Where to Go Shopping for Bargains in Qingdao

Where to Go Shopping for Bargains in Qingdao
By Derek McGuire , eChinacities.com

Qingdao has well-documented appeal as a tourist destination, due to its beautiful beaches, mountain ranges and free flowing local beer. You can add shopping to that list too; there are plenty of bargains to be found in Qingdao’s markets – for those with the patience to look for them.

Qingdao Jimo Lu Market

Whilst comparable to the Silk, Pearl and Yashow markets of Beijing, Qingdao’s smaller, indoor Jimo Lu market has some notable differences to those of the capital. With its distinctive pagoda roofing, Jimo Lu offers an array of clothing, footwear, jewellery, bags, watches, suitcases, sports shirts, and the like, along with seasonal items such as Christmas decorations in winter or beach inflatables during the better weather. Don't expect the theatre of the pushy young girls of the Beijing markets, though, nor their good command of English. Instead, bargaining in Jimo Lu should be more measured, with verbal exchanges conducted in Chinese, or simply with the passing of a calculator to indicate prices, if your Chinese is particularly limited.

It’s best to adopt a manner less aggressive and less lively than in the capital’s markets, where Westerners are more commonly found, and where bartering is more extreme. In Jimo Lu, prices are sometimes stated on items, in which cases they're usually reasonable and, as such, non-negotiable. Imitations of designer brands vary in quality, as is always the case, so a close inspection is always advisable before the haggling begins. Jimo Lu is, however, not simply a place where the word ‘bargain’ is synonymous with ‘counterfeit.’ There’s a lot more to it, and it’s well worth a visit. Set aside plenty of time to browse the warrens of Jimo Lu’s four floors, and be aware that, unlike the Beijing markets, the doors close in the early evening.

Jimo Lu Market即墨路小商品批发市场 View In Map
Add: 45 Liaochang Lu, Shibei District, Qingdao
地址: 青岛市市北区聊城路45号
Opening hours: 8:30-18:00
Getting there: Take Bus No. 2, 205, 208, 222, 231, 301 or 320 to the Zhongshan Lu Station.

In the downtown area, you'll find numerous open air stalls peppering the coastline walk from Music Square, past the landmark Winds of May statue at May the Fourth Square, along to the newly opened Marina City shopping mall. Trinkets such as ‘pearl’ pendants (3 RMB), kids toys and Tsingtao paraphernalia can be picked up cheaply amongst more worrying articles, such as what appear to be coral reef and stuffed, varnished giant turtles. If nothing else, it's a beautiful walk, particularly at nighttime on the weekends with the neon and lasers of the city's high-rises and the ocean providing a scenic landscape.

Coastal walk – Music Square 海岸线音乐广场 View In Map
Add: 3 Aomen Lu, Shinan District, Qingdao
地址: 青岛市市南区澳门路3号
Opening hours: 09:00-21:00
Getting there: Start at Music Square, walk toward prominent, to the Winds of May statue and beyond, to the Marina City Shopping Mall

Roadside vendors also appear in summer evenings in the nearby central downtown area, outside the unmissable Jusco and Mykal shopping malls on Xiang Gang Lu, and on the corner where Nanjing Lu meets Jiangxi Lu, outside the KFC. These sell a predictable mix of fake designer clothes, jackets, shoes and bags, toys, pirated movies and computer software, and whatever else the vendors may have on the occasion. It can be a lottery; you may end up later consoling yourself that ‘you get what you pay for,’ or you could be lucky enough that you’re still using that microphone and earphones for Skype calls years down the line.

Taidong Night Market, Qingdao

For outdoor markets in Qingdao, however, the Taidong Night Market can't be beaten. By day, Taidong Pedestrian Street is the place to choose your material and order tailor-made suits and dresses, and for a seemingly endless run of (mainly ladies’) clothes and shoe shops. By night, this bustling street and the surrounding area become even more alive, with the now-familiar blend of clothing, shoes and the like, plus household goods, flowers, souvenirs and gifts, such as tea sets. Puppies and kittens sometimes join the list of market ‘goods’ available here, presumably brought from the nearby Songzi Lu, where by day all manner of animals are available at the roadside, with rabbits, turtles and scorpions sitting side-by-side. Not for the claustrophobic, setting foot into the Taidong Night market is as exciting as it is testing – not least for the truly unique aromas and the chance of pickpockets. Negatives aside, everyone should visit this market at least once.

Taidong Night Market台东夜市 View In Map
Add: Taidong Yilu, Shibei District, Qingdao
地址: 青岛市市北区台东一路
Opening hours: 17:30-22:00
Getting there: Take Bus No. 2, 218, 222, 232, 301, or 320 to the Taidong Station.

Longshan underground market, Qingdao

Longshan underground market on Longshan Lu deserves a quick mention for the benefit of anyone who has not yet had enough of clothes shopping. A favourite of the trendier crowds, this underground stretch of shops – like all of Qingdao’s marketplaces – may require patience in sifting through a broad spectrum of styles to find that perfect garment. That, for many, is the nature of a good market. For others, it’s a waste of a good day!

Longshan Underground Market龙山地下商城 View In Map
Add:29 Jiangsu Lu, Shinan District, Qingdao
地址:  青岛市市南区龙山地下商城, 江苏路29号
Opening hours: 09:30-18:30
Getting there: Just south of Xinhaoshan Park

And of course, this being Qingdao, the trademark Tsingtao beer and outstanding seafood are available at bargain prices throughout the city. Whether you find yourself at a roadside barbeque with a bag of beer and a plate of spicy clams, or “ganbeing” (downing drinks) in a five star hotel, the price of seafood and beer is very reasonable, and the quality high, when compared with most other major cities.

There are many bargains to be found in Qingdao, and the search for them can be as much fun as finding them.

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Keywords: shopping for bargains Qingdao Qingdao shopping shopping tips Qingdao Qingdao bargainsm bargain shopping Qingdao


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