Aromas of charcoal, star anise, clove, cinnamon, and pepper float through the air. Along the street, dozens of vendors have towed in their grills by bicycle to set up an assortment of food and beverages. The most common consumers of their wares would be students and evening wanderers. In front of their grills, baskets of raw meat and vegetables are placed on skewers, waiting to be cooked. Everything from broccoli, snap peas, and spicy peppers to chicken hearts and bacon can be found, with some vendors carrying particular charcuterie from their home town or region.
Other markets, such as the Wushan Lu night market in Hangzhou, are less focused on food. Instead, material goods overwhelm the scene flooded by high-powered fluorescent lighting. Many of the items sold in this market are less expensive imitations of luxury designer items.
Some markets, such as the seemingly spontaneous fair at the public plaza in East Ujimqin, hold an assortment of food, material goods, and games for people to enjoy. After the ChinaVine team returned from a day of fieldwork in Inner Mongolia, we found this market set up near our lodging. Locals informed us that the fair was set up as a part of celebrations for the Bayan Oboo festival held the following day.