Shanghai’s Top 10 Shopping Markets

Shanghai’s top 10 shopping markets are under review!

On Nanjing Xi Lu, in mid-May, the temperature is heating up. A delivery man stops his bike, gulps down a drink and unthinkingly tosses the empty plastic bottle on the ground. Western observers are scarcely able to suppress their indignation at such careless littering, but within seconds a man carrying a garbage bag walks by and picks the bottle up.

A moment later another man, plying a similar trade, approaches from the opposite direction. There is a short territorial dispute over who is entitled to this precious piece of litter.

For residents in certain Western countries – Canada and Germany for example – sorting the garbage has become a near full-time job. Newspapers, cardboard, plastics and bottles must be separated and even tiny violations can lead to forfeiting the right to have one’s trash collected. In Shanghai, on the other hand, there is a market in waste. Peddlers of recycled materials come to your home, weigh your ‘goods’ and pay to take away your garbage.

Men ride through communities with loudspeakers calling out kongtiao, diannao (air conditioner, computer). This familiar sound signals the trade in used electronics and household appliances, which, once discarded by city folks, are either sold to factories to be used as scrap or taken directly to the countryside where – if the items are still operational – they are sold on to less discerning customers. Here everything is bought and sold.

Dongtai Lu Antique Market, 87 Dongtai Lu, by Fu Xing Lu (6328 1589), is a treasure trove of old coins, books, propaganda posters and curiosities where bargaining skills are required to get a good price. Fenshine Fashion and Accessories Plaza, 580 Nanjing Xi Lu (5228 2372), is a popular substitute for Xiangyang Market selling imitation branded bags, pashminas, watches and other simulated luxuries – often indistinguishable from the authentic items, although quality varies enormously.

Hongqiao Flower Market, 718 Hong Jing Lu, Honqiao, sells fresh flowers, plants, vases, planters and handicrafts.

Hongqiao Pearl City, 2nd floor Hongmei Lu, by Yan’an Lu, is filled with booths selling pearls, semiprecious stones, coral and turquoise jewelry.

Nihong Kids Plaza, 10 Pu’an Lu (near Jinling Lu), a vast underground kids’ market, provides a one stop shopping venue for children’s clothes, shoes and toys. There is also an indoor play area where youngsters can romp while you shop.

Shanghai Xin Mai Peng Electronics Market, 638 Qiujiang Lu, 91 Baoshan Lu, and 723 Qiujiang Lu, is a great cyberpunk haunt – the place to go for gray-market technology products.

South Bund Fabric Market, 399 Lujiabang Lu (near Liushi Lu), provides a wonderworld of fabrics, from silks and cottons to brocade and cashmere. The market has highly skilled tailors who can produce or reproduce just about anything made of fabric, including well-cut men’s suits and elegant evening gowns.

Qipu Lu Wholesale Market, Qipu Lu, near Henan Lu, is overwhelmingly crowded but cheap, selling clothes, shoes, accessories.

Yatai Market, Metro Station of the Science and Technology Museum, Pudong, the rather sterile and dull version of the old Xiangyang market, nevertheless hosts an impressive assortment of gift shops, luggage stores and knock-off items.

Yuyuan Bazaar, Fuyou Lu, by Jiujiachang Lu, bustles with traders selling Chinese lanterns, chopsticks, faux silk qipaos and hongbao. The adjacent Fuyou Lu Antique Market provides another option for those in search of antique collectables.

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