It goes without saying that there is plenty to see and do in exotic Shanghai, China, but what you might not guess is that you can get a real taste of Shanghai life and culture just by rummaging through the city’s unique mix of street side shops and markets. As a matter of fact, Shanghai has so much to offer in this realm that you may need some guidance when it comes to finding your way around. Here are some points of interest when it comes to exploring Shanghai’s stunning markets and shops.
Madame Mao’s Dowery. This is the perfect shop for you if you are interested in Chinese memorabilia. From old black and white Chinese photographs to revolution-themed dinnerware, you can be sure to find plenty of novel items to suit your fancy in this charming, one of a kind shop.
Flower, Bird, Fish and Insect Market. This maze-like market is just as whimsical as it sounds. There, you can find . . . well . . . an intriguing variety of flowers, birds, fish, and insects. Sure, you might not necessarily want to purchase a couple of fighting crickets, but this curious market is great for window “shopping” and photo ops, almost more than for anything else.
Feline Cashmere. Guess what this shop sells? That’s right – if you are looking to cozy up in some smooth as silk cashmere, then you simply must head to this quaint shop. At Feline Cashmere, you will find virtually every color and style you can imagine, and in any size you need. While cashmere is always a bit pricey, the cost doesn’t nearly compare to what you’d pay in the states, so this is the perfect place to shop if you are looking for gifts to bring back to your loved ones on the home front.
Hong Qiao New World Pearl Market. Create your own, custom jewelry and trinkets at this market, where you can shop a variety of freshwater pearl, natural stone, seawater pearl, and crystal jewelers to find your perfect picks, and then string them yourself or have a vendor string them for you. This is not just a market, but an experience, and a great activity the entire family can enjoy.
Harvest Studio. This shop sells only items that are hand-crafted, in ancient custom, by genuine Miao tribeswomen. If you are looking for truly unique and beautiful gifts, then you must visit Harvest Studio, where you can find intricate hand-embroidered pieces and delicate silver body decorations that take literally years to complete.
If you are into shopping, then there is no place in the world like Shanghai. Exploring Shanghai’s shops and markets is nothing like visiting a mall or boutique, and that’s just the way it should be.
About the Author: Carry Grosskopf loves shopping and exploring different cultures. She hired a China travel agent to plan her next trip to Shanghai and plans to spend a great deal of time in local shops and restaurants.