There are three things you will want to do in Shanghai to really get a look at their culture: If you’re a shopper, go to the counterfeit market; even if you’re not a shopper, go to the marriage market; and if you are really not a shopper, well, just go to the museums.
You’ll find many counterfeit markets in Shanghai, some more well-known than others. I think a lot of people go to the one near the Science & Technology Museum, but my niece Cymri took me to one near Qi Pu Lu, a very local area that most Chinese people shop at. It’s really hard to navigate this area unless you speak Mandarin or you know someone who does, so keep that in mind if you visit.
The marriage market is something to see and it will only take you 15 to 20 minutes to take a walk around to browse the marriage candidates on display. Go to People’s Square on a Saturday to see how these parents put their kids up for marriage, like our 4H Club puts their livestock up for sale. I can’t describe it in words; you’ll have to watch this video to understand.
Here are photos from the marriage market, the counterfeit market, and a trip to the Shanghai Museum (since I didn’t quite know where to throw that).
I started my Saturday with the street vendors on Fengyang Road, behind my hotel. Why pay $20 for a Western breakfast when the nice lady at the Shanghai Yang stand can hook you up with this for $1.50? If you stay at the hotels on Nanjing Road, try a little adventure and check out the maze of local side streets in the back.
While I’m on the subject, I should warn you that going to a Chinese museum is like anything else in China: Don’t expect to have a lot of personal space. People will walk into your camera shot, or even nose their way into a display you are looking at to put their face up against it and observe it better. If you’re not used to it, the invasion of personal space can be pretty shocking, not to mention annoying, so mentally prepare yourself before you go.
The photos shown are just the highlights. To see the rest of the Shanghai trip, click here.
Up next: How to live it up in Shanghai, then back to Taipei!