Day By Day

Thursday, July 30, 2009

China Diary -- Part 49 Shopping in Shanghai

After leaving the museum we embarked on a shopping odyssey that took us first to a Pearl store. Shanghai is very near the main production area for freshwater pearls and several stores specialize in them. The one we visited is reputed to be one of the best.

We had allocated only one hour for pearl shopping, so things got a bit hectic. Fortunately the store provided a room off to the side where the men could sit and commiserate while their wives and girlfriends had fun. Then it was off to Chenghuangmiao (Town God Temple) Handicrafts Market, an extensive warren of shop-filled arcades, streets and alleys centered on a Taoist temple.

Then a quick trip to one of the city's famous "knockoff markets". These are semi-legal operations that sell cheap knockoffs of brand goods. The authorities keep shutting them down, but when that happens the shops simply move to another area. The purpose of the trip was simply to buy cheap luggage in which we could transport our numerous earlier purchases. China's domestic air carriers impose luggage restrictions that are far less lenient than international carriers. Since Shanghai was our last stop before boarding a flight for America,it made sense to load up on luggage there.

Our final journey of the day was a trip to Shanghai's famous Nanjing Road for some high-end shopping. We got there in the early evening and soon the whole street was ablaze.

At last, our shopping lust sated, we returned to our hotel for a farewell dinner, then to our rooms to pack and prepare for our return to the United States.