Winter is coming so there are only a few more weeks of sociable weather left to explore Changchun's shopping options. I have spent a considerable amount of time wandering around shopping malls in this city, looking for something that would make me come back, but alas so many shopping malls seem to offer very little. If you are tired of overpriced luxury goods, or cheap copies that scream 'fake', here are some options for you that may pleasantly surprise.
1) Wanda Plaza万达广场 View In Map
Wanda Plaza is a slick modern shopping mall, with a great supermarket on the basement floor. Vanguard is a supermarket chain that seems to be gaining some momentum (they are popping up everywhere) here in Jilin and with great fresh fruit, meat, seafood and foreign beer selection it is easy to see why. Wanda's main attractions are the Apple store, the 'smell lab' (perfume boutique) and a fantastic authentic Indian restaurant serving mild kormas, a super spicy Vindaloo and the always popular Madras. The wide range of quality retailers and great selection of fast food outlets/bakeries/restaurants makes this a great place to visit on a chilly winter's day.
Add: 616 Hongqi Street, Chaoyang District, Changchun
Opening hours: 09:00-21:00
Tel: 0431 8539 888
2) Zhongdong Market 中东大市场 View In Map
If you are looking for plants, furniture, clothing, bedding, electronics, paint or just a tasty snack then Zhongdong Market offers an absolutely massive range of just about everything. There are multiple entrances into this shopper paradise, but if you head in near the KFC you will find a labyrinth of colourful food kiosks reminiscent of the old hawker centers in Singapore. The variety and quality of the food is excellent and prices are lower than other areas of the city.
If you are a bargain hunter it could take you all day to explore the market, but I did see that many furniture shops had reduced their prices by 30-40%. I found a double bed on sale for 700 RMB, a coffee table for 400 RMB and a coat stand for 160 RMB and all looked like value for money. I was tempted to stock up on fairy lights for Christmas and bargain for a funky pair his and hers bedside lamps, but I wanted to keep going as it had already taken me two hours to explore less than half of Zhongdong Market. So if your powers of negotiation need a test, check it out.
Add: 168 Ziyou Street, Erdao District, Changchun
Tel: 0431 8465 0173, 8465 0176
Opening hours: 08:30-17:30
3) Sai De Shopping Center赛德购物中心 View In Map
Sai De Shopping Center is clearly a hidden jewel in Changchun, as most of the people I have talked to about it have never heard of it. The shopping center is located near the roundabout on Dong Nanhu Lu in Jinkai (not that far from Beifong). The Decathlon Sports supermarket near the main entrance, is the biggest in Changchun and has a huge range of quality sports, camping and fitness equipment.
However, this shopping center is yet to be completed with the 2nd and 3rd floors still under construction, but it does have a functioning cinema on the top floor and it offers hassle free shopping. The Lifestyle supermarket on the basement floor has to be the best place in Changchun to do your grocery shopping. I have not found a better selection of wines, beers, bread, dairy products in this city and checkout queues are unheard of here. The prices here are a little higher than its competitors, but they offer a VIP card on request which gives you a good discount and shopping there is stress free.
Add: 1228 Dong Nanhu Lu, Changchun
Tel: 0431 8878 0997
Opening hours: 10:00-20:00
Getting there: Take bus No. 158 to Dong Nanhu Dalu (东南湖大路)
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Keywords: Shopping in Changchun foreign beer in Changchun expat shopping Changchun dairy products in Changchun
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