|Tra Linh cattle market takes place in a large open field of Hung Quoc township, Tra Linh district, Cao Bang province.|
Tra Linh market is held on the 4th, 9th, 14th, 19th, 24th and 29th of each lunar month in a large open field. On market day, starting around 4 am, groups of people walk to market carrying goods and leading animals.
The Tra Linh cattle market is the biggest cattle market in Vietnam’s northern mountains. 1,000 buffalos, cows, and horses are sold each session. The market attracts many traders from other localities, who come looking for animals for ploughing, eating, or grappling in buffalo fighting festivals.
The market is a venue for exchanging tips on animal husbandry and learning market prices.
|Buffalos, cows, and horses are sold at Tra Linh market.|
Nong Quoc Tuan, a local resident, said, “I’ve purchased 100 cows at this market in the last 5 years. I only buy strong cattle from my acquaintances.”
A male buffalo is being sold at the market for 2,500 USD, while a buffalo calf is quoted at 850 USD. A good-looking or pregnant cow is worth 1,700 USD. The market is noisy with sellers and buyers bargaining. Even if the seller fails to sell his cattle, he is still happy and simply waits for the next market session.
Nong Van Quang, a market goer, said, “I buy buffalos to plough my fields so I have to buy strong animals. They’re a little more expensive but I don’t mind, because I still have a bargain after they work on my land for a year.”
The market is profitable not only for the traders but also for the motorbike taxis, money changers, and people selling straws and water to wash the cattle. Due to growing demand, market sessions now often last two or three days.
|Strong buffalos are bought to participate in fighting festivals.|
Nguyen Xuan Luc and his two sons from Quynh Luu district, Nghe An province, spent two days driving a truckload of buffalos to Tra Linh market.
He said, “This time I brought 30 buffalos, whose prices range from 850 to 2,000 USD each. I will earn a profit of about 430 USD after transportation costs. With 6 market sessions a month, I can earn about 2,500 USD. The buffalos are raised by me and sold whenever I need money for my family’s expenses.”
Also on display at Tra Linh cattle market are brocade and embroidered fabric, clothing, and vegetables. The market is becoming a big tourist attraction.