Shaping Monday market; Where There’s Not Much to Buy if You’re Not a Farmer

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Shaping Monday market; Where There’s Not Much to Buy if You’re Not a Farmer

Located 30km away from Dali Old City, Shaping is famous for their weekly morning market. It’s on every Monday from 9am to 2pm. Just take a bus go north from Dali (10 CNY one way), and you’ll see many little villages around Erhai Lake. Shaping is one of the small villages.

Dali is a worthwhile destination, but don’t forget to go out from the city center. There are small villages with old architectures just about one hour range. Easy to get there by bus or bike.

In the market, you’ll see many hill tribe people with their own traditional clothe and the basket. Oh the basket, I want one as my backpack! It’s so smartly designed. It distributes the weight. Also, it’s convenient for bus travel because the basket has legs, so you can just put your bag down in the middle of the bus. And it’s quite cute too. If I’m traveling in a short period, I would buy one but I cannot keep it. What a shame.

Enough about the basket…

It was an interesting market. And yes, there’s absolutely nothing to buy because we’re not farmers. But we bought some local fruits: apples, pears, and pineapples with a good price. One pineapple for 2 CNY (0.30 USD), what a deal!

Here are some photos from Shaping Monday market.

Fruit? Vegetable?

Fruit? Vegetable? Couldn't tell



Palm sugar, I guess

Palm sugar? I'm guessing. It tastes sweet.


Charcoals for sale

Blood sausage?

Blood sausage?

Pig's inside

Pig's inside for food

buying meat

Buying and selling meat

Big chunk of pork

A big chunk of pork for sale

An old man selling animal product

We couldn't communicate, but we're guessing this is cheese or something. He was happy with photography

Minority tribe ladies

Minority group ladies at Shaping Monday Market

Smoking guy buying more tabacco

Smoking guy buying more tabacco



Farming stuff

The stuff you don't need if you're not a farmer

marinated dishes

Marinated dishes

How to do Tie-dye

This is how they make tie-dye


Tie-dye for sale

Popular guy with orange

Popular orange guy

Lotus roots

Measuring lotus roots

Chili powder

Chili powder

Straw mat

Stray mat and brooms

Baskets -- it's village people's backpack

Baskets -- it's village people's backpack

Strap for baskets

Straps for baskets

More baskets

More baskets



Chili peppers

Chili peppers

Chinese junk food - anything deep fried  taste good

Chinese junk food - anything deep fried taste good

Bean paddy

Beautiful Shaping - bean paddies

Juno Kim
Juno Kim
Juno Kim, a happiness-seeking storyteller. Photographer, writer, and trained mechanical engineer. Life-long nerd. I left the cubic farm to follow my true love: the world. A firm believer of serendipity, astronomy enthusiaster, and living by passion and love in life. Currently, on a quest to discover stories and find the place where I can call 'home'. Follow my journey through @RunawayJuno and Google+ .


  1. Stephen says:

    mmmm…that charcoal looks delicious 😉

    Love the shots!

  2. I like all the different colours and textures!

    • Juno says:

      Thanks Audrey! I did too. I didn’t know there’s that many spices they use. And all the people were very friendly. I like small town markets!

  3. Meaghan says:

    I think the bound pale thing is fat back rather than cheese.

  4. James says:

    That looks like quite a high and remote elevation. It certainly cannot be easy for the vendors to get their goods to the market… The variety is amazing, no parts of the pig wasted; this reminds me of a trip I took to one of the Indonesian Islands, just south of Singapore. Great photos, the experiences you are gaining must be priceless!

    • Juno says:

      Thanks James! Yes, no parts of Pig is going waste in China! This is about 1900m see level. I don’t know about this particular town, but Dali (30km away) is 1900m and I think this would be the same. It was very remote and only once a week market. Saw some good stuff there.

  5. Cley says:

    This is what normal market looks like in the provinces. All the products are first hand and fresh. Thanks for sharing this.. Good job!

    • Juno says:

      Thanks Cley! I like to visit ramdon markets around the villages. It’s very refreshing. I’d miss these markets if I’m back to big cities.

  6. JK Kim says:

    Hey, Sister. how is ti going?
    A few days ago, I got your postcard.
    Wow, it seems like yummy. Especially, A big chunk of pigs and pig’s inside. 😀
    This country is getting warmer, take care, sis. Talk to you later.

  7. Skip says:

    The basket looks great! I can understand why you covet it.

    Are you sure that the picture of the noodle is actually noodles? It looks like plastic tubing split into half. Then again, it almost looks like a flat vermicelli.

  8. […] There are markets to visit every day of a week around Dali. Every Monday, Shaping is the place to visit. Different minority group people are here for shopping with their baskets on the back. This is the market where there’s nothing to buy if you are not a farmer. But it’s good for people watching and see what they sell. From animal’s inside to farming stuff… it’s very interesting.  Shaping located 30 km away from Dali, at the end of Er’hai Lake. You can get there by taking a bus at West gate in Dali. Also see my photo series about Shaping Monday Market. […]

  9. Brien27 says:

    I have already visited the beautiful place of China, but I never experience their market hour… Thanks for sharing this images, if I could reach China once again, I will visit this one…

  10. […] For Monday, it was a market day in Shaping, 30 km north from Dali. I visited Shaping market by taking a bus for about an hour. It was an interesting market. Cangshan in the back, the market creates fantastic background for photographers. I wandered around and bought some fruits. There is the photo essay from Shaping Monday Market. […]

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