Can Cau Cattle Market in the northern highlands province of Lao Cai is the largest of its kind in Vietnam’s northwestern region with hundreds of buffalo and cows put up for sale. It is organized every Saturday along the Can Chu Su Hill in Can Cau Commune, about 115 kilometers from Sa Pa.
Most of the buffalo here are male, huge and strong with quite threatening looks.
It is not unusual for some of the aggressive-looking animals to suddenly start a fight.
The market attracts many tourists, foreign and Vietnamese.
Many people come to the market to sell and buy cattle, while some are just watchers.
Some onlookers gather for chit-chats.
Buffalo traders are recognizable with backpacks or shoulder bags, often made from traditional brocade. It is said that a trader can carry up to hundreds of millions of dong with them to the market.
Although buffalo are often considered an important asset of farmers, they do not have fixed prices. Instead, both sellers and buyers decide on the animals’ value and then negotiate with each other. This buffalo for instance is offered at VND40 million (US$1,800).
Among the buffalo put for sale, many are sold specifically for breeding, while others for farming or meat.
Can Cau Market often ends soon after noon. When traders have bought enough buffalo and left with them on trucks, many sellers stay at the market to buy necessities before leaving as well.
Original Vietnamese story can be found here