One of the highlights of a visit to this area includes going to the market in Sideng and shopping where travelers have shopped for centuries. It is one of Yunnan's finest traditional markets. The best time to go is between 11 AM and 2 PM on Friday. On Friday, Yi people come down from their mountain villages and the Bai people come in from around the valley. Many dress in their finest attire. The market serves as a meeting place for friends and family as well as a place to trade for goods. It is a good place to buy local craft goods such as wooden carvings and locally produced food. The valley is renowned for its honey and mushrooms. You can also buy coffee, tea and locally made honey-yoghurt that is a traditional food. The animal market is an interesting as well. Pigs, cows, goats, sheep, ducks, and chickens are traded openly in a large field adjacent to the main road.
As tourism increases and as the people modernize, there are less natively produced goods and more factory produced goods from outside the area. But it is still one of the more traditional native markets.
I updated this article on November 5, 2012
See all my travel articles