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Cattle culture in Lao Cai

Farmers and their animals concentrate at Can Cau cattle market in northern Lao Cai Province on Saturday mornings, it is a bustle of activity as tens of Mong ethic minority members congregate to buy and sell all sizes of buffaloes, horses and cows.

Lots of local farmers still utilize buffaloes to plough their rice fields, creating this animal the most sought-after of all the cattle.

The market is located in the mountainous district of Simaicai, in northern Lao Cai Province, 600 km from Hanoi.

The cattle dealers are mainly from local districts surround Lao Cai, but lately more traders have been visiting from neighboring China.

"Several years ago we sold cattle to Vietnamese farmers. But since cattle prices are rising in China, we've come back to purchase cattle from them," says a Chinese dealer at the market.

Local authorities have taken steps over the past 2 years to make the roadside cattle market more organized and moreover, have begun charging dealers a fee of VDN10,000 (US$0.55) per animal before entering the marketplace.

The best way to visit Can Cau is to catch a train from Hanoi to Lao Cai Town and hire a motorbike or car in the next morning to perform the 60 km journey to the market.


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