Digitallydo Home > China > Travel

Market Day in ShaPing

When you Visit the town of Dali, one of the "Must" activities is a trip to the weekly market day in ShaPing up at the northern end of the Ear Shaped Lake. I thought it ironic that the largest outdoor market in the province is in a town called ShaPing, but then I'm rather finely tuned to things like that.

Below is a picture showing the crowd of sellers, shoppers, and small taxis on the road into the main market.

Overview of the market in ShaPing

The picture that follows here is an attempt to capture the color and bustle of this particular market. The population in the area consist largely of people of the Bai minority. They make fabulous textiles, and the women wear an extraordinarily colorful costume. It's hard to tell sometimes in these situations, but it seems that people really do dress in this traditional way, and it's not just a put-on for the tourists.

Crowded ShaPing marketplace

My wife Carol was very intrigued that people in this region carry rectangular baskets on their backs rather than satchels or handbags.

I suppose because it's a pretty mountainous regionGrandmother with Baby on her back, that people through the ages have had to walk narrow paths , and that a Old woman carrying a very large sack on her back.rigid load on one's back makes sense if you're carrying produce up and down the mountain. I think that the basket on the back is also well suited for navigating phenomenally crowded markets such as the one in ShaPing.


At the Left here is a woman selling strips of unnaturally colored something. It looks sort of like "Fruit Leather" but was decidedly too rigid.

I didn't try any of it because I'm chicken.

Below is a shot of a rather typical array of market souvenir items. It's amazing that the same sorts of items appear in markets all over China. At least in the regions we've traveled, you see very similar things for sale. The skulls and the "turquoise" necklaces are local to the area, but the reverse painted "snuff" bottles, the folding Buddha shrine, the green bowl and the Mao-morabelia can be purchased all over.

Trinkets at the ShaPing market

Outdoor Dentist

Here's a stand that we found very interesting. The brown and white piles on the table are ... teeth. And if you examine the wheeled and belted apparatus in the center of the frame, you may be able to recognize it as a hand cranked drill (frighteningly similar to the one in my dentist's office when I was a kid.)

I didn't see any actual clients, but I suppose (and hope) that this man is actually a maker of dentures rather than a dentist, but I've seen "real" dentists in the cities with their chairs out in plain view from the sidewalk.



Digitallydo Home > China > Travel