Our last day in Sideng village (in the Shaxi valley of Yunnan province in China) was market day. So we were keen to make the most of it. It turns out there are two markets, one for produce and one for livestock. And neither is in the market square in the middle of the village.
The livestock market was only about 5 minutes walk away, across the river on the edge of town. It was an interesting glimpse of part of rural commerce in China.
The transportation varied between walking the animals to reasonably modern trucks, and everything possible in between.
Unloading animals from the sophisticated truck above was very unsophisticated – they were dragged out the back and stepped/jumped/fell onto the ground. Most came in trucks but there were still plenty of smaller vehicles. The one below is the most basic type imaginable with an engine. I always think of these ones as rotary hoes without the hoe and with a trailer. The one behind it to the left is the next step up, a motorbike (100cc ?) with three wheels with a cab and trailer and canopy.
The trucks below fascinated me. There are lots of them in the rural parts of China – working relics from a different time. They carry big loads with loud noise and lots of smoke at slow speeds. The bonnet isn’t missing – they never had one. Which must make it much easier to work on the engine. I never found out how many cylinders they have. From the noise, I guessed somewhere between one and two. I imagine they evolved from the rotary hoe concept.
There were some more recent ones that were blue and had something like a bumper bar in front of the engine.
From the livestock market we moved on to the town market which had everything else. Lots of produce and some products. Again this wasn’t a market for tourists. This was just where the locals (from near and far) came for their supplies.
Spot the scales in the picture below. Who needs a digital readout?
I didn’t realise it then, but the picture below shows the yummiest peanuts in the world. Or at least the best I’ve ever tasted. Assuming that all Yunnan peanuts taste the same. I never knew peanuts didn’t have to taste so bitter and peanutty. I wish I’d bought the whole sack!
The market was great for stocking up on eating things for lunch and later in the day for our travels further north. Much of it was sold by weight and there was no feeling that prices were any different for us as foreign tourists. Generally we found people in China to be friendly, helpful and honest. And none more so than in this lovely little valley that we were about leave.