Khau Vai Love Market

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Khau Vai market, also known as Phong Luu market, was dated 100 years ago. The market derived its name from the commune where it is held, Khau Vai Commune, Meo Vac District, Ha Giang, Vietnam. It hold the only once on the 27th of the third lunar month.

Local people come here to find their lovers or soulmate that they haven’t met for long time. They also used to be each other’s lover, but they couldn’t go on the same way and have to say goodbye. They confess their thoughts, feelings during the time that they were not together. Many married couples even come here to find their past lovers. The wives and husbands respect each other and understand the norms. Therefore, there’s no fighting or arguments happening between them. Local people also make some exchange of goods or trading in the market, majority of them are farm produces and weaving products.

The market is said to originate from a story of the boy named Ba and the girl named Ut. The boy was a Nung ethnic person, while the girl was a Giay. The boy was pretty and talented yet poor. The girl was a daughter of Giay people’s leader. They fell in love with each other but Ut’s father did not accept their relationship because the boy lived in poverty, in a different tribe and different customs. Ba and Ut tried to escape from their villages and hid in a cave.

However, their families were very angry about this and fought against each other. They did not want to see people killing each other because of them so they decided to say goodbye. They did that exactly the 17th of the third lunar month. However, they made a vow that every year they would meet each other on this day. They kept seeing each other annually until they passed away together on the same day that they did say goodbye before. Local people were moved by their story so they built a temple in honor of their love.

Today Khau Vai Love Market has become a cultural tourist attraction in the Northwest as a way for people to discover the spiritual life of the indigenous and socialize with the local. Western tourists find it very interesting and curious to join the market and see how people communicate and perform music and traditional art. This is really a good chance to promote the local tourism and preserve its valuable traits for a sustainable tourism.

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