We are very pleased that we chose Bac Ha over Sapa. Our visit was timed to coincide with Bac Ha market on Sunday, which was a fabulous experience and a real eye-opener.
There was absolutely no pressure from market sellers or street stalls. The local people were so very friendly - we were invited to sit and have tea (at no cost!). Everyone had a cheery hello for us.
There is not much happening in the town itself, other than on sundays when the market is on and the town comes to life.
If you're travelling there to see a local market, which is really worth it, you have to go on a sunday from early morning until 2pm-ish.
The local Sunday Bac Ha markeyt is a friendly, colourful and enjoyable experience. Note that there is limited transport available during Tet (end Feb), but a destination with lots to offer.