I’m certain that nearly everyone reading this has heard of the phrase, “made in China” and if you haven’t heard of it, I’m sure you can work out why it is such a common phrase. When living in Dongguan, Guangdong I saw firsthand that a lot of stuff is made here. You couldn’t turn a corner without seeing some sort of factory. I mean, there were shoes piling onto the streets. If my feet were smaller (I’m an average size in the UK, but a little on the big size in China) I would have been in shoe heaven. I could buy a new pair of shoes for less than the price of a chocolate bar at home.
After moving to Chengdu, Sichuan I was less aware of all of the manufacturing that goes on in this country. I mean, being in almost the centre of the country, Chengdu’s not exactly in the best location for exporting goods. But that doesn’t mean it’s not visible here at all. For example, I see the same lady outside our local shopping mall sewing inner soles for shoes everyday.
Shopping opportunities in Chengdu are awesome. There is a giant sparkly shopping mall almost wherever you look and sometimes they’re even opposite each other. Although, if you’re looking for a bargain, then these probably aren’t the best places to go. You can buy things from Western or designer stores that we’ve all heard of, but these prices are likely to be the same as anywhere else. If you’re looking for a bargain, then the markets or more “Chinesey” shopping malls are the places to go.
Chengdu might not have the markets like the Silk Market in Beijing, but you can find whatever you want here for a pretty reasonable price. And just because things are “made in China” doesn’t mean they’re of a bad quality. I’ve bought clothes from local markets here which have lasted twice as long as clothes I’ve bought from regular high-street stores.
Clothes, jewellery, gadgets you name it, it’s here. Let’s not even mention food! There’s be a whole separate blog on food in Chengdu and Chengdu Food Tours coming soon! If you come to Chengdu, I’d highly recommend a day of shopping. Even if it’s not usually your thing, it’s quite an experience being shoved into a tiny shop in a mall or stall on the road. You can even try your hand at haggling!
And if all else fails, there’s always Taobao!
Where do you think is best for shopping? And what’s your favourite bargain you’ve picked up while travelling? Let me know below!