Shanghai is a 'shopping paradise'! One of the first things you will notice about Shanghai is how trendy the young people are. Shanghai is famous for its clothing and fashions.
The local fashion and garment industry has been the trendsetter in China for many years. Products are of great quality and come for a good price. Nevertheless, in high class boutiques, you will not find bargains on high fashions and imports.
The major Shopping areas of Shanghai are Nanjing East Road, Huaihai Road, and Xujiahui. These three areas are all known for their mid-scale to high class department stores and boutiques. Also, Shanghai offers two smaller clothing and souvenir markets: Xiangyang Market with its clothing deals (much like Silk Alley in Beijing), and Yuyuan Market with its folk atmosphere.
Shanghai also has a few bird and flower markets that make life here that much more pleasant.
Shanghai has some traditional art forms and crafts to offer you. Follow these links to learn more:
Chinese silk, gold and silver jewelry, rugs and tapestries, and jade and ivory carvings.
Shanghainese are good at business and are growing wealthier by the day. Jewelry stores filled with gold, platinum, and silver can be found all over the city.
The most favored metals are gold and platinum. Also, when giving wedding gifts or birthday presents, Shanghainese might give gold statues that may cost as much as USD 1,000.
Jade and Ivory Carvings
Shanghai jade and ivory carvings are relatively famous throughout China. While ivory collecting may not be of particular interest to some for its ecological harm, jade is quite another matter. Jade, a beautiful stone, comes in an array of colours and can be carved in many styles.
In Shanghai, popular styles include figurines, birds, beasts, and decorated bottles. In fact, jade bottles are very Chinese and might make an excellant addition to your home's decor.
Local River Crabs
If you are looking for a real Shanghai experience, then ask a local about Dazhaxie or local river crabs. Shanghainese go absolutely insane over these delicacies every autumn. The Chinese have a saying that female crabs are to be eaten in September and male crabs in October.
This saying has to do with the amount of yellow (the eggs of the female) and paste (white matter in the male) in the crabs. The crabs of Chongming Island in the Yangtze River and Yangcheng Lake in Jiangsu Province are relatively famous in the Shanghai area.
The larger crabs are boiled in large pots and smaller crabs are cooked in a coating of flour or in a red sauce.
Shanghai is one of China's most important regions for silk production and export. Of course, then, the city is a great place to pick up some deals while in China. The variety of silk fabrics available is astounding. Silk of various grades, satin, damask silk, silk gauze, brocade, crape, velvet, spun silk, and sheer silk are all available.
Printed and embroidered silk are also very popular and plentiful. As Chinese silk is famous throughout the world for its elegance and beauty, silk itself is an excellent reason to come to Shanghai. But always bargain when silk shopping. Shopkeepers will never give a 'Chinese' price if you have a 'foreign' face.
Weaving and Embroidery
In Shanghai, one can find excellent weaving and embroidery in many different styles. Shanghai rugs are finely detailed creations with traditional motifs and designs, and are mainly made by hand with wool. Rugs and carpets of silk are also made in Shanghai.
Silk tapestries made in Shanghai are characterized by their smooth feel and traditional Chinese scenes and subjects such as mountains and lakes.