Sunday, July 25, 2010

Farmers Markets

CNN had an article listing the 10 best farmers markets in the United States that are good for travelers. I was surprised to see that Seattle's Pike Place Market, a major tourist attraction in the Emerald City, wasn't on the list, though a smaller Seattle area farmers market was.

I used to love to go to farmers markets, seeing the produce all fresh and gleaming. But that was before I moved to Beijing. If you wanted fresh fruit and vegetables, you bought from a produce stand on the street: tomatoes at one stand, celery and carrots at another, apples here, bananas there. At each stand, because you were a foreigner, you had to bargain hard to get a price that was anywhere close to what the Chinese paid.  Produce shopping was no longer fun; instead, it became a dreaded chore.

The picture is a veggie stand in Chaping, a suburb of Beijing, where we visited friends on our last trip to China. Most veggie stands don't have this variety of produce. Here's a link to an article I wrote about the vegetables you can find in China.  

I occasionally go to our local farmers markets, but I don't enjoy them as much. Once in awhile, we might go to the Pike Place Market, but mainly because my husband likes a couple of magazine shops there.

If you're planning a trip to China, please check my website for ideas and information. If you have questions about travel in China, please feel free to email me.  Looking for Beijing guidebooks written from a different perspective, check out my guides, available in both print and electronic formats.

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