Markets in China
Replies: 14 - Last Post: May 5, 2012 6:30 AM Last Post By: Mischale
Apr 27, 2012 2:04 PM
Apr 27, 2012 2:11 PM
1You need to name the city you will be in. The LP Guidebooks and City Guides list them all. It also depends what your looking for too. Many of the popular tourist transit points or venues sell a endless array of crap too, there are markets of all sorts everywhere. This country has 1.5 billion people, and they are very fashion oriented, every city has markets, markets for everything. This holds true for most of Asia, but whats nice about China, you are at the source...
The market serves as the main epicenter for commerce outside of retail store fronts, it is in the DNA of the Chinese to have a market for everything, and to bargain like its a friendly conversation about weather. There are entire markets for just electronics, jewelry, photography equipment, home appliances, childrens clothing, adult clothing, shoes, toys, were talking 6 floors of small stalls/store selling laptops or cell phones. Remember, 15 years ago, they didnt have shopping malls and retail store like now.
I found a market in Shanghai, where the local wholesalers go, that was 4 buildings, 1 building was 4 floors of sleepwear, 1 building was 4 floors of just knits, and another building was all womens denim, and another building was all mens clothes, endless stalls on each floor, you could not try on anything, and many of the items were sold in bulk, in a size range. There was a market my wife found, than was 6 floors of dresses, many were designer, you just had to look thru loads and racks of product, in 15 color versions.
When buying anything in a market for tourist or locals alike that retail, you need to start off 75% below their asking price, as they jack up the price to foreigners anyway, if you pay more than 50% off the original price, you paid to much, and if they dont like it, just walk, in about 5 steps they will chase you down with special price :)
Now, as far as buying the real name brand vs the fake, is tough. My best advice, is look at the care label inside, if its in english, and has sizing in english and metric, it might be the real deal, but its tough, you really need to know what the original fabric and exact design details are.
For jewelry, no way, consider it all fake or cheap, but there is great fun jewelry/watches to be had, just bargain down low.
Antiques- The Chinese are so good at replicating fakes, the fakes are fakes of fakes, and look real. Dont even go down that road unless you have a trained eye, and even then, its a sham odds are, even coins.
The reputable antique places tend to be small store fronts catering to the Chinese, in the store will usually be men in back playing cards or reading the paper, english is not spoken. My wife is from Beijing and with her we could learn a lot, but most of the nice porcelian and jade and gems, as well as wood objects, and very old items from various dynasty's, are very expensive, these shop owners are small collectors, I just enjoy looking at all the old beautiful antiques, I do collect coins and bought a few, but only after my wife found out from a wealthy reputable family, who to deal with, and father went with me too. if your not a trained gemologist or know your precious metals, be very careful. There are very reputable stores selling fine antiques that cater to foreigners, but even that can be a minefield, and the prices can be museum quality type.
Shanghai has one outdoor market for old stuff, its a few blocks of rinky dink stalls with everything from old watches to cameras and vases, its mostly to entice the tourist, and aint worth beans...
Apr 27, 2012 3:02 PM
Apr 27, 2012 4:24 PM
3Thank you for the detailed information. I was interested in going to Kaili and then going to the market in Shidong where Miao people sell silver jewelry and embroideries but I read someone said here that she was disappointed with the market so I was wondering if there are any other market where people sell their crafts. I am not interested in designer clothings or jewelry but interested in hand craft items. I'm starting my trip in Beijing and haven't really decided which city I'm going yet.
Apr 27, 2012 4:30 PM
Apr 27, 2012 5:13 PM
Apr 27, 2012 10:05 PM
6if you are looking for miao goods there is an NGO in Kunming that works with a local village to sell their embroidery, they will even take you to the village to interact with the people if you so chose. The organization is called "One Village, One Product" their website is www.ovop.blog.sohu.com, email@example.com - it may not be a market but they sell a lot of minority products and the profits go back to the local villages. They also have a store in the Ethnic Minority Park outside of Kunming, other than that I would say most cities in China have their own markets that sell just about everything, Kunming is know for it's bird and flower market.
Apr 28, 2012 4:11 AM
Guizhou province is a great place to have a look
Shaoxing had some great silverware and not that chinese 2 dollar stuff and embroidery
Picked up some nice pieces of emdroidery there with quite a few shops selling nice pieces of cloth as well as varied silver pieces
There is also an excellent antique shop selling all sorts of embroidery amongst other things and the owner has excellent english and is very helpful.
Shidong was a disappointment for me at the market , did not see a lot of silverware and little embroiderey but an old lady did approach me with pieces and also took me back to her room where she had a lot of pieces . .
It was fascinating to see her room which was so neat and tidy , everything in place , television in the corner teapot on a table , a real classy grandma . Certainly a time when I wished I had a grasp of the language.
Xijiang was another place with some nice handicraft shops with ladies in one shop doing their work
There are a couple of shops in Kaili also selling minority handicrafts .
Langde , a nice place , had signs indicating embroiderers but they were all closed at the time
The ladies on the bridge at Chengyang , Guanxi province, also have a wide range of embriodered pieces. Did not see much silver ware
Dehang in Hunan Province was another place for embroidery with some very old Miao ladies still using hand looms to make there own cloth and then into Miao jackets They make fabulous baskets in Dehang just a bit too big to carry
I did buy a fabulous basket in Shaoxing , the seller had it full of goodies for sale and when I asked her to buy it , she was rather surprised but soon emptied the contents onto the ground and came up with a price .
It was more than my accomodation but it was fabulous
Also when travelling around check out those little boutiques in those little rooms , they often have little ''gems'' so to speak
A piece of this and that
Also when you see it and you want it buy it as you will not see it again.
Of course its wise to bargain , hard if you want , but always remember that when you get back home it will be worth a lot more to you than what you paid for it
Ask yourself , what is it worth to me
Have not been to the north for many many years , prefer the south but from what I seen the south is the place
Baskets and embroidery (hand made ) are fast disappearing so get them while you can
Edited by: sakya
Apr 28, 2012 4:14 AM
8I would strongly recommend visiting the Kaili area in Guizhou. You can stay in Kaili as a base and then visit a number of towns/villages that are only an hour away by bus.
I went to excellent markets in both Taijiang and Chong'an. I saw very little silver jewellery for sale but there was a lot of exquisite embroidery and hand woven fabrics - I puchased a few items myself. These crafts are not made for tourists, they are made to sell to other villagers, so the prices are extremely reasonable. Its a very un-touristy area, I think I only saw 2 or 3 other foreigners during a week in a the Kaili area.
The markets are a great way of seeing minority people and their traditional way of life.
A lot of the markets are held every 5 days. You need to contact the CITS office in Kaili to ask the specific days of the markets in each town. Or you can just arrive in Kaili and ask which markets are on at that time.
Here is the website for the Kaili CITS, which also has their contact details. Billy Zhang is one of the most active staff members and he is a wealth of information: http://www.toguizhou.com/
Apr 28, 2012 4:51 PM
Apr 29, 2012 2:10 AM
Shaoxing is on page 684 of the China book and on page 138 of the China South West Book
As Dale suggests , have a look at the Toguizhou site , excellent info
The link below on Shaoxing is part of it
Shaoxing and surrounds is a wonderful place.
Apr 29, 2012 6:33 AM
11I bought a gorgeous embroidery from an old chinese man at a little old shop in Dali. I sew and could tell it was handmade and real silk and had been removed from an item of clothing or something. It also felt old although who knows. Either way I loved it and wanted it regardless. We haggled to 300 rmb. The guy seemed a little too happy so we wondered if we'd paid too much. No matter.
In yangshuo I saw the same design in a miao embroidery store on the main drag. the lady explained it was about 60 years old and was a popular design back then . It had been taken off a coat. Who knows if this was true but the best bit is she quoted me 2800 rmb!!!! So i reckon we got a good deal! it is incredibly gorgeous. There is lot of fake "handmade" embroidery out there. Still beautiful but not worth much more than the materials as no time goes into it.
May 1, 2012 12:31 PM
12I'll definitely visit Kaili area, Shaoxing, Chong'an market, and some other places you guys mentioned.
Thank you so much for your detailed information and suggestions!!!
May 2, 2012 4:36 AM
13I'm planning to arrive in Guiyang airport, take a train to Kaili, spend 2,3 days there to visit surrounding villages, then head to Zhaoxing area then take a few buses to Guilin airport. Would 6 days enough for this trip? or is it better to go back to Guiyang airport?
Someone on this forum said he didn't enjoy the bus trip between Congjian to Guilin because of the bad road but his post was from 2007. Is the road better now and do you have any suggetions for the route between Guanyang to Guilin?
Also, Someone from this forum or other travel wesite said he preferred Yuanyang, Yunnan for the scenery and greater diversity
minorities. Any suggestions for travelling around Yuanyang Yunnan, villages and markets there?
May 5, 2012 6:30 AM
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