Bac Ha weekend market is no more a secret but the magnet of the upland Sapa. This colorful market is no doubt a nice place to get closer to the culture as well as the daily life of many tribe in northwestern Vietnam. That’s absolutely true that tourist will be impressed from the very first time by the diversity of merchandise, from colorful traditional handicraft to exotic homemade specialties… but the most interesting things that no one want to be miss is the gifts from Mother Nature, wild plants from the dense forest: bamboo shoot, wild apple… especially “nam chan chim”.
“Nam chan chim” is actually a find of edible fungus named Schizophyllum commune with a very exotic shape but really beautiful just like a shell with fur around the edge. It has a unique white when it’s still young and day after day get pink. Particularly, Bac Ha is the only place where you can find this wild plant, that’s make it more and more special. In addition, people also plant this fungus but just farm shiitake mushroom in Japan, plant it in the forest probably to profit the purity of nature to bring the best flavor.
A visit in the colorful Bac Ha market, by any chance you can see Hmong girls with their “gui”, round bamboo basket, full of this typical fungus on their back participating in the lively ambiance of trading activities. In a corner, one leave the fungus right in their “gui”, another put it on a fabric on the grass… you can tell immediately, that the “nam chan chim” sale area with a unique fragrance.
Read: Where to go in Vietnam – Sapa richly deserves a place in top spots.
By coming closer or even buying some if you want, you will immediately be surprise by the way that they are trading. No need a scale to weigh the plants, these girls just use a bowl as measurement. About two thousand Dong per bowl full of “nam chan chim”. Yeah, you heard it right, everything is that cheap in this remote region. Such a bargain, right?
Compare to others king of agricultural product as well as wild vegetable, this wild plant is absolutely the best-seller. In fact, people love its special flavor, fragrance and light sweet, fresh and nutritious. The favorite cooking styles this beautiful ingredient are stir-fried or cook with meat. People are supposed to use the simplest way of cooking and combining food to bring the best authentic taste. Once you try a taste, you will understand why people say a meal with this delicacy is an unforgettable memory in Bac Ha.
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Furthermore, “nam chan chim” is also famous for its medicinal values, such a wonderful plant. In no doubt, this fungus dishes seems a little secret of the healthy life of the residents. Besides, this plant become the research subjects for biology and genetics.
Can you imagine how satisfying it is the feeling of sitting next to boiling hot pot and tasting the delicious flavor of “nam chan chim” in such a freezing air of Sapa in the winter? Sounds attractive, right? Then, what are you waiting for but not making a ultimate travel in the city of clouds?
Read: Information to know of Sapa – the wonder land