Shopping in Shanghai

2010-04-20 18:42 BJT


Shanghai, the Paris of the Orient, is a shopper's paradise for everyone from shopaholics to casual bargain-hunters. In the world of fashion, Shanghai is best known for Shanghai Fashion Week, The Shanghai International Costume Cultural Festival, and The China International Wedding Attire Exhibition, but you don't have to be a fashionista to enjoy window-shopping in Shanghai's numerous malls shopping streets.

Shopping areas in Shanghai are sometimes referred to as the ''Four Streets and Four Cities''. One of the major streets is Nanjing Road (East Nanjing Road & West Nanjing Road), said to be the No.1 commercial street in China. All types of shops, both ancient and modern, are clustered around the road, and it's lost none of its appeal over the years to Shanghai's shoppers. Those looking for elegance and flair will want to check out Huaihai Road, where you can get top fashion designs from all around the world; those on a budget, on the other hand, may want to check out North Sichuan Road where you'll find inexpensive clothes. They may not be name-brands, but add a few striking accessories and you'll still be dressed to kill for an evening on the town!

Yuyuan Shopping City, Xujiahui Shopping City, New Shanghai Shopping City and Jiali Sleepless City are the buzzing "Four Cities" of Shanghai. If you're in search of Chinese goods such as curios, antiques, jadeware, silver, gold or other craftwork, it is best to start at Yuyuan Shopping City. It's also the best place to get the textiles and embroidery, the silk, and the Jiading yellow-grass weaving for which Shanghai is noted. Xujiahui, a recently opened shopping and entertainment plaza, is built on a grand scale, but if you're determined you can find some really good deals. Older shopping centers like New Shanghai Shopping City are one-stop malls that cater to all your basic shopping needs.

Beyond the Four Streets and Four Citiess, Shanghai has numerous other places for you to part with your RMB. Dimei Shopping Center and

Fuyou Street Merchandise Mart are good choices for knick-knacks and inexpensive clothing; there the rule of thumb is ''bargain, and bargain hard!'' Parkson Shopping Center is also popular with the locals for its discounts-on ordinary days you can find brand names like Esprit, U2, and G2000 here at regular prices, but on sale days, you can enjoy up to a 50% discount.

For shoes North Shaanxi Road is the place to go: You can find many styles, prices, and, more importantly, sizes. And women looking to look and feel truly 'Chinese' will want to add a Qipao to their wardrobe. Chinese sizes tend to be extremely petite, but no need to to starve yourself if you're curvier: just go to Maoming Road, Nanchang Road, or Huahai Road where tailors are ready to sew a Qipao to fit any proportions. Men, for their part, can have traditional Tang suits made, as well as modern suits of any cut.

Beyond clothes, Shanghai is also famed for mnay other local products, such as Ligao candy, Shanghai juicy peach, Chongning hairy crabs, and Shanghai Pudong chicken. Be sure to sample them to say you've had a truly 'Shanghai' experience!