sunday market near shixi lu
probably the reason most foreigners stay in anshun is a chance to get to see the sunday market. i woke up around 8am and headed out the door. the first market i visited was a large indoor market selling household items like toiletries, clothes, shoes, and bags. diagonally across the street a few blocks away was a vegetables and meat market. it was interesting, i got to see some dog being sold (you couldn't really tell it was dog, looked more like a small pig), and met a couple from holland (one of the rare times when i met foreigners here in anshun) - but it wasn't the spectacular sunday marketfest i was hoping to see. for breakfast i went to a chinese kentucky fried chicken clone called dicos, studying my anshun map, trying to figure out if there was another market i might've missed.
household items market
vegetables/meat market: chickens
rice moonshine jars
after finishing my chicken sandwich, i walked west until i reached shixi road, which according to LP was where most of the market action was. when i got there i didn't see anything, but as i continued walking north along the road, i noticed more people, until i got to the epicenter, a crazy frenzy of pedestrians, buses, motorcycles, and taxis - this was the market! there was a group of tourists from holland (the same group that the couple i met earlier belonged to), who were attracting a lot of attention.
old han women
there was so many photo opportunities, i basically stood in one place and shot all around me with the telephoto lens, before making my way down the congested pedestrian pathway flanked by vendors of all shapes and sizes. there was a lot of farming and cooking equipment being sold, as well as equipment for making fermented rice moonshine.
a street called "bamboo street" sold mostly bamboo items, and elsewhere you could get a set of dentures made with real human teeth (don't ask how they got those), or buy some weaved baskets, or handmade wooden furniture.
there was a large chicken market and i saw so many birds slaughtered that i became desensitized to avian destruction.
i even almost got to watch a cock fight, but the contestants were taking too long to decide if they wanted to fight their prized roosters that i left before there was any action.
after spending several hours in the market, i left and found a nearby bookstore, where i bought two books containing guizhou maps, for future references. instead of walking back, i took the bus for the very first time (no.6, but the bus also said no.3, so who knows) back to the bus station and the hotel.
after a short rest (organizing my photos; i have now used up my 80gb hard drive, time to break out the backup drive), i was back out, this time to the old town, to visit the confucian temple i saw 2 days ago but didn't get the chance to visit. admission was RMB$30, but when i saw some men walk in without paying, i confronted the woman at the ticket booth. she said that if i went to the temple for tea (apparently it's a temple slash teahouse), then i didn't have to pay admission. the cheapest tea was RMB$20, but still cheaper than just paying regular admission, so i took the second option, returning the ticket. the temple really isn't anything exciting, just some poorly maintained stone carvings.
i had my tea and when i left, i ran into the woman from the ticket booth, who didn't believe me when i told her i had some tea (she probably knows a lot of liars), and yelled out at the girl working the teahouse to confirm.
over the hill behind the confucian temple is a large reservoir and a park, with a few karst mountains poking out of the water. down below, along the stairway that lead into the water, men were flying their kites, which i saw from far away. i sat down and chatted with them. i asked one of them how far his kite flew. he pointed to the sky. i couldn't find it at first, but then i saw 3 small dots. "800 meter," he said. i then told them my story, and one of the men became very animated; apparently he hates foreigners, and wanted to make sure how "god damn white devils" are ruining the world. his friends were laughing at his antics, while i was getting ready to defend myself in case it got violent. all of the men told me i should visit huangguoshu waterfall before i leave anshun (2nd largest waterfall in the world, according to them, and the largest in asia, according to my own research), which according to my schedule is tomorrow morning.
after they reeled in their kites, the men packed up and left. i walked back into town, taking a detour and visiting the donglin temple briefly, before i found myself a little lost and kept on wandering until i came out onto that night market street (gufu street). trying to find a 3rd internet cafe, i walked around in the dark. i stopped at a lamb restaurant and had some noodles (RMB$4). unable to find an internet cafe, i went back out to the main rotary and finally saw one, the one i'm at now. unfortunately security is the same and i can't upload photos once again. wait until guiyang!
tomorrow: going to guiyang in the morning, just a 2 hour bus ride, should be there no later than noon. guiyang marks the midway point ot my guizhou route, but after guiyang there's a bunch of little minority villages and towns, so the next few week will see a lot of traveling.