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Zhengzhou Street Market

The Yellow River flows through Henan Province, and this region is considered the cradle of Chinese civilization. Besides Luoyang, the province is home to a number of other ancient capitals of past dynasties. We were in Henan mainly to see the Shaolin Temple (which I plan to blog about later). Below are pictures I took while roaming a local street market in Zhengzhou, the provincial capital. Local street markets show a grittier side of China, one that is inhabited by the majority of the people today. Yes, there were little ones with slit pants roaming around which I have decided to not show. Mentally, the distance between what those creatures produced and what I ate were too short for comfort.

One thing striking about the market is that the manufactured goods available are mostly made of plastic. Clothes sold here are of low thread count and poor quality. China is still dirt poor. Water use is frugal.

Don’t think for a moment that these Chinese don’t want their streets to be tiled with marble. Don’t think for a moment that they don’t want the most fashionable cloths made from the most high-end materials. They are toiling away to crawl out of this poverty. For now, they make do the best they can with what they have. Just about everyone I talk to thinks China is growing, and it’s only a matter of time before standards of living markedly improves.

Street market in Zhengzhou

Vegetable stand with fresh produce from local farmers driven into the city by small vans in the morning.

Noodle vendor

My lunch. I asked the vendor to use as little oil as possible. He thought I was a reporter, but I assured him I am only interested in showing how enticing his made-to-order noodle is! It was good.

Various vegetables or meats on skewers in hot pot style. Some are spicy and some are not. I tried home-made tofu prepared with wood fire. The tofu also has a more coarse texture. Yum!

Food stand. The market opens all night.

Food stand.

Fruit stand. These grapes came straight off the vine and have never been refrigerated. The freshness is difficult to describe.

Fried tofu with pepper roasted over wooden coal.

  1. pug_ster
    July 27th, 2012 at 15:23 | #1

    *sigh* If I wasn’t so busy looking for a job, I would be thinking of going to China for a week or 2.

  2. March 30th, 2013 at 23:38 | #2

    I should point out that CBS’s 60 Minutes recently did a “ghost city” report using Zhengzhou as an example:

    It’s too bad. My impression of CBS’s 60 Minutes program has dramatically changed. I find it mind-boggling that Lesley Stahl could physically be there and claim that area as a “ghost city.” The 5-star building in the middle of that lake is still under construction! For the other finished buildings, there are definitely people living in them. My guess would be that community is about 20-30% full.

    She simply had to visit one of the nearby malls and she would see all the people shopping there.

    Stahl says “no residence.” Unbelievable!

  3. pug_ster
    March 31st, 2013 at 01:28 | #3


    Don’t believe in the 60 minutes propaganda. As for the empty mall there, I think that place looks too ‘high end’ and there was another mall close by which is packed.

    Talking about ghost cities, 60 minutes should come to Orlando. Ironically, they have a massive homeless population to boot.


  4. Zack
    March 31st, 2013 at 01:31 | #4

    so let me ask you, what purpose does this sort of misreporting serve?
    Does it console an american audience that is insecure about their nation’s slide into a multipolar world?
    Are they hoping that somehow some US investor in charge of billions of dollars is going to pull his money out of China tomorrow, leading to a much hoped for Chinese collapse, and civil war and democracy?

  5. March 31st, 2013 at 13:39 | #5

    Thx for the link, pug_ster. I actually stayed at the Novetel! We walked to the nearby mall #7 (I forgot the exact number) and there was a MASSIVE grocery store at the basement level. Seeing the people and the variety of stuff in there, I am wondering what CBS/60 Minutes is thinking. Their program would immediately be exposed. Yet they went ahead. Pretty sad.

  6. March 31st, 2013 at 13:43 | #6

    Yeah, it’s pretty bizarre. If you think about the modern day Christian fanatics who is hellbent on viewing other religions, especially Muslim, as evil, they frequently will get caught for making up nonsense. U.S. media treat ‘democracy’ as religion, so anything other than it must be bad. I thinks that’s the psychology.

  7. pug_ster
    September 24th, 2013 at 11:24 | #7


    Lol. Looks like Western propaganda flip flopped about China’s ghost cities. Even WSJ propaganda admits it. Cities, including Zhengzhou are not really ghost cities after all.

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