Faces of Chong’an Market

 Guizhou Province 贵州省 Map

Faces of Chong’an Market is a continuation of a post from a few months ago. While the previous post focused on the market at Chong’an and the ambience, these photos focus on the the people. I hope you enjoy them.

Chong'an Market local men watching the world go by
Chong’an Market local men watching the world go by.

Faces of Chong’an Market / 重安市场的本地人

Faces of Chong’an Market is a selection of photos taken at the bustling market of Chong’an held once every five days.

Miao Ladies buying hats

Aesthetically, Chong’an won’t win any prizes, and you definately won’t find it in any China photo book on a coffee table. However, you will encounter an incredible number of archetypal Chinese characters that appear to have leapt straight out of an ancient classic Chinese novel. The pipe smoking men with wispy beards and the colourful minority women in local dress are the stars of the show at Chong’an.

Faces of Chong'an Market Pipe Smoker
Lighting up and having a smoke

Chong’an is small scruffy rural town not too far from the vibrant city of vibrant Kaili. It’s buildings are more than dilapidated and somewhat even Dickensian. 

However, that is not to say it is not without its own charm and the minorities, principally, Miao and Gejia; the latter being a sub-group of the Miao, really compensate for the architectual horrors.

Faces of Chong'an Market Miao lady Shopping in the muddy streets
Miao lady Shopping in the muddy streets

The surrounding countryside, on the other hand is a different kettle of fish. Meandering rivers and verdant hills dotted with pretty  minority villages are within easy walking distance of  the town.

Faces of Chong'an Market trap seller
Business seems slow for the fish trap seller

Faces of Chong’an Market: Taking the Photos

I used up two roles of film at Chong’an and Margie another one. I suppose if I had had a digital camera I would have taken even more photos.

Faces of Chong'an Market Gejia Lady inspecting the produce
Gejia Lady inspecting the produce

I still have some qualms with digital photography. I feel that when you knew you had to pay for developing your pictures, you spent more time framing them better .

Faces of Chong'an Market
Happy shopper

The photos of the I took at Chong’an were taken on a pretty bog standard camera. Nevertheless, I really love these photos and they continue to give me joy when I go back and look at them.

Cupping while shopping Faces of Chong'an Market
A little bit of Cupping while shopping

The market goers appeared relaxed when I was taking a photo. I would raise my camera and ask Keyi 可以 (can I)?  Nobody ever objected. Even when I was taking the photos of the clients undergoing cupping treatment (these photos), they just smiled and encouraged me to take the photos.

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Every Five day Chong’an Market

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Every Five day Chong'an Market
Every Five day Chong’an Market

Every Five day Chong’an Market

Every five day Chong’an Market Guizhou 重安市场贵州 is just openning for business. The early morning mist and heavy cloud cover bestowed an eerie atmosphere over Chong’an. The river was motionless and silky smooth like a millpond. The town and the surrounding scenery seemed as if suspended in a landscape painting. Silence reigned. Then there was a shout, a curse and the haggling began. Chong’an Market was open for business.

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Buying Hats


Coming and going: We visited Chong’an from Zhenyuan in a car we had hired. The trip took about two and a half hours as we stopped at a few places on the way and back. However, if you are using public transport, then it is better to travel from Kaili, from where regular buses leave throughout the day.

Every Five day Chong'an Market

Accommodation: We saw a couple of nice and simple guesthouses with signs welcoming foreigners near the wooden suspension bridge. Near this area there are also a number of interesting looking paths leading off into the green hills, towards other Miao villages.


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