The real shopper’s paradise, though,
is Shanghai’s local markets, and these can be found throughout
the city. The most popular of these is the Shanghai Xiang Yang
Shìchang Market, west from the Bund side of Nanjing
Road. The Copy Market, as only the local westerners call it,
offers a wide variety of clothes, bags, and everything else
an imaginative shopper can envision, including a food market
in the back. The vendors sell their merchandise out of rooms
connected in a row of buildings. It is an open air market,
so in winter it is very cold.
Visiting the local markets can be a tedious process because the
locals constantly shove their merchandise in your face. You can’t
step out of a taxi without someone coming up to you hawking DVDs,
watches, or bags. Just stay firm with them. They’ll laugh
and leave you alone — for a few minutes at least.
One thing the Chinese are good at is tailoring. Take a trip to
one of the local fabric markets and be amazed at what they can
make for an affordable price. They can make a copy of your favorite
pair of pants, the one you’ve worn and washed so many times
that they are starting to fade and tear. Just bring them to a
tailor and they will make a new pair for about $10, which includes
labor and fabric.
In addition to shopping, Shanghai has a surfeit of sights. At
the end of Nanjing Road is the city’s passion and its past,
the Shanghai Grand Theatre and Museum.
Take a cab from there to the Yu Yuan Garden, a 400-year-old garden
in Shanghai’s Old Town, an oasis of peace and comfort.
Make sure to visit the Hu Xin Ting Teahouse also know as the
Mid-Lake Pavilion Teahouse, located in the middle of a lake filled
with hundreds of goldfish. This is one of China’s most
famous teahouses, having been visited by both Queen Elisabeth
II and former President Bill Clinton. Yu Yuan Bazaar offers some
great local shopping.
New meets old in Xiantiandi. This is an upscale area of town
where there are many modern restaurants and shops. Yet Old Shanghai
is just around the corner. The market here sells a lot of Chinese
artifacts—mostly copies—out of old and gray houses.
Old men and women play mahjong, and clothes hang out of windows
on sticks drying along with the meat for the evening dinner.
In the distance, over the ancient roofs, a clutch of skyscrapers
hover by the river.
Beyond the Huangpu, on the Pudong side, with the skyscrapers,
is one of Shanghai’s modern symbols, the Oriental Pearl
TV Tower. It’s not quite the tallest building in Shanghai,
which now has the third-tallest building in the world, but visitors
can go up to an observation deck that provides a 360-degree view
of the city.
The Shanghai Ocean Aquarium is found right next door, a glass
dome that invites visitors to walk beneath overhead tanks full
of marine life.
The city is always awake. There is always something going on,
and the experience is amazing. Seeing the old customs mix with
a new lifestyle is fascinating.
All photos courtesy