If you find yourself in Xizhou make sure you spend a night at the Linden Center Hotel. And if villages and wet markets are your thing then book a walking tour with a Linden Center guide at front desk. Since our trip was preplanned the Wet market was included. I never tire of the Asian wet markets. I love to people watch, search for unusual eats and watch daily life. The Xizhou Market did not disappoint.
Traditional and modern shopping baskets
A large percent of Bai people practice Buddhism. And according to Buddhism if you are captured on camera a piece of the soul is also taken away with the photo. These two in the photo above did not have problem with me and the camera. They actually encouraged me to take a snap. I noticed that if you offer money or buy goods they are selling they might even pose with you.
Pork is the center of the Bai diet. Several types of pork are cooked, including ham, sausage, and smoked pig liver and intestines. In the wintertime, Bai people eat beef soup that also contains radishes, shallots, and turnips. The Bai people who live close to a lake or river often have a lot of fish in their diet, and they’re adept at preparing fish in a variety of ways.
Bai people eat a lot of vegetables and pickles. Bai women are skilled at making all sorts of pickles and sauces. Common sauces include bean sauce, lobster sauce and flour sauce. The Bai people who live in Heqing and Jiangchuan tend to cook different kinds of dishes. They’ll often use pickled seaweed from the Erhai Lake in their cooking.
Today, Bai people wear bright clothing in coordinating colors. The fabric and embroidery used is delicate. Many pieces of Bai clothing will have a camellia flower represented on it. This flower symbolizes beauty. Often, a red scarf and a white outer layer will be worn to resemble a blooming camellia.
Many Bai people prefer the color white. This is because white signifies a high social status as well as dignity. Typically, white is seen somewhere on the clothing of a Bai person. Men often wear a white outer layer and white pants. Women tend to wear more colorful clothing than men, but white is always an element of their outfit. Most Bai females will wear a white, pink or light blue outer layer and a dark pink, purple or pink waistcoat.
If a girl is unmarried, she’ll wear her hair in a ponytail. Her hair will have a red string tied around the end of it. The string will also coil around the girl’s head. Most unmarried women will wear an embroidered apron.
The headscarf that’s worn on most Bai women’s heads is shaped liked a crescent. It represents a flower in the wind and the moon on a snowy evening. The top part of the scarf is white while the lower part of the scarf is embroidered with flowers. The tail of the scarf drapes over one shoulder and sways with the wind.
Since the soil is rich and the climate is mild, the town farmers are relatively prosperous. The Bai people appreciate bright clothing and attractive architecture and hold numerous festivals, and people from 25 other ethnic groups live together with them, so the region is more interesting than most areas of China.
Yunnan farms many ‘types’ of tobacco fields. This man was selling a bit of every kind of tobacco.