A place forgotten by time ... Yuanyang, China; where people still wear their traditional costumes and walk their water buffalo on the road. A place where the crops are grown, tended and harvested by hand. Tourists like us are surrounded in the market place; curious villagers gathering to inspect us.
Because there are so few tourists, the local people have not get become indifferent to our presence. When Dave tries to buy a few buttons in the market, the vendor insists on giving them to us. Unlike the big cities in China where we were often hassled to buy something, there is no pressure to make a purchase here. This is a working market, where the local people go to buy supplies. There are a few small shops on the periphery, but very few shoppers in them.
In the market, stalls offer the brightly coloured fabric used by the local people to make their traditional clothing. You can purchase traditional clothing at the market as well. Women sit and sew blankets in their traditional style while they wait in their stalls to make a sale.
On an adjacent street, the food vendors have permanent stalls clustered according to their product. One end of the narrow street is lined with fruit and vegetable vendors. A few meat vendors are clustered in the middle offering everything from live chickens to fresh dog. The other end of the street is lined with stalls where you can build your own soup from the ingredients on offer or sit at a short table and eat grilled bean curd.
An enclosed market is where most of the meat is sold. The animals were freshly butchered that morning and pieces of meat are laid out on plywood tables. Chickens are kept in cages until they are purchased. Then right before your eyes the chicken will be butchered, scalded and plucked by a mechanical chicken plucker.
Life is Yuanyang changes slowly because there are so few visitors from the outside world and yet internet cafes and cell phones are everywhere. We wondered how long this pocket of tradition will survive the influence of an ever changing world.
Bissky Dziadyk Family
Travelling the world as a family since 2008.
In September 2008 our family embarked on a four month journey through South East Asia. Traveling with a child who uses a wheelchair presented its challenges, but following the Mekong River through China, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam with a wheelchair was truly an adventure.
When we move beyond our fears and embrace our dreams, the Universe has an odd way of not only supporting us but giving us more opportunities than we ever imagined. Embarking on a journey with an open heart we can not help but be changed forever by the experience. Indeed it would be a waste to return untouched in the spiritual realm.
September: China (Beijing, Xi’an,Kunming, Yuanyang)
October: Northern Vietnam (Hanoi, Halong Bay) and
Laos (Luang Prabang, Vang Vieng, Vientiane)
November: Southern Vietnam (Hue, Ho Chi Minh City, Mekong Delta)
December: Cambodia (Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Battambang, Kampot and Sihanoukville).