Shaxi is located in-between two popular destinations: Dali and Lijiang, Yunnan Province. While on your way to Dali or Lijiang, you might want to consider break up your trip by staying at Shaxi. It is a historic small village on the Tea-Horse trail. If you are landing on Friday, your Shaxi visit will be leveled up. Shaxi Friday market is the last remaining market town on the ancient Tea-Horse Caravan trail. It gets very busy on Friday.
When I arrived there the town looked pretty dead. Everything was closed and just the whole street was dug up. Though the architecture and the ancient looking alleyways captured my eyes. Next morning, which was Friday, Shaxi was a whole different town than the day before. The whole street was filled with people who want to buy and sell. Again, these markets are not for tourists; for people who are living in small villages around the town. The Bai people from all the villages in Shaxi Valley and the Yi people from the surrounding mountains all come together to trade everything from fresh produces to supplies and horses.
The best part was sidewalk dentistry. I’ve only heard about it, I never thought I could see one, and I did, twice. Plenty of other interesting things were going on the market. Selling the hair, selling/buying birds, smoking cigarettes while selling tobacco, and watching people with their traditional outfits. I try to go markets in small towns, and each has their own color.
Here are some more photos from Shaxi Friday market.