Shanghai Days 2 and 3 - (Original Title I Know!)

Trip Start May 05, 2012
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Trip End Mar 01, 2013


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What I did
Shanghai Fake Market
Tian Zi Fang Market

Flag of China  , Shanghai,
Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The next day, buoyed by our success bargaining at the fabric markets we decided to check out one of the markets known for its fake goods. This was another experience all together. "Hello, you want bags? Glasses? Watches?" The shop attendants were very aggressive but there was lots of interesting things to look at.  We ended up each buying some "Ray Ban" sunglasses for well under $20 NZD each.  I was looking at handbags as we went along too and most were imitation designer bags, eg. Bags made with a similar pattern to LV, or the same design in cheap feeling material.  In one shop I showed interest in a small bag on display.  The owner quickly pounced and told me to come and have a look at his other bag shop- “many more, lots of styles!”- so we followed him halfway across the market to his other shop.  The new assistant led us to the back of the shop and pushed open a false door into a hidden room- covered in fake designer bags.  By fake designer bags I mean that it would be very difficult to tell it from a real one.  They had proper tags and everything on them! When Evan and I made noises at being shut in this little room to look she said with a smile that we have to- avoid the police!   I didn't want anything, but she was determined to sell me the bag that I had picked up to look at.  Her starting price was 700 kuai ($140 NZD).  Tai gui le! [Thai guee leh] (too expensive!).  She asked how much I would pay.  Not wanting the bag I said 100 kuai.  “Not possible”.  But then when we made a move to leave, she went to talk to the shop owner telling us to stay where we were.  Not wanting to be shut in a small room we followed her out and were about to sneak out when she returned offering the price of 200 kuai.  I replied “Tai xiao de. Bu yao” [thai shaou duh, boo yaow] (too small, don't want).  We started to leave and once again were followed down the street. She dropped the price to 120 kuai (about $25 NZD) before she realised that we were serious about not wanting it and were not just trying to lower the price.  Again proving the most effective way to lower the price of something is to walk away!

After this experience we went home for a rest (the heat was pretty terrible!) and then decided to visit the Bund and see the famous city skyline.  The Bund was pretty impressive.  We arrived before it was dark and the lights were on display, but it was still impressive.  There were tonnes of Chinese tourists taking photos too (some of us!).  We thought we could get a meal somewhere around the bank we were on, but we couldn’t find any resturants at all.  Evan thought that the bars were probably on the other side of the river and so we took a ferry across.  Unfortunately the ferry did not drop us in the busy area, and we had a bit of a walk to populated areas! As many of you know, I can be a bit grumpy when I’m hungry (hah) and this walk was pushing my hungry buttons a bit too much.  When we did finally find food it was mega expensive.  Deciding to keep looking we still found nothing we wanted.  Evan and I both finally decided that I really needed to be fed, and the only restaurant nearby was “Hooters”.  What a mistake! Never again will we go to Hooters- the restaurant was super seedy, the food was terrible, and super expensive!

For our third day in Shanghai we decided to go up the Shanghai Financial Tower- the tallest building in the world.  We bought tickets up to the hundredth floor.  A pretty amazing view of Shanghai- it just stretches for ever! Check out the pics.  The glass bottom floors were nowhere near as good as the ones up the Sky Tower though. 

That afternoon we decided to check out the Yu Yuan gardens, also known as the garden of contentment.  It had been raining on and off that afternoon but we had a break in the weather and decided to give it a go.  The area surrounding the gardens has been turned into a tourist trap, with new “old” Chinese buildings and markets selling overpriced goods to tourists!  The entrance to the gardens was absolutely packed with Chinese tourists. It was very difficult to move around.  Many were on the bridge feeding the carp in the pond below.  When it started to rain again it was even harder to negotiate with the umbrellas taking up extra space.  With the rain and the crush of people outside the garden waiting to get in we decided to give Yu Yuan a miss.  Maybe next time we will have better luck!  We decided to try somewhere less crowded and jumped on the subway to go to, Tian Zi Fang market. This market is a maze of small alleys with arty shops, tourist shops, restaurants, bars and cafes.  It was really lovely, and not too crowded with people.  We found a cute café to have a drink and a sit down at before we walked the maze.  The café was based on the resident cat- a long-haired ginger tom that was asleep on a pedestal by the door as we walked in.  There were photos of him over all the walls.  A café with character! 

The rest of the market was interesting to look at, but we didn’t end up buying anything.  We did decide to get dinner there though, and found a great Indian restaurant to eat at.  It had rained most of the afternoon so something warming like Indian was perfect.  After dinner we headed back to get some more pictures of the Bund when the sky was fully dark.  The rain didn’t seem to put off any tourists but was still lovely in the rain.  We finished the night with a walk down Nanjing Road- the main shopping mall.
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