Although Shanghai cannot yet hope to compete with places such as Hong Kong or Bangkok where shopping is concerned - mainly because imported goods are a lot more expensive here - the city's old mercantile and consumerist traditions are reviving fast and there are now many goods worth picking up. Tailored clothes represent one of the best bargains in the city. Due to low labour and fabric costs, tailors can make male and female suits, shirts, cashmere, jackets and trousers for twenty percent or less of their counterparts along Saville Row, with the quality of the workmanship often equally stellar. However, few of the tailors speak English - you should bring a Chinese speaker along. Some of the best tailors include Aijian, at 45 Xianggang Lu (just west of the Bund; tel 6329-9993), 454 Handan Lu in the north of town near Wujiaochang ( Five Corner Square ), and No. 3 Lane 471 Miyun Lu in Hongkou (tel 6552-3473).

The most famous street market in Shanghai is Xiangyang Market , which is located in Xiangyang Lu (near Huaihai Lu). It is also called ake Market?because you can find copied brand-name products at very low prices. You will find there almost everything from tie. Bags, suits, shoes etc..

Antiques shopping can also yield fruitful, inexpensive results. The two antique markets at Dongtai Lu and Fuyou Lu in the Old City area are the best places for simply browsing. If you doní»t like the risks associated with bargaining you might be better off visiting the city's government antique stores, the largest of which, the Shanghai Antique and Curio Store at 218-226 Guang Dong Lu, has a large array of modern arts and crafts as well as some large antiques. There's also a much better-value private store, G. E. Tang Antique and Curio Shop, with its head office at 85 Dongtai Lu, which sells extremely attractive restored Chinese furniture and other larger pieces. For Chinese art , pay a visit to the Duoyun Art Gallery, on Nanjing Dong Lu just west of Shanxi Lu, or to the several galleries along Maoming Bei Lu just north of Yan'an Zhong Lu. Some superb scrolls (watercolours and calligraphy) are on sale here, as well as art books and all the equipment for producing traditional Chinese art.

Shanghai clothing market is very good. You can find anything at any price. Luxury brand like Prada, Boss, Armani are far more expensive than in Europe . Some of the low-price (but good quality) Hong Kong owned brand-name chain stores such as Giordano have a presence in the city, though large-sized Westerners may have difficulty finding clothes which fit. Every evening Huashan Lu, next to Wujiaochang in the north of the city near Fudan, fills with a night market brimming with inexpensive (but still decent quality) clothing and souvenirs. Silk products, particularly traditional Chinese ladies' wear, are also good-value; for these you might try department stores such as the monumental but basic No. 1 Store at the junction of Nanjing Lu and Xizang Lu, or - much more up-market - the very swish Huaihai Lu department stores, Shanghai Paris Printemps at the junction with Shaanxi Lu and the Japanese-run Huating-Isetan Department Store just east of Chengdu Lu. Finally, the Friendship Store (daily 9am-10pm ) at 40 Beijing Lu, close to the Peace Hotel, is always worth a visit given its wide range of goods. The first floor is full of food, Chinese medicines, leather goods and consumer durables, while the second and third floors contain arts, handicrafts and clothing, as well as every type of silk. Ití»s a fun place to browse but doní»t expect any bargains.


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