Posted: 09 December 2007 at 4:39am | IP Logged
Shop until you drop on China's premier shopping street Nanjing Road, or head for the Yuyuan Bazaar for Chinese crafts and jewelry not far from the Bund. Nanjing Road is a long street. The more famous part lies in the east near the Bund (Nanjing Road East), with a 1-km long pedestrian boulevard (Metro line 2 at Henan Road station) lined with busy shops. The wide boulevard is often packed with people on weekends and holidays. The shops are often targeted at domestic tourists, so the prices are surprisingly reasonable. Local people often look down on Nanjing Road and shop at Huaihai Road (another busy shopping boulevard with more upscale stores) instead. For the very high end, go to the west end of Nanjing Road West near Jing'an Temple. Several large shopping malls (Plaza 66 aka Henglong Plaza, Citic Plaza, Meilongzhen Plaza, and others being built) house boutiques bearing the most famous names in fashion. No. 3 on the Bund is another high-end shopping center featuring Giorgio Armani's flagship store in China.
The infamous Xiangyang Market was finally shut down for good in June 2006. There are a few other shopping malls which have sprouted up where you can also purchase knock-off products. The biggest "replacement" market is in the metro station (Line 2) at the Shanghai Science & Technology Museum (?????). The most common name for the market is "A.P. New XinYang Fashion Market." There are a number of variations, and the name really doesn't even matter. The easiest way to get there is by metro.
The horrendously crowded Qipu Lu clothing market is a mass of stalls jammed into a warehouse sized building which would take the casual stroller most of a day to look through. Another option is the Pearl Plaza located on Yan'an Xi Lu and Hongmei Lu as well as the unassuming shopping center located on the corner of Nanjing Xi Lu and Chongqing Lu. Haggling can be fun for those who are accustomed to it, but those sensitive to the pressure might want to steer clear. Not only can it be stressful to haggle, but just walking in to the buildings can bring a horde of people upon you trying to sell you bags, watches, DVDs and all assortment of goods.
But rather than pursuing knock-offs of Western brands, one of the more interesting things to do in Shanghai is to check out the small boutiques along Chang Le Lu and other streets in the French Concession area. Some of these are run by individual designers of clothing, jewelry etc and so the items on sale can truly be said to be unique. Visitors from overseas should expect the usual problem of finding larger sizes however...
Shanghai Foreign Languages Bookstore (Shanghai Book Traders) in 390 Fuzhou Road offers a lot of books in English and other major languages, especially for learning Chinese. Fuzhou Road is also a good street to wander around and find Chinese calligraphy related shops.
Those interested in DVDs of movies and television shows have a wide variety of options. Aside from the people selling DVDs out of boxes on street corners you can also find a good selection of movies at many local DVD shops in most neighborhoods. Perhaps the best way to score a deal with a shop is to be a regular. If you provide them repeat business they are usually quite happy to give you discounts for your loyal patronage. Typically DVDs can cost anywhere from 5 for standard disks to 10-12 for DVD-9 format disks.
However, if you are short on time in Shanghai and don't have the means to form a relationship with a shop, many people recommend the Ka De Club. An expat favorite for years, they have two shops: one in 483, Zhenning Road and the other one in 505, Da Gu Road (a small street between Weihai Road and Yan'an Road). While the selection at the Ka De Club isn't bad the downside of this store's popularity is that with so many foreigners giving them business, you tend to get somewhat higher prices than at local shops and haggling and repeat customer bargains are pretty much non-existent.
Antiques, jade and communist China memorabilia can be found in Dongtai Road Street Market, where you must bargain if you want to get a fair deal. Yuyuan Gardens is another good option for antiques. There are two basement markets. You will have to hunt for them, but they are worth the effort. As with any market in China, don't be afraid to bargain to get a fair price.