Discover the Majestic Magic of Si Ma Cai in Lao Cai

Situated in the remote Lao Cai Province, Si Ma Cai is bordered by Muong Khuong to the north and the west, Bac Ha to the south and northeast, and Ha Giang as well as China to the northeast. Tourists flock to this region to witness its untouched, wild scenery and majestic beauty.


Si Ma Cai is a highland district of Lao Cai province, situated in a mountainous region with an elevation of nearly 1,500m. It is located approximately 95km northeast of the city center of Lao Cai, above sea level. To learn more about Si Ma Cai, visit the corresponding article about it. Similarly, if you want to explore further information about Lao Cai, read our article dedicated to it.

The township of Si Ma Cai, the capital of the district, is located 30km away from Bac Ha Town and 350km from Hanoi. Tourists have the option to travel to Si Ma Cai from Hanoi by train, reaching Pho Lu train station. Another convenient option is to travel by car, which typically takes approximately 5-6 hours.

Explore The Wild Beauty Of Si Ma Cai In Lao Cai
Photo: Bach hoa XANH

Si Ma Cai, though less renowned among tourists, is a destination that is often overlooked by travelers. The main attraction in this area is the Can Cau Market, which usually sees visitors for a short duration on Saturday mornings. Some travelers may pass through Si Ma Cai on their journeys between Bac Ha or Lao Cai and Ha Giang.

The local communities in the area host market gatherings in various communes on different days of the week. Among these markets, Can Cau Market stands out as a vibrant and colorful event. The locals often refer to the Saturday morning market at Can Cau as the “water buffalo market,” although visitors can find a wide array of items available for sale. These range from agricultural produce, goats, and dogs to traditional brocade and other unique products.

Located within the Bac Ha plateau, just a brief 10-minute drive away, lies the captivating flower fields of Lu Than commune in Si Ma Cai, Lao Cai. This renowned destination is celebrated for its sprawling, purple-pink buckwheat flower fields that stretch across the undulating slopes and hills. The vibrant emerald green foliage harmoniously blends with the serene greenery of the mountains and forests, while the delicate purple hues of the buckwheat flowers add a touch of elegance to this picturesque natural setting.

Explore The Wild Beauty Of Si Ma Cai In Lao Cai
Photo: Luhanhvietnam

Si Ma Cai perfectly encapsulates the untamed charm and authentic character that is emblematic of the indigenous communities found in this region. A popular destination amongst travelers, particularly during the autumn season from September to November, Si Ma Cai offers a dry climate, accompanied by picturesque landscapes adorned with stunning buckwheat flowers blooming amidst the clear, radiant skies.

Si Ma Cai is renowned for its vast expanse of gray stone forests. The region features an abundance of rocks scattered across the soil and concealed beneath streams. However, the gray rock forests in San Chai commune stand out due to their captivating arrangement of overlapping rock layers, creating a mesmerizing sight in the heart of the Northwest.

Explore The Wild Beauty Of Si Ma Cai In Lao Cai
Photo: wecheckin

Located in Si Ma Cai district, the mesmerizing sandalwood forests captivate visitors with their breathtaking beauty. As visitors venture through Thao Chu Phin and Nan Sin communes, they will be immersed in a majestic display of verdant greenery, showcasing the region’s diverse and abundant natural ecosystem.

Simacai, derived from the H’mong language, translates to “horse market” and was once known as the largest horse market in the region. However, as times evolve, the landscape of consumerism has transformed and horses are no longer the sole focus of purchasing endeavors.

The marketplace is a spacious area located near the newly developed Simacai District. It features charming thatched huts which serve as shops and food stalls, providing a delightful shopping and culinary experience.

Explore The Wild Beauty Of Si Ma Cai In Lao Cai
Photo: Nem TV

Every Sunday, Simacai market draws in a large number of Flower Hmong, Zao, and Phu La individuals from surrounding villages. This vibrant gathering serves as a gathering place for the community, providing an opportunity to shop, socialize, and reconnect with friends and family after a week of laborious work. It is a place where lively conversations take place, fostering a sense of camaraderie and festivities, often accompanied by the consumption of beverages.

Pear flowers in Quan Ho Than commune bloom seasonally, typically from mid-March to late March each year.

In 2022, Si Ma Cai District is organizing the inaugural Le Flower Festival in Quan Ho Than commune.

The flowers are currently in full bloom, showcasing their exquisite beauty in the warm spring sunshine, spreading a golden yellow hue throughout the villages, hillsides, and gardens.

Explore The Wild Beauty Of Si Ma Cai In Lao Cai
Photo: Baodantoc
Charlotte Pho