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Yunnan’s Biggest Market: Yousuo Friday Market 云南最大的集市: 右所周五集市

Every Friday in Yousuo, north of Dali, Yunnan’s biggest, noisiest and liveliest market takes place, spilling across the main road through town and into side streets, lanes, and a vast open area at the foot of the mountains. The local Bai people arrive from nearby farms and villages, baskets on their backs and dressed in their finest to buy and sell goods – livestock, vegetables, embroideries, woven baskets, pots and pans, sweets and tea.

Markets are a peek through the keyhole into another culture and way of life – what people eat, how they do business, how they dress. And markets are full of what the Chinese call renao 热闹, translated literally as ‘heat and noise’ but meaning ‘noisy excitement’ or ‘hubbub’. 

Renao is one of my favourite Chinese words and describes that indefinable atmosphere of all-round enjoyment and festivity that makes a good restaurant great, or a party unmissable. Noise and heat. Bustle and excitement. Crowds and activity. 

I love renao, and would rather visit a local market than a hundred temples, if the truth be known. 

Impressivley well-travelled writer Thoedora Sutcliffe recently wrote about 100 Lessons Learned from 1000 Days of Travel around the world with her son. It’s a great read and a  great list, but Number 3 particularly caught my eye:


3. Big Ticket Sights Are Almost Always Worth It …..if you’re within 50 miles of one of the wonders of the world and don’t see it, you’ll be kicking yourself for decades.

I mostly agree with her, but if there’s a market within 50 miles of one of the wonders of the world and I miss it, then I really will kick myself.

So what will you find at Yunnan’s biggest, most renao-ish market? Have a look.

大理北部一个叫右所的地方,每周五都会有云南最大规模,最喧嚣和最生机勃勃的市集。本地的白族人身着美丽的衣裳,背着竹筐,从附近的农场和村落赶来进行商品买卖——牲畜,蔬菜,刺绣,编织的篮筐,坛坛罐罐,糖果和茶叶之类的。通过窥探市集可以了解到另一种文化和生活方式人们习惯吃什么,他们如何做生意,他们如何着装。市集到处都是中国人常说的热闹,字面理解成“热烈喧闹”但实际意味着一种兴奋和喧哗。
热闹是我最喜欢用的中国词语之一,它可以描述出那种难以名状的氛围,到处是节日的喜悦和欢乐,可以用来形容一个很棒的餐馆,也可以表示一场不容错过的派对,喧闹和热烈,活跃又亢奋,充满活力的人群,我喜欢热闹,说真的,相比于成百上千的庙宇我更喜欢这样一个本地的市集。

高价景观总是值得一看

令人印象深刻的著名旅行作家克里夫最近在和其子环游世界的过程中写了一本书,从千日旅行中学习的百堂课程。读起来真的很不错,还有很棒的列表,尤其是第三章节非常吸引我。
我非常赞同她,但若有个市场离世界奇迹只有50英里,而我却没去这个市场,我真的会后悔的。
所以你猜我们会在这个云南最大最热闹的的市集发现什么好玩的呢?跟我一起看看吧。








Piglets in baskets: one farmer tried to swap a piglet for our youngest daughter, but we resisted. Just.
筐子里的小猪:一个农民想用他的小猪交换我们最小的女儿,但是我们拒绝了。这点不容置疑。

Bai women shop with baskets on their backs, straps on their foreheads or over their shoulders. Cane baskets are still the most popular but coloured woven tape baskets are becoming a new trend.
白族父女用背上的竹筐进行购物,将绳子勒在前额或者绕过她们的肩膀。藤筐仍是最受欢迎的,但彩色的编织带篮筐即将成为新的流行趋势。
The women favour a sleeveless cobalt blue or red tunic belted with a hand-embroidered sash, and a scarf or flower-embroidered head dress to cover their hair, often with a straw hat perched on top. Those who wear the flower-embroidered head-dresses often cover it with a net scarf to keep it clean in the dust of the marketplace.
女人喜欢无袖的钴蓝色或是红色束腰外衣,搭配一条手绣的腰带和围巾或是用绣花的头饰遮住他们的头发,通常也会在上面带一个稻草帽。那些带着绣花头饰的女人常常用围巾再盖上,防止市集的灰尘弄脏头饰。

Local sweets: peanut brittle, rock sugar, ground sticky rice flavoured with rose water, sesame toffee
本地甜点, 花生太妃糖, 冰糖, 玫瑰味的糯米糖, 还有芝麻太妃糖.

Tricycle truck – slightly larger than a motorbike, holds slightly more than a wheelbarrow. Maximum load seen carried: six people plus a pig and eight chickens.

三轮卡车比一般的摩托车大一些,装的东西要比独轮手推车多一些,看起来最多能装载:六个人外加一头猪和八只鸡。

If you don’t have a tricycle truck you can also carry your chicken purchases like this. Friends have suggested it would be a useful way for carrying unruly small children.
如果你没有三轮卡车,也可以这么带你的鸡。朋友建议对于不老实的小孩也可以用这种方式。

Not everyone wears traditional dress of course
当然并非每个人都穿着传统服饰

Coolest dude in Yunnan, selling thermoses. Because everyone knows only cool people use thermoses.

云南最酷的人, 都卖热水壶. 因为人人都知道只有很酷的人才会用热水瓶.

Bai woman selling joss papers for burning at the temple.

Yunnan has a unique climate and topography, so you’ll find plenty of unusual foods not seen elsewhere in China
Left: mao doufu – mold fermented tofu  Right: hai cai hua 海菜花 (ottelia accuminata) – a water plant with delicate white flowers that float on the water surface of lakes, the stalks of which are used in cooking.
云南气候和地形都很独特, 所以你能发现很多中国其他地方不会生长的食物.
左: 毛豆腐发霉的一种豆腐
右: 海菜花 (海菜花属一种生长着精美白色小花的水生植物,漂浮在湖水表面,它的茎干可以用来烹饪)

The man who sells everything from his square-metre shop: kitchen scourers, rubber gloves, safety pins, sewing needles, packets of single-use shampoo, zippers, plugs, and a thousand other useful things.
在这个一平方大小的小店,卖家销售各种商品:厨房调味品,橡胶手套,安全别针,缝衣针,一次性香波,打火机,插头还有成百上千种其他的有用玩意儿。

And lastly the street dentist, who for 50 yuan (about $8) will fit you with a shining silver cap for one of your front teeth, on the spot. Without even taking off his sunglasses.
街巷牙医,50块钱(8美元)就可以当场给你的一颗门牙镶上闪闪发亮的银套。甚至不需要脱掉他的太阳镜。

Yousuo Friday Market
Every Friday from early morning until mid-afternoon
Yousuo is on the  G214 about 40km north of Dali, Yunnan
GPS: Lat 26.018064  Long  100.063546