Whether you’re just visiting Guangzhou or you’ve been here for a while, you will probably do some shopping while you are here. Guangzhou boasts a great number of good places to shop, but where you should go depends heavily on what you want to buy. However, if you are simply in the mood to window-shop, Guangzhou is probably one of the best places in China to satisfy your need for retail therapy.
Beijing Lu Walking Street, Guangzhou
First, and probably most well know is Beijing Lu 北京路 (Gongyuanqian Metro stop), the major shopping street in the city. Here you will probably be able to find anything you are looking for, although the emphasis of most stores is either on clothing or electronics. It is a high traffic area and is visited by thousands everyday (especially on weekends), but since it is a pedestrian street no vehicles are allowed on it so making your way from shop to shop is not a hassle. Many local shoppers also frequent this street so shopping here doesn’t have the “touristy” feel that it can have in other places. You will, however, have to fend off some pushy street vendors who want to sell you cheap watches or jewelry. One unique thing about Beijing Lu is that there are remnants of the road as when it was first constructed over 500 years ago. It is a nice little touch to have an artifact such as this juxtaposed with the neon-lit commercial street. All in all Beijing Lu is a must if you enjoy shopping in China.
Shangxiajiu Lu, Guangzhou
Another place to stop by is the Shang Xia Jiu Lu 上下九路 shopping street. A short walk from the Changshou Lu Metro stop (Line 1) this shopping street feels a bit more like a traditional Chinese shopping area than Beijing Lu. Most of the shops are housed in European colonial style architecture, not unlike the kind you find on Shamian Island. Here you will also find sculptures on the street that are meant to represent life in Guangzhou during the 19th century, which was when this street was established. There are more than 200 stores on this street so there is plenty to see and to buy.
Teem Mall Guangzhou (Photo: sina.com)
If you are looking for something a bit more modern or contemporary the Teem Mall 天河城 at the Tiyu Xi Lu Metro stop is a great place to go. In this immense shopping center you will not only find a large number of department stores, restaurants, electronics shops, and boutiques, but you will also find a five-star cinema on the top floor. The Teem Mall has everything a person could ever want to shop for, but it is also quite expensive. This is not the kind of place where you will be able to bargain the vendor down to a reasonable price.
Guangzhou Qing Ping Herbal Medicine Market
Lastly, if you are looking for traditional Chinese goods, especially the medicinal kind, the Qing Ping Herbal Medicine Market 清平药材市场 is the best place in Guangzhou to go. Located just north of Shamian Island (Huangsha Metro stop), this medicine market has a vast number of herbal specialists, who sell all kinds of different remedies. Here you will find rare mushrooms, roots, and hundreds of kinds of tea you never knew existed. There are also many more esoteric remedies, for which you’ll probably need a guide to work out what to do with them (think scorpion tail and snakeskin).
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