Retail Therapy In China!
Whether you are intrigued by the quirky wonderful street markets or extravagant glitzy shopping malls, China has it all for every shoppers desires! China is the worlds largest factory! No matter what it is you are looking for, you are bound to find it here!
Everything in china is at a fraction of the cost compared to the UK, why? This is because you are not paying for any shipping costs, the clothes are made in China, all you need to pay for are the materials. You will find familiar brands such as Top Shop and River Island included in these.
Top 5 Shopping Destinations in China
1. Wangfujing Street in Beijing
Wangfujing Street is one of the most popular and largest pedestrian shopping streets in China. During the warmer seasons there are a number of outdoor cafes, to take a break from shopping with an ice-cream (or ice-cold beer!) under the shady umbrellas. This street is also home to many large department stores, food stalls, Chinese souvenir stores and Chinese art stores. During the evening the night market opens up selling Chinese street food including all kinds of Beijing local snacks and Chinese delicences.
2. Chunxi Road in Chengdu, Sichuan Province
Chunxi Road is the biggest and busiest shopping area in Chengdu town. There are a number of boutique stores selling bespoke jewellery and clothes, along with branded stores and large department stores. This is a fun and vibrant area with many cafes and restaurants to choose from along with authentic Chinese supermarkets to experience, here you can sample the tasty local snacks!
3. Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province
Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Shopping Street is a tourist must see! Situated in ancient Chinese architecture with local tea houses and restaurants is the perfect place for low key shopping. Well, as low key as you can get in China, there are still over 300 shops selling many new and old brands and of course Chinese souvenir merchandise.
4. Barkhor Street in Lhasa, Tibet
The Barkhor (also known as the Pilgrims Circuit) is located in the heart of Lhasa surrounding the Jokhang Temple. This once ancient “Saint Road” is now a shopping centre with the most beautiful Tibetan features. Here you can find souvenirs, street food, hand-made garments, wonderful Tibetan art and street performances. The street is surrounded by quaint houses and small inns.
5. Central Avenue in Harbin, Heilongjiang Province
Central Avenue is a cobbled pedestrian street lined with restaurants and shops and dates back to the Russian architecture built around 110 years ago. You can also come across shops selling Russian produce. The restaurants here are authentically Chinese yet, many are also international cuisines. The shops sell souvenirs, branded clothes, sunglasses and jewellery
Shopping malls in China are very extravagant, I would say to expect the style of The Trafford Centre meets The Bullring for every Mall in China, and in most cases on a much larger scale. There are huge canteen areas offering a wide range of food in market style set-ups with public seating areas. Most likely the malls will be separated by floors for each department; technology, designer brands, high-street brands, cosmetics, home stores and many more (pretty much anything and everything you can think of!) The better news! Most prices are negotiable! There is no fixed price!
The Rules To Shopping In China!
Learn a couple simple Chinese phrases.
There is nothing better than to be able to greet strangers in a foreign country, especially if you are about to get into a ‘negotiation on price’ with them!
Ni Hao Ma? (how are you?)
Duo Shao Qian? (how much)
However, do not panic! Most shopkeepers will use the ‘large calculator method’, showing a clear view of the price, they are offering, you can also show what price you want to pay. In some encounters you may not converse at all, it will be more like a mime, acting out the calculator going back and forth between you! On the other hand, using a simple Chinese phrase can ease you into the bargaining process.
Start Very Low On The Barganing Price
Starting low in the asking price will give you the chance to work your way up to a reasonable price, yet not putting yourself out of pocket! A typical example of this is to start at about 25% lower than the asking price for inexpensive items, such as souvenirs, and 10% lower than the asking price for brands and designer goods.
The top 10 Shopping Malls in China
According to the CBRE research group, in 2013 China had built half of the brand-new mall space in the entire world! If you think you have seen spectacular malls, then China is sure to amaze, entice and engulf you in a wonderous shopping experience!
1. New Century Global Centre in Chengdu
The biggest mall in the world is designed to be a self-contained town. Consisting of an indoor beach, a water park, an IMAX theatre, 2,000 hotel rooms and 16 million square feet of shopping haven.
2. IFC Mall in Hong Kong
China is very accessible to its surrounding areas, taking up to a couple of hours to travel at a fraction of a cost. For this reason, it is very easy for those visiting China to travel all over at ease.
The IFC shopping mall is one of China’s luxury malls. For those shoppers who wish to experience spectacular views of Victoria Harbour and fine dining at your fingertips, including roof-top terrace bars and two 3 Michelin Starred restaurants.
3. Landmark Mall in Hong Kong
The Landmark Mall is known for high-end top fashion with brands such as Gucci, Tiffany, Marc Jacobs, Paul Smith, Vivienne Westwood, Jimmy Choo and many more. This mall is one for the luxury designer shoppers, although pricy, the costs will still be lower than in the UK.
4. Harbour City Mall in Hong Kong
The Harbour City Mall is engulfed by the harbour allowing you close-up views of the large docked ships while shopping, there are 700 shops over 2 million square feet. The brands are medium priced along with the restaurants. In terms of sales, this is China’s most popular mall.
5. Citygate Outlets in Hong Kong
Citygate Outlets is located very close to Hong Kong international airport and is a shopping mecca for those that want high brands for low prices! The prices are 30 to 70 percent below the average price and there is a large low-priced cafeteria serving international cuisines.
6. Venetian in Macau
This shopping centre is a reconstruction of Venice, the experience itself in walking under the realistic ever-changing skyline and Venice canal is very entertaining. This is a big photo opportunity and is fun to experience in groups. There are 350 shops specialising in luxury novelties, gold and silver and fashion, with many restaurants and amusements such as, The Venetian (the biggest casino in the world.) A huge plus to the Venetian is the duty-free shopping!
7. SEG Electronics in Shenzhen
As you can guess this is one for the technology shoppers! The mall consists of 8 floors in a bright and sparkly skyscraper. Shenzhen is a world leader in electronic manufacturing, if you are looking for the biggest selection of low priced electronics(many at wholesale prices), then SEG Electronics is the perfect mall for you to visit in China.
8. Super Brand Mall in Shanghai
Super Brand Mall is the perfect place to find a bargain, specialising in popular brands at low prices, as well as local Chinese brands. The building is situated in the financial and business district and neighbours’ spectacular skyscrapers. There is a huge international food court and all at low prices
9. Oriental Plaza mall in Beijing
The Oriental Plaza Mall specializes in the luxury goods market, selling designer brands at middle to high prices. The mall has a very good selection of reasonably priced restaurants and other amusement amenities’.
10. Yintai Centre in Beijing
Yintai Centre is another one of Beijing’s luxury shopping malls, the mall is located in the luxury Park Hyatt complex in the business district. This is the perfect place to escape the large crowds, enjoy high-end shopping and indulge in fine dining.
Teaching English in China is not just about the teachers lifestyle, it is a chance for you to travel, broaden your horizons and experience Chinas culture! Plus, lets be honest, many of us need no excuse for retail therapy! Imagine having the chance to do this in China!