Shopping in ShanghaiShanghai, Spring 2012
Despite what you may think because of the exchange rate, Shanghai is not a cheap city. In fact, it is China’s most expensive city to live in. The cabs start at 14 rmb and the subway will charge you based on the distance you travel versus the standard flat fee that the rest of China uses. Shanghai is a very metropolitan city so you can buy almost anything you want here but depending on where you go, it will cost you.
One of the things I find to be very interesting about Shanghai shopping is that in my experience, men enjoy it more then women. Hunting for the item you want in the mazes of underground malls can be exhausting. Plus, once you find it you have to fight the vendor for the best price. Most people say that you want to go down about 75% of their original asking price but that is often more difficult than it sounds. For me, that takes all the fun out of shopping but for my guy friends, they consider it an experience on par with going on a hunting trip. They often boast of their skills to find the best quality goods and their prowess at bargaining. I have never known men to enjoy shopping as much as they do here.
However, there is one place in Shanghai that I absolutely love to go to. Tian zi fang (田子坊) is one o the few places where you can see what old (glamorized) Shanghai was like. It is a labyrinth of beautiful shops and restaurants that are mainly filled with handmade crafts. If you are looking for a really special gift for some this is the place to go. It’s not cheap at all when compared to other shopping places like qi pu lu, but for the most part, what they sell is really exquisite. And to be honest, I don’t mind paying the extra money to not be hounded by vendors.
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