I see that one of the top search terms on this blog is “malesice vs Sapa,” regarding the two big Vietnamese markets on the edge of town. I think it mostly comes down to which one is closer to you. Having said that, I prefer Malesice market. It is smaller, which means on the one hand the selection is a little more limited. On the other hand, it’s a much more navigable size, and it feels a bit friendlier overall. There also aren’t those dodgy “cinsky bistro” eateries at Malesice, which the hygiene authority has been busily trying to shut down in Sapa. At most of the places in Malesice, you’re sitting down right in front of the cooking area and watching them make your food. So you can judge for yourself if it’s clean enough.