I just got back from 义乌 and it was absolutely amazing!
“Where or WHAT is 义乌?!” you ask?
– A city in China of course!
Do they have pretty places? I’d say No.
A vibrant night-life? Erm.. I wouldn’t really know.
Do they have nice parks? Can hardly say, as there really wasn’t much green.
Beautiful architecture? Categorically No.
“So, what is it a city of then?!” you want to know?
– Of COMMODITIES, I say!
Yiwu (义乌) nationally – and to a somewhat lesser extent internationally – known for its “small” commodity trade and vibrant free markets, has- due to its gigantic amount of variety and ridiculously low prices- become a haven for tourists and shopperholics. I lie not! I spent 2 days there myself, and must say: Should you ever plan to open a store, trade or purchase goods in bulk, Yiwu is the place to go!! Absolutely everything from hats, hair accessories, jewellery and textiles, to electronic goods, bedding, belts, machinery, and craft- you will find it there! Its many shopping streets, districts, warehouses, malls and markets are bigger and larger, greater and wider, deeper and lengthier than anything you’ve ever seen, imagined, heard of, or dreamt about! Those who know me, know of my ability to exaggerate BUT– believe me when I say this- I am in no wise inflating the truth right now!
I started Day 1 with a stroll through the second floor of District A of the International Trade City; section: Hats.
From point A to point B, it took me (in a straight line, and without entering the stores) 12mins… on one aisle! The Hats section alone consisted of about 35.. I managed about 13 before I decided I had seen enough. Now- mind you- the Hats section occupied only 1/4 of that floor! I spent over 2 hours in it.. Do the maths yourself *sighs*
The Intl Trade City consists of 4 Districts (A, B, C, D) altogether, and has 5 floors. I spent 2 hours on floor 2 (only the Hats section) and about another 1 1/2 on floor 3 (a tiny section of “Shoes/Sandals”).. That floor- needless to say- was much larger, with more than 4000 booths (each store/seller has a booth)!!! My eyes got tired.. and the stores closed; whichever came first, I do not know..
I left that district on a motorbike.. heading to another part of Yiwu (The Exotic Street) where I had dinner at an Arabic restaurant (there are more Arabs than Chinese in Yiwu!! I kid you not! You know you find them, where there is money to be made *wink*), was cheated of my change by a professing ****** who should have known better!! (stone me) but decided to say nothing anyway, and left.. I bought some fake gold (chain and bracelet), some ill-tasting sweetcorn, and then walked through the night market: opening hours being 6pm- 4am!!! Although it was absolutely beautiful, I decided not to stay too long, as I was running low on/out of cash. *sighs*
I got back to my hotel room, slept, woke up the following day- pardon me for stating the obvious- and carried on with my Yiwu sight-seeing tour at the Binwang Market– which consists of 4 District with 5 floors each too! This day, I focused on hair accessories and beads. And oh my, did I find some pretty amazing things! Not wanting to talk more than I have already, enjoy some of the pictures of what I saw and what I got.
Final Note: Visiting Yiwu (should you have a business or be business-minded) will definitely be worth your while! Just make sure to learn some basic Chinese, as it isn’t all that international just yet! 😉