Mountains at Si Ma Cai
Mountains at Si Ma Cai

Si Ma Cai, Lao Cai

Si Ma Cai is a remote district of Lao Cai Province. The land is bordered to the north and the west by Muong Khuong, to the south and south-east by Bac Ha and to the north-east by Ha Giang and China.

The area was not that easily accessible earlier due to bad roads. Nowadays, the road system is great andWater buffalo market at Can Cau
travelers start to know a captivating beauty of imposing mountains, scenic valleys, stunning terraces of rice and buckwheat flowers... The average altitude of Si Ma Cai is over 1,000m above sea level and the temperatures rarely get above 35 Degrees Celsius.

There are 11 ethnic groups in the district: H'mong  (82,52%), Nung ( 12,25%), La Chi (0,75%), Co Lao (3,98%), Phu La (0,09%), Kinh (0,28%).... The local communities have market gatherings at different communes on different days of the week, but the most colorful of them is Can Cau Market. Local people refer to the market at Can Cau which is on Saturday morning as a water buffalo market. But you can find lots of things at the market from agricultural produce, goats, dogs to traditional brocade,...

Travel & Tours
Lesser known as it is, Si Ma Cai is not visited much by travelers. Most would only visit Can Cau Market briefly on Saturday morning. Some travel through Si Ma Cai in between Bac Ha or Lao Cai and Ha Giang.A mother and baby at Can Cau market

Si Ma Cai is great for adventure tours such as bike tours, motorbike tours and trekking tours. Currently, Paradissa organizes photography tours to the Can Cau Market and ethnic villages. A trekking tour with homestay at ethnic villages is under research for now.

Accommodation
There are simple guest houses at Si Ma Cai Township. Normally you'll want to stay in Bac Ha Town where better hotels are found. Homestay service may be arranged off-and-on at certain ethnic villages.

How to get there
The township of Si Ma Cai, the capital of the district, is 30km from Bac Ha Town and 350km from Hanoi. You can travel to Si Ma Cai from Hanoi by train which you get off at Pho Lu train station. Else, with the new expressway, you can get to Si Ma Cai by car which takes about 5-6 hours.

 

Family farm work at Si Ma Cai
Family farm work at Si Ma Cai

 

 

Going to Can Cau Market
Going to Can Cau Market

 

 

A babershop at Can Cau Market
A babershop at Can Cau Market