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China Story 10: Market Day in Yuanyang Sheng Village (元阳胜村赶集日)

Yuanyang Sheng Village Market Day

Sights: Market Day in Yuanyang Sheng Village (元阳胜村赶集日)

Region: Yuanyang Country, Honghe Hani & Yi Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan Province


This is the second part of a two-part story on Yuanyang Hani Terraced Field (元阳哈尼梯田) in Yunnan. Do read the previous story on the scenic areas in Yuanyang and important information for planning a full day journey to check out the various sights. This post continues from part one and visits the life of the ethnic minorities on a market day in Sheng Village (胜村).

Yuanyang Hani Terraces in Yunnan

Let's have a glimpse of Pugao Old Village (Pugao Laozhai, 普高老寨) — where I stayed when I was in Yuanyang Rice Terraces — before going to Sheng Village (胜村) for its market day.

Pugao Old Village (普高老寨)

Pugao Old Village is located in Duoyishu Scenic Area (多依树景区). I explored the old village on a misty day. Most of the houses had been upgraded with bricks and painted yellow, but still preserving a rustic feel.

Pugao Old Village (普高老寨)
Pugao Old Village (普高老寨)

A common sight in the village were yellow corns hanging out to dry outside the walls. The corns were for feeding buffaloes, goats, etc, that the villagers reared or for sales.

Dried corn in Pugao Old Village

The paths in the village were for both people and buffaloes. Amazingly, these two buffaloes knew their way around the village without anyone to lead them.

Buffalo in Pugao Old Village

Sheng Village (胜村)

Sheng Village was located along the main road between Duoyishu Scenic Area and Bada Scenic Area (坝达景区) — it could not be missed. The best time to be in the village was when the ethnic minorities people were having their market days, which was said to take place once every 5 days from 10am to 2pm. Jojo and me were lucky to be in Yuanyang on one of their market days.

Walking into Sheng Village, it would not be difficult to note that the buildings here were more modern in architectures than Pugao Old Village. It was a commercial centre after all.

Sheng Village (胜村)

One of the houses had thousands of dried corns hanging above its front pouch. These were for selling in the markets — Xingjie Town (新街镇) also had its own market days.

More corns hanging out to dry

Yi (彝族) ladies knitting.

Yi minority ladies knitting

Hani (哈尼族) ladies shopping with woven baskets. Some were made by themselves while others were bought from the marketplace. Noticed that bright-blue colour seemed to be very popular among the ladies.

Hani ladies with baskets

Two ladies checking out the meat.

Yi lady buying meat

This was the place where grains and dried goods, such as dried corns, were sold. Since grains were the main staple to both the people and animals, this place was the most crowded.

Market selling dried grains, corns, etc

All kinds of fruits were sold in the fruit section. While majority of the minority people in Sheng Village were Hani and Yi people, there could be some from other tribes too.

Fruit market

Look at the long row of bananas.

Abundant bananas

It's probably time to replace worn-out tools.

Farming tools for sales

These were smoking pipes of the ethnic minorities with various types of smoking grasses.

Ethnic minority smoking pipes

Yi lady with her newly-bought piglets.

Yi ladies with pigs

Minority ladies like silver accessories. These accessories were made with silvery coins from all over the world.

Silver accessories

Grilled food were the most commonly seen along the street. One of their specialty was grilled rice dumpling (烤粽子). We did not hesitate to snack on some too.

Grilled food
Grill food

These were fermented wines from various types of grains, and probably for different purposes too. Their alcohol contents were very high and usually used for cooking. I bought a small bottle to prepare for the coming cold winter.

Alcohol brewed by minority

One of the locally produced grains in Yuanyang rice terraces was the red rice. The minority people would also use red rice to make sweet rice wine after fermentation. The red rice residue was eaten as dessert instead of being wasted. They were sweet, of course.

Sweet rice from fermented rice wine

And the prices here were very cheap as the items were for the locals, not tourists. For travellers, it would be a good place to understand their cultures, enjoy the food and perhaps buy a costume of the minority people as souvenirs or dressed as fusion-fashion for ladies.


After checking out Sheng Village and Yuanyang Hani Terraced Fields, it was time to leave the wonderful place. We went back to Kunming for a night before setting off for Dongchuan Red Land the following day. Do check out that beautiful place too.


Check out a different terraced landscape in Kunming

Dongchuan Red Land in Kunming

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