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Published: October 22nd 2013
This time after more smoothies and pancakes, we catch a taxi to Tianzifang (¥21, A$3.80 – flagfall is ¥14). Its still crowded and a squeeze in some places, but not as dense as the other day. We enjoy a longer look at a wider range of allsorts, including Chinese and foreign nick-knacks. We’ve been keeping an eye out for another suitcase to carry the extra weight of items we’d bought. A shop provides the answer, with a ‘Ming Jiang’ bright green hard plastic case on four wheels for ¥740 (A$135). After a pleasant look through the alleyways, we catch a taxi back to the hotel and have lunch in our rooms.
Joseph, Ky and I then go for a walk past the Yu Gardens Shopping area, looking for the Shi Liu Pu Clothing Material Market. The narrow streets beyond the shopping area prove to be far more interesting than the tourist oriented fancy buildings in the shopping area. Here, sitting on the kerb are people selling a range of foods, clothes and other items. Trays of plastic hold live crabs in water, and some have fish in them. We keep walking along, reconnoitring by our own reckoning towards where the
market is. We aren’t really sure of the address, because on the map it isn’t clear where this place is, but I figure it would be a reasonably large building. Eventually we end up through some alleyways and onto a medium sized busy road, and as we’re walking along looking for a way back to the shopping area, I notice some words on a large building opposite that mention “Material”. Yep that’s it.
We have a look inside and it’s a large number of tailors’ shops making suits and dresses. Ky is looking for materials for her quilts, but these are all formal items and not much of what she’s after. So we head back to the shopping area along another road, and suddenly find ourselves in the real shopping area! Here along a long windy street are all the clothes, shoes and other types of everyday stores that we had wanted to find all along. Great! We follow this street from east to west to end up at the southeast corner of the Yu Gardens Shopping Area.
Back in the hotel we experiment with the pool and spa. The spa is hot! I can only bear to
sit in it for five minutes before having to get out and cool off in the pool. Five repeat sessions and that’s enough exercise for one day! Resting in the cool pool, on the 21st
floor, it is very relaxing looking straight out through the windows to the City outside.
We keep it simple for dinner and have a la carte in the hotel restaurant, ¥622 (A$113 - It could have been a lot more if we’d gone for the Aussie Angus steaks).
Joseph, Ky and I go out again for a last evening stroll, around the Yu Gardens Shops. There we find some camo pants for Liam, and Joseph negotiates for a small folding panel souvenir. The shop lady starts at ¥120 (“Joseph that’s like $30”) so he offers ¥40, she comes back to ¥100 and then Joseph says no and walks out. Now I wanted to keep looking around in the shop, but I can’t do that when he’s haggling the price, so I follow him out. As he’s walking away, the shop lady is getting desperate (I don’t know why), and says “ok ¥60”. Joseph turns, with a grin like a cheshire cat, and the
deal is done. Nice.
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