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Got Cash? The Foreigner’s Guide to Shopping in Chongqing

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Located far into China's interior, Chongqing is home to more than 34 million people. In a city of this magnitude and with hardly any contact with the outside world, foreign faces in Chongqing still attract their fair share of attention. Since Chongqing still has a relatively small foreigner population, it is hardly surprising that Chongqing's apparel and accessory outlets catering to foreigners are few and far between. Local fashion tends to be loud and only available in tiny sizes. Chongqing is a place where foreigners almost never go broke from shopping, unless your tastes veer toward the elaborate and you fit into British Size 6 clothes. Retail therapy is practically non-existent in Chongqing where most locals only go shopping when they need to buy something. Clothing with prints more suited for upholstery may be helpful for going undercover as a Chongqing local, but unless you want whatever clothing you buy in Chongqing to stay in Chongqing, here are some foreigner-friendly fashion options.

Got Cash? The Foreigner’s Guide to Shopping in Chongqing
Photo: lexpress.com

1) SML Central Square
Conveniently located near the Jiaochangkou Metro Station and on the perimeter of the Jiefangbei shopping area, SML Central Square is surprisingly spacious and free of the usual Jiefangbei crowds. Relatively new with retail spaces on the upper floors and basement still not taken up, this mall is a quiet escape for a quick dose of retail therapy under one roof. Familiar brands include a sprawling H&M outlet, Uniqlo and Mango. The Chongqing Duty Free Outlet is also in this building, serving travellers who recently entered Chongqing. To rest your tired feet from all that shopping, food options include McDonalds, Big Pizza and Hong Kong Style Tea Cafeterias – Uncle Tea Restaurant on the ground floor and Prince on the top floor to give your taste buds a rest from all that spicy local food. Like in Hong Kong, these outlets have teatime special menus which offer value for money.

SML Central Square日月光中心广场 View In Map
Add: Minquan Lu, Yuzhong District, Chongqing
地址: 重庆市渝中区民权路
Nearest Metro/ Light Rail Station: Jiaochangkou (较场口)

2) Paradise Walk
A sprawling mall located in the popular Guanyinqiao shopping area serving the northern side of Chongqing, Paradise Walk is home to many international brands. These range from the slightly more upmarket (Benetton, Miss Sixty, Diesel) to the budget labels (Uniqlo, H&M, Mango). This partially open-air mall is anchored by Far East Department Store, which carries several international brands and has a supermarket offering a variety of imported food in the basement. Far East also carries international kitchenware and appliance brands. Restaurants in this mall also cater to more international tastes with several Western restaurants, as well as Thai, Hong Kong and Japanese restaurants in the building.

Also worth a visit is the brand-new Starlight 99 Mall, just a stone's throw away. For the well-heeled, Starlight houses many luxury brands like Gucci, Prada and Louis Vuitton. Other notable tenants include Ole Supermarket for international food products and Muji, a Japanese lifestyle brand.

Paradise Walk 北城天街 View In Map
Add: Beichentian Jie, Jiangbei District, Chongqing
地址: 重庆市江北区北城天街
Nearest Metro Station: Guanyinqiao (观音桥)

3) West Oulets
A new, spacious mall in a slightly out of the way location on the way to the airport, this is a place where local and foreign branded goods can be found under one roof. Discounts here can be pretty good. While this mall is not easily accessible, parking is free for those fortunate enough to own a car. This mall is divided into various departments – internationally-known brands, local brands, sports and casual wear and children. Besides shopping, there are also other entertainment facilities like a luxurious karaoke joint.

West Outlets 西部奥特莱斯购物广场 View In Map
Add: 1 Autelaisi Lu, Beibu Xinqu Jinkaiyuan Beiqu, Jiangbei District, Chongqing
地址: 重庆市北部新区经开园北区奥特莱斯路1号
Tel: 023 6320 6333  

4) Surplus Stores
There are always locals who prefer to buck the (fashion) trend of the loud and the elaborate. Hence Chongqing has quite a number of surplus stores claiming to sell export-quality products and factory surplus branded clothing. These are located mainly in the Jiefangbei and Longhu Yubei areas where most expats live or congregate. In Yubei, these shops are located mainly along Xinnan Lu (other stores along Xinnan Lu include B.Li, and My Colours). However, don't expect prices and variety to be as competitive as that which can be found in Hong Kong. As with most other fashion retail outlets, the best buys can be snapped up during the end of season sales where shops typically prepare for the change in weather. Do beware of fake goods though.

Surplus Stores View In Map
Add: 49-2 Xinnan Lu, Yubei District, Chongqing
地址: 重庆市渝北区新南路49-2

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Keywords: best malls in Chongqing where to shop in Chongqing western clothes in Chongqing shopping guide Chongqing foreigner friendly shopping chongqing

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