Horse festival in Lao Cai to celebrate northern highlands culture, sports

Cultural activities will be organised in the northern province of Lao Cai as part of the The Festival of the White Highlands Bac Ha between May 31 and June 9.

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Horse festival in Lao Cai to celebrate northern highlands culture, sports
The Festival of the White Highlands Bac Ha will feature local horses and their role in the economic and cultural life of local residents.

The annual festival's peak time will occur on May 31 and June 1, 2 , 7 and 8 in Bac Ha Town and in the communes of Thai Giang Pho, Ban Pho, Ta Chai and Bao Nhai in Bac Ha District.

Ha Van Thang, director of the Lao Cai Culture, Sports and Tourism Department, said the festival has been upgraded from an annual horse racing event into a communal cultural event where locals engage in arts and cultural exchanges.

“Cultural features of Bac Ha District and Lao Cai Province will be advertised which will improve tourism and services as well as the economy and society,” he said. “The event features local horses and their roles in the economic and culture life of local residents."

“The festival is a typical tourism, culture and sports product of the locality with our own Bac Ha and Lao Cai trademarks. The event is good preparation for the Bac Ha Culture, Sport and Tourism Festival in 2020,” Thang said.

During the event, an open traditional horse race will be organised together with the Plum Festival and Bicycle Tour to local plum farms; a visit to Flower Valley and Rose Farm; and a Rose & Wine Festival.

Bac Ha is famed for its traditional market on Sunday where people sell and buy horses.


Bac Ha's horses are considered the most beautiful horse breed in Vietnam.

Like other traditional markets in the northeastern mountainous region, the Bac Ha Horse Market is not only a place for trading but also serves as a site for people to meet and engage in a variety of exhanges.

The traditional horse race resumed in Bac Ha in 2007 after a long period of cessation.

The horse race is often held in the plum season. Bac Ha is known as the “capital of Tam Hoa plums” in Lao Cai Province and the region.

The race this year will take place on June 7 and 8 at Bac Ha District’s Stadium with dozens of horses and jockeys from Lao Cai and neighbouring provinces of Tuyen Quang, Ha Giang, and Lai Chau.

“Our plums are our local pride as they have helped us develop the economy and have become a distinguished tourism product,” Thang said.

Last year, the event attracted over 20,000 visitors, who bought more than 3,000 tonnes of plums at good prices from local farmers.


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