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Explore the culture and cuisine of Xizhou through our specially curated morning market tour, and through this uncover the various lifestyles of the Bai ethnic minority.

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Experience hosted by Linden

2 hours
Includes food
Up to 8 people
Hosted in English, Chinese (Simplified)

What you'll do

Every day for over 10 years we have been taking guests out to explore Xizhou, passing through rice fields, investigating hidden alleyways, and uncovering true stories as we walk through the local morning market. In only a little over 2 hours you can truly experience life in Xizhou, understanding everything from its people, history, and architecture, down to its unique culinary culture!
Exploring small alleyways: In order to give you a glimpse of the real Xizhou, we take all of our guests through a part of the maze of alleyways that are essential to life in this small town, that are just far enough away from the noisy main roads bustling with groups of people. In these swerving alleyways, traditional architecture and stories await at every corner, and you may even be lucky enough to get a chance to peak into one of the many Bai style courtyards you’ll pass by as you explore. It is in these very alleyways that you will be able first handedly walk where the infamous Tea Horse Road took place and see where torches are burned by the hundreds to celebrate the local Torch Festival in August. Slowly meandering along the way as our knowledgeable guides tell local stories and fables passed down generationally throughout the community.
Uncovering the local market: Do you know what one of the favorite activities of Xizhou locals is? Hurrying to the village’s morning market, carrying bamboo weaved baskets on their backs that will soon be filled with meat, vegetables, and the local dish “Er Kuai” to bring home and cook for their families. The first stop for us will be the local “Er Kuai” factory. Here you will be able to experience for yourself the simple but historic process that goes into making this local favorite, and you’ll even be able to taste a fresh piece of it before heading out into the market! Then after passing by local steamed bun shops, antique shops, as well as local tailor and barber shops, we will arrive to a street bustling to the brim with fruit vendors, which symbolizes the beginning of the market. Swarming with people, this local watering hole is not only a place that offers every type of fresh produce imaginable, but also a daily distribution center for the greater Dali region. Meandering through the different areas of the market, our guide will explain to you all the local specialties seen on display, as well as helping you buy any delicious Xizhou snacks you may have your eye on!
Once the rainy season approaches, you’ll see 2 or 3 aunties selling fresh mushrooms picked straight from the mountain out of woven baskets on every corner. The local chefs seem to always have a special eye when it comes to picking out the best of the bunch, which they then steep into fragrant soups. Approaching the exit of the market you’ll see a dou hua (soft bean curd) stall, where residents await as the vendor pours a sweet brown sugar syrup on top of the soft bean curd resting inside a traditional china bowl, and then subsequently squat on small stools to enjoy the sweet treat in the mist of the market. In addition this market boasts stalls loaded with local specialties such as sour green papaya, cool chicken, and rice noodles of varying shapes and textures, all Xizhou staples I personally recommend! In the heat of summer we can also take guests to Si Fang Jie, the village center, where a famous “Bing Bang” or Xizhou ice pop store has been operating for over 30 years where guests can try one of the classic milk flavor ice pops, or a newer flavor such as watermelon or mango!
Strolling through the Linden Commons: After the hustle and bustle of the town marketplace, a peaceful stroll through a tranquil site is in need. Lucky for us, nestled right behind the energetic village center lies the quiet Linden Commons, complete with large courtyards and a beautiful open air garden. After returning from the market, everyone can listen to the magnificent story of the residence’s previous owner and businessman, Yang Bao Cheng, shuffle through both English and Chinese texts in our small library, or simply rest under the shade of the garden trees. At this last stop we will also enjoy a fresh lunch of authentic Bai dishes especially curated for our guests in the Linden Commons garden. (The chef will prepare dishes in accordance to the preferred flavors of the guests, with about 1 dish present for each guest, in the instance of only one guest, he/she will be provided with two smaller servings of different dishes. In addition, every guest will receive a soft drink.) After finishing your delicious meal the morning market tour will be over!
After strolling through some of the twisting alleyways of Xizhou, tasting local milk flavored ice pops, rose cheese and chicken rice noodles, and watching the rice fields change from a vibrant amber into a lush green, you will be sure to leave us with beautiful memories you will never forget!
Every day for over 10 years we have been taking guests out to explore Xizhou, passing through rice fields, investigating hidden alleyways, and uncovering true stories as we walk through the local morning market. In only a little over 2 hours you can truly experience life in Xizhou, understanding everything from its people, history, and architecture, down to its unique culinary culture!
Exploring small alleyways: In order to give you a glimp…

Linden's commitment to safety

This host committed to Airbnb’s COVID-19-related safety and cleaning guidelines—including adhering to social distancing guidelines, practicing good hygiene, and ensuring that all participants wear a mask.
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What's included

  • Food
    The activity includes lunch, and depending on the time of year and market c...
From $28
/ person
No dates available

Meet your host, Linden

Host on Airbnb since 2018
  • Identity verified
My name is Brian Linden and I am the founder of the Linden Centre. I have now been an active member of the Xizhou community for over 10 years! Xizhou is one of the birthplaces of Bai ethnic minority culture, and is also a well-known spot on the famous Tea-Horse Road, which is where business in Xizhou originates from. The rich history, culture, and natural resources of Xizhou still seem to be a secret to the outside world, and in addition to famous cuisines such as the Xizhou Baba, this small village boasts an array of delicious Bai delicacies and snacks just waiting to be tasted. Having been so lucky to live here for many years, I now more so than ever want to share the beautiful Xizhou with more people, and through these types of experiences help others to understand Dali, understand Bai people, and truly get a deeper understanding for this peaceful village I now call home.
My team and I have worked hard to put together unique experiences for people of all ages and nationalities coming to Xizhou, and in doing so have been fortunate enough to showcase the magical environment and culinary wonders of this small village.
My name is Brian Linden and I am the founder of the Linden Centre. I have now been an active member of the Xizhou community for over 10 years! Xizhou is one of the birthplaces of Bai ethnic minority culture, and is also a well-known spot on the famous Tea-Horse Road, which is where business in Xizhou originates from. The rich history, culture, and natural resources of Xizhou still seem to be a secret to the outside world, and in addition to famous cuisines such as the Xizhou Baba, this small vil…
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Where you'll be

We will meet at the nationally protected heritage site and hotel, the Linden Centre (Pin Xiang Zhai Location), then pass by the iconic Xizhou Corner House and continue to stroll past ancient architecture, into local alleyways, a local “Er Kuai” factory and into the daily morning market, finally ending at the beautiful Linden Commons, the original residence of one of the most important men in Xizhou history, where we will have lunch.

Things to know

Cancellation policy

Any experience can be canceled and fully refunded within 24 hours of purchase, or at least 7 days before the experience starts.

Government ID

You’ll need to take a picture of yourself that matches the photo on your ID. This is so Airbnb can confirm who’s actually going on the experience. You’ll only have to do this once.

Guest requirements

Up to 8 guests ages 18 and up can attend. Parents may also bring children under 2 years of age.

More tips

There is only one market tour each morning and it begins at 9:30, we ask that you please arrive at the Linden Centre at least 10 minutes prior to the start of the tour.
Due to the fact that this is a group activity you will be sharing this experience with different kinds of people, and there is a small possibility we may have to briefly wait for others, we simply ask that you respect one and other in order to provide a fun environment for all involved.
Please let us know ahead of time if you have any dietary restrictions

What to bring

We recommend wearing athletic sneakers for we will be doing a fair amount of walking.

prepared with sunscreen as the sun is strong here!