As Twista rapped in the early 2000’s “I can make you and overnight celebrity”. That is exactly how I felt in Yuyuan Market ( Yuyuan Bazaar) (上海豫园商城 批发市场) an old Chinese market in Shanghai. The place itself is awesome and a trip I would recommend for anyone, the only thing I wished I did more of before I went was research the food better. It wasn’t until the last few days there that I found the food that I loved, the other food made me feel a bit ill (but that is a story for another day).
In this Yuyuan Market it was awesome, they were selling technology that wasn’t in England until 2 years later and it was dirt cheap and awesome! The shops and stalls were out for constant bargaining and you had to know your ebay prices before you get ripped off. Me loving technology and playing with new things it was heaven for me. A great place to buy things for a fraction of the price you would get in England and it still being of a good quality. A guy I was with brought a massive drone with camera and SD card for the equivalent price of £25!!! If he went to buy it now on ebay it would be at least double the price. Unfortunately for him when we got back to the accommodation and we took it out for a test drive he crashed it and instead of letting me fix it he just threw it away!
Anyway back to the magic of Yuyuan Market. When shopping here I started to get a small following of people and people looking and staring at me and the group I was with for too long. Then about 30 minutes after being in the market one local approached me and due to the language barrier manged to communicate with her phone that she wanted a selfie with me and I obliged. Little did I know that this was going to open the flood gates of me being like Beyonce! Before I knew it I had people hugging me for pictures, passing me babies, old people, children and families all trying to take pictures of me and with me. It got to the point where I was in one place for an hour surrounded by a mob of people all queuing for photos. It was impossible for me to shop I would go in one store and walk out to more people. I was about to complain as I think it helped my haggling skills ten fold. But what I found out from my Chinese guide was that in China a lot of families (especially those from far out and small provinces) they believe that when they meet a person from the western would it brings them luck, but also bragging points in their hometown and makes them seem more important. So me being a person of colour was double good luck!
Besides being followed by my crowd of new fans (I know they aren’t really my fans but it just sounds better haha) this market was incredible. It is next to the Yu Garden and it is also known as the City God Temple market. It’s a great place to go to that enables you to really get a feel for the local life. It is great at mixing the history of Shanghai and the current day with some parts taking you back almost 100 years in Chinese history.
Yuyuan market has over 100 stores and shops in the area. It sells a range of things from Chinese medicine to walking stick to silk to umbrellas to bamboo to furniture to technology and children toys to gold fish and so much more! The locals love to shop here as they can find things unattainable anywhere else. Here you can shop for so much and find somewhere fantastic to eat to with a mixture of fast food and amazing local cuisine for sale.
This is defiantly a must see if you ever go to Shanghai!