Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Saturday Markets

On Saturday we went over to visit our friends’ area, which is directly south of us. As it is a university district, it is filled with good value places to eat and shop, including a large indoor market and an outdoor food night market. It was one of those days where nothing particularly remarkable happens, but is somehow quite perfect.

chicken, and even more so duck, heads are a delicacy
We started off by having a delicious lunch in a restaurant that, joy of joys, had a full picture menu, meaning that we had greater certainty than we normally do in a new restaurant that what we were ordering was semi-edible. The food was so delicious that I was far too busy scoffing it, between talking nineteen to the dozen, to have any time to take photos.
breads being prepared
Most of the afternoon was spent wandering around the indoor market, although I was more interested in the clothing section than the chicken head department. As we arrived in the lull between lunch and dinner we got to see the food being prepared, which was quite interesting. And, as per usual, the snap happy foreigners caused the Chinese must entertainment by photographing the oddest things!
colourful candies, fruits and biscuits
Although we were as much photographed as photographing. A group of 8 laowai certainly attracts attention our city, and as they approached us people would point us out to their friends before whipping out their camera phones. In one shop, a couple of teenage girls asked me to pose for photos with them, and were so excited and happy when I agreed to do so.

in the cake shop - no I didn't sample any, as in my experience Chinese cakes look better than they taste!

We also sporadically chased a group of small boys around the market. It started off with one of my friends wanting to take a photo of them, them running off, and her hiding to try behind some boxes to catch them unawares and then for the rest of the time we were there they would come up to us, make faces, we’d make faces at them, and then they’d run off, possibly pursued by more active members of the group.
snazzy shoes for sale

Our last stop was to rifle the night market dvd stalls, where I managed to get a packet of 12 Nicholas Cage films for 10 kuai. They actually work too, and aren’t dubbed into Russian or something, which is an added bonus. Night markets are very popular in our city, and in China in general, although they are really more evening markets as they open between seven and nine.
a skewer stall at the night market

After watching the ‘flight of the vendors’, the food vendors cycling their mobile stalls along to the road to their pitches, we sampled a new delicacy one of our friends had discovered: fried sweet potato chips inside a cold deep fried bread bun with a lettuce leaf and a few slices of duck. Disgustingly moreish I admit, but heartburn set in about ten minutes after eating it and didn’t leave for the rest of the night!

night market crowds


  1. Sounds like a fun day and the food looks delicious! Thanks for sharing and have a great week!

  2. The second shot was a little painful for me to watch.

  3. i have to agree on the cakes:D we tried the Chinese cakes out of curiosity and they are much better seen than tasted:D We call barbecued chicken heads as "helmet" in my country, Philippines.

    My World is here

  4. Too bad about the cakes, I didn´t knew that. The photography thing sounded so fun. Have a good time with your Nic Cage marathon!

  5. That bread look like our Roti Canai or Roti Prata here.
    Nice pictures and thanks for showing.

  6. im hungry just seeing the pics

  7. Like Lakshmi I too am hungry! I am at a computer club right now in our village hall so I can't even nip into the kitchen for a snack! lol!

  8. Oh, now you have me craving a big ol plate of duck heads...


    Beautiful, colourful photos! What a great adventure for you! :-)

  9. Mmmmm, I love markets! I did get your comment so don't worry. I don't often get up so early except when off for a field trip in the bush or catching a flight, but I'm living life differently this warm season as siestas are the best time to sleep. The nights are cool and the mornings are wonderful. How is China for skywatching potential?

  10. Fascinating! I love markets and this looked like a fun place to visit. Some of the food looks good and some not what my western palate could handle. Thanks for taking us along on your trip.

  11. Very interesting to see a different culture not in holiday mood. When you get heartburn and you do not have anything to relieve it, half a teaspoon baking powder does the trick! So keep the baking powder handy. ( It seems to be available in the oddest places.)