The developing city of Sanjiang in the northern part of Guangxi Province, China, is most likely not what one would call a tourist hotspot.
It’s a rather drab city, a scatter of unkempt businesses, dusty debris filled streets and caravans of overloaded obnoxious construction trucks.
However, as I’ve mentioned before, traveling to me is not so much about the famous attractions, but about checking out local life and cultural practices.
Sanjiang had a great little fresh market exhibiting some fascinating sights and a wide range of smells.
The entrance to Sanjiang’s central market was lined with baskets of live chickens and ducks.
In China, chickens and ducks should be purchased alive and self butchered so that they are extremely fresh before being cooked.
Pictured above is a man tying the feet of a duck and getting ready to weigh it before taking it home. The duck was squirming and flapping its wings as it attempted to escape its inevitable fate.
Piles of fresh colorful vegetables are so beautiful to look at (I think so!). The colorful arrangement just makes me want to buy them all and bring them to a local restaurant and have a motherly lady stir fry them up with garlic and chilies!
The man above set up a small table in the middle of the central street of the market with some tasty take-away treats!
Unfortunately I got my camera out just slightly too late and could only capture the evidence of this highly interesting makeshift business.
The man sat on the small wooden stool with a selection of ancient tools and a chopping board. He performed surgery on live roosters, cutting a hole in their sides and pulling out the organ that makes a rooster “cocka-doodle-doo.”
Can you see the blood splotches on the right hand side of the chopping board? That was a pile of the organs he extracted. This was something I had never seen before and I thought it was pretty cool.
Bamboo poles carried with a basket on either side is one of the most common carrying methods in Asia.
When the vendor arrives to the market he/she just takes out the bamboo carrying stick and conveniently places the baskets on the side of the street.
This technique is a great way to display produce!
Preserved river fish are a speciality in the Sanjiang area of China.
There are so many different forms of tofu in China.
This basket was filled witha few varieties, including a kind of tofu that looked like strips of noodles and a kind that resembled some kind of a wrapped up bratwurst.
The interior of the local market of Sanjiang was packed out with roasted ducks, chickens, innards and pork odds and ends.
The pleasing aroma and bustling atmosphere was a lovely introduction to local life of Sangjiang, China. Since it was the day before the moon festival, many people were scurrying about trying to purchase the choicest meat.
So though the town of Sanjiang is not the most interesting city, wherever you go there are always hidden treasures to discover at the local market!