After a day of fog across China delaying flights into Guiyang, Sunday night’s highlight was a visit to the local night market for a cheap noodle dinner. I hadn’t slept at all on the flight so I was in bed by 9pm.
Monday was a bit more of an adventure though, exploring Guiyang on foot for most of the morning. We took in the giant statue of Mao, Renmin Square, a riverside park where there was all sorts of interesting things going on (including al fresco dentistry…), a temple and Jiaxiulou Tower dating from the Ming Dynasty.
By far my favourite part of the day though, was wandering around a large local market. Well, there is really no need to qualify it as a ‘local’ market, because it’s quite clear that the tourism impact here is quite negligible. (One of my clues for this conclusion was being followed and singled out for a photo with a trendy young Chinese woman.) It was a practical kind of market, specialising in Chinese medicine, flowers and plants, aquarium supplies (the varieties of fish were amazing!) and …pets!!
We opted for a walking route that bypassed the live animals, but because the market is undergoing some transformations, stalls were not always where our guide expected them to be, so we did in fact see quite a few dogs, less cats and one adorable tiny white rabbit in a pink cage. To be perfectly honest I was pleasantly surprised at the conditions. I know the Chinese take great care of their pets, but in a market environment I expected the standard to be a bit on the poor side. I’m happy to be wrong. Apart from buying pets, people were also bringing their dogs to the market to visit the pooch parlour section to get the latest ‘do, Guizhou-style.
After the market we had a 4-hour bus trip to our next destination, Liuzhi, our base for the first of our festivals with the Longhorn Miao people.