Thung Khe is a rugged pass that is cloudy all year round. At the top of the pass, there is a very interesting market, called by many tourists as “the market in clouds”, selling Northwest specialties.
This is a spontaneous market of local people
Thung Khe Pass (Hoa Binh), is one of the most dangerous passes in Vietnam, along with O Quy Ho, Khau Pha, Ma Pi Leng, Pha Din…. It is not only attracting “adventurous drivers” come here to conquer dangerous slopes, Thung Khe is particularly interesting for travelers who like to explore because there is a market in the clouds on the top of the pass.
At first, the market was not formed, this place was just a vacant land area for the vehicles stop and rest on the way to the Northwest. When Mai Chau (a district located in the north of Hoa Binh province, about 130 km from the center of Hanoi) becomes an attractive tourist area with famous homestay, the Mai Chau 2 days 1 night tour is always crowded with tourists.
A beautiful pit stop with a lot of local specialties
On that road, Thung Khe Pass is an interesting stop with a small spontaneous market. That is when the local people come to the pit stop, sell agricultural and forest products, then food, dishes… to have more income for family life.
Moc Chau is almost cool year round, high mountains always have fog covering the road surface, especially in winter, so Thung Khe market has been called by many romantic tourists as “the market in the cloud”. In addition to selling all kinds of products of mountain and forest in Moc Chau, the market is also a place for travelers on long-distance tour to rest and get some snacks with a fresh boiled corn or rice cooked in bamboo tubes, barbecue pork… The best of this market is that while eating, visitors can freely take in the view from the peak of the pass down the valleys below.
The market shows the typical local culture
With market in mountain area, everything is local products so it is very delicious. Corn is aromatic and sticky because it is fresh corn has just harvested from the field. Rice cooked in bamboo tubes is from mountain rice, so it is very sticky and fragrant. In addition, there are wild vegetables, honey, pickled bamboo shoot, local pork and a lot of Northwest’s specialties to bring back to the plains as gifts for the family.
For many visitors, it is interesting to chat with local street vendor speak Vietnamese like foreign people and receive their friendly smiles whether tourists buy their products or not. So you should stop at “the market in the clouds”, among the hospitable locals, in the scenery of the beautiful Moc Chau mountain, although Thung Khe is cool all year round, tourist still feel very warm. And not leaving the heel, I made an appointment to return. Every visitor wants to come back to this place.