic-style backpacks.

Sapa Market

Local Sapa Delicacy - Bánh Hạt Dẻ

Now while we really liked the ethnic Vietnamese clothing and accessories, the other unique thing we found at Sapa’s night market, and certainly in abundance, were these delicious-looking round pastry desserts!

Sapa Market

Called bánh hạt dẻ, which translates to chestnut cake, these little pastries are made from roasted chestnuts that are ground into a paste, and then I believe mixed with sugar to sweeten them. The paste is then wrapped in a thin layer of dough, and then pan-fried.

Some of the sellers actually have barrels filled with chestnuts rotating over fires to roast them, and you can even catch some of them grinding the chestnuts into paste after they’ve been roasted.

We didn’t manage to catch the grinding or mixing process, but we did see some of the finished uncooked pastries being pan-fried, and had a few fresh off the heat to taste! They were delicious … but extremely hot! 🤪

We liked them so much we bought several boxes. They’re that delicious! So I definitely recommend giving them a try if you’re in Sapa. They’re available at the night market of course, but even during the day you’ll find them at a number of shops and stalls around the main Sapa Town area.

Other Food to Munch on at the Market

Of course you’ll find a ton of other food at the market, including the usual Vietnamese street food like banh mi, banh xeo, “sausages” (which in Vietnam means hot dogs), grilled corn, and more.

Sapa Market

Full disclosure though, other than the bánh hạt dẻ, we didn’t try any of the other food at the market, so I can’t really comment on the quality or taste of any of it.

I mean, we had just come from dinner and were still pretty full, so we were really just there to check out the market and see what was on offer.

Sapa Market

But I’m definitely glad we visited, cause those bánh hạt dẻ were amazing! 😋

Conclusion

Sapa’s night market may not be the biggest or best night market in Vietnam, but it’s still worth a visit if you’re in town. You’ll find some unique clothing and local sweets that you won’t be able to find at any other market in the country, so I think it’s definitely worth a stop.

Perhaps consider visiting on a Friday or weekend night though, as I suspect the market will be a bit more lively and have more stalls open on those days.

I’ve read online that there are also cultural performances and other events that take place at the market on weekends, so that’s another reason you’re probably better off visiting on a Friday or weekend night.


If you’ve been on a weekend night and have seen any performances, please let me know in the comments below! I’d love to hear about them!

Until next time,
michael 😀

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