Saturday, October 2, 2010

Shanghai Markets

I am not a shopper.

However, Shanghai seduces even one such as me into opening the wallet for some bargains. First of all, the South Bund Fabric Market 南外滩轻纺面料市场, has about five hundred tailors willing and able to set one up with some spiffy new threads. Being unable to find anything much in my portly size in Korea, I absolutely had to take advantage of this, and I got 4 dress shirts and 2 pairs of slacks tailored here for about 150,000 W.

The Dong Tai Lu Antiques Market 东台路古玩市场 consists of a couple of alleys not far from People's Square, full of mainly reproduction ancient China pieces and mostly legit cultural revolution flotsam. I got Mao's little red book in English/Chinese for 50 yuan (8,500 W) and some better deals. The trick here is to offer 1/3 or 1/4 the asking price and stick to it. If they don't meet your price, don't pretend to walk away--actually walk away!

The other tip I have for these places is to be sure you have lots of small bills. We have the "1/3 rule", they have the once you get a bill, don't give change, just offer stuff to make up the difference rule!

Walking east from the Dong Tai Lu market, you will find and cross a main road called Renmin Lu (all that remains of ancient Shanghai's city wall). One block south, you can enter the Flower, Fish, Bird and Insect Market (my "Walking Around Shanghai" video in the previous post is worth watching just for this). You can't really buy anything here because of Customs when you get home, but it is a unique experience!

I did manage to pick up a curio or two at the Yuyuan Gardens Bazaar, using the same 1/3 rule. This is a massive tourist mall that has seemingly grown up to meet the shopping needs of visitors/predatory needs of Chinese entrepreneurs near one of Shanghai's glistening pearls, the Yu Gardens 豫园 (yu is apparently pronounced 'yi'). I included Yu Gardens in the "Walking Around Shanghai" video but here are a few more photos of this gorgeous spot:

The story is told that a barge carrying a precious stone to the Emperor in Beijing foundered at Shanghai and the Pan family, wealthy Ming dynasty officials, were later able to recover it. Thus the Exquisite Jade Rock became the centerpiece of their garden:

Remember you can click on any picture to see a full-sized version.

1 comment:

Why am I here??? said...

Love the photos! It reminded me of my trip there ;)