Find it all at Kunming’s Fabulous and Varied Markets

Find it all at Kunming’s Fabulous and Varied Markets
By Matt Poulter ,


Although many of Kunming’s markets have succumbed to the recent inner city development drive, there are still a few gems tucked away. They are as diverse as the province’s many ethnic minorities and from the weird to the wonderful, you’re bound to find what you’re looking for.  From second hand clothing, to birds and reptiles to organic produce, Kunming’s charming markets offer a wealth of goods for curious visitors and long-term residents alike.

Second Hand Clothes Market (recently relocated to Duoerhuitaocheng) 二手衣服市场 (多尔惠淘宝城) View In Map
Just like it says on the tin, this superb market is full of second hand clothes, and at great prices. Coming from all four corners of the earth (but mostly cast offs from wealthy Hong Kongers and Guangzhou-ren) the market is packed full of vintage leather jackets, jeans and party dresses, which seem more at home in Camden, London, than SW China. While we haven’t heard of most of the obscure Italian labels, you can find some very nice items of clothing buried amongst the clothes racks if you look long and hard enough. In addition, there are a huge number of accessories in the form of belts, hats and scarves lying around. Should you require, there is also a large amount of second hand underwear on sale. Judging from the size of most of the boxers and panties, they have somehow found their way from the richer and fatter countries of this world. Not that we’ve been paying too much attention to the underwear stands of course. Cough.

If you’re in need of a costume for one of the frequent theme nights that are held in Kunming’s many party spots, the market makes a great place to start looking. A friend of ours recently found an Elmo body suit, while fairy wings, witches hats and crazy monster masks have all been seen there. It is sometimes hard to tell what is costume, and what is simply Chinese retro fashion! As with all markets in Kunming, have fun and be prepared to bargain. To get there from Xichanglu, take the number 8 bus and get off at Jiaotong Xuexiao (交通学校).

Add: 77 Puji Lu, Kunming (next to Jiaotong Xuexiao)
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun, 10:00-18:00  

Luosiwan International Trade City 螺蛳湾国际商贸城 View In Map
Recently moved from its old location near the centre of the city, Luosiwan is now an inconvenient 45 minute ride down to the south bus station. Depending on where you get in, a taxi will cost around 35-40 RMB. The new location does mean however, that the market is bigger than ever. It was already one of the ten largest markets in China before the move so we’ll let you imagine the current scale.

You can find pretty much anything at the market; toilets, wigs, disco balls, badminton rackets, hamsters, -if you need it Luosiwan will have it. Indeed, many of the shops you see around Kunming will have bought their stock from the market. This means that prices are cheaper here, although you generally only find huge savings if you’re willing to buy in quantity. A word of warning, don’t expect to find super quality - there is a reason why everything is so cheap! Around the enclosed central market is a scattering of restaurants and food stands. As the market is new, we expect more to set up in the very near future. If there aren’t already, it can only be so long before McDonald’s and KFC start sprouting up like Yunnan mushrooms, which incidentally are far more delicious!

Add: 5151 Caiyun Beilu, Guangdu District, Kunming
Opening hours: Mon-Sun, 10:00-18:30
Transport: Bus No. 154, 170, 186 and 190 to Xinluoshiwan Stop

Kunming Farmer’s Market at the Cat’s Cradle Cafe 四只猫咖啡馆的自由市场 View In Map

Recently established, the Kunming Farmer’s Market is held in the Cat’s Cradle Café on the first Sunday of every month. With links to the owners at Salvador’s Coffee House, the market has the aim of promoting organic, sustainably produced goods. Most of what can be found inside is edible. We’ve tried the courgette bread (that’s zucchini bread for US English users) and the fresh lemon smoothies, and can thoroughly recommend them both. Also worth a try are the delicious garden herb sausages produced by the Northern Irish managed Kunming Sausage Co. Aside from food, the market has a small selection of handicrafts produced by out of work migrant workers with help from a local charity. At the time of writing, the market had only been running for a few months but looked to be going from strength to strength. Hopefully in the near future, there will be more selection.     

Add: 2 Junyuan Dingzi Po, Wuhan District, Knuming, Near Yunnan University
Tel: 0871 516 8778
Opening hours: Mon-Sun, 10:00-23:00, the market is held on the first Sunday of each month 

Shiyi Jiaju十一家具 View In Map
Not quite a market, we’ve included Shiyi Jiaju since many of the local second hand markets are in a state of flux due to re-development of the inner city*. This makes Shiyi Jiaju one of the best places to find cheap furniture and any other household item you might require. Resembling an IKEA, but even cheaper and without the crowds, you may well find yourself spending an hour or two wondering the aisles. The shop provides excellent service. The staff is friendly and attentive and the company provides free delivery for bulkier items. They also sell curtains made to measurement. The shop is a good place to go if you’re renting in Kunming, and need a few extra pieces to complement the often sparsely furnished apartments in the city. It can be a little difficult to find. If you are in a taxi, tell the driver it's on Guangfu Lu (广福路), next to the Sheng Gongan Ting (省公安厅). 

Add: Shjyi Jiaju Building, Guangfu Lu, Kunming
Tel: 0871 532 0111

Kunming’s inner city villages have recently been subject to a re-development drive. Most of the old second hand furniture markets, which were located within them, were demolished. However, by the time you read this they may well have re-opened, although we bet they’ll be out of the city proper. It’s worth asking someone local for more information about their current status.

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Keywords: Kunming markets bird and flower market kunming second hand clothes market Kunming markets in Kunming market shopping Kunming


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