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Free Day – Shopping!

Today was a free day on the tour. No van and no Laura, so we were completely on our own! We started the day like every other day with the breakfast buffet in the hotel, albeit slightly later in the morning since the previous days were early starts. Breakfast was a mix of western foods like bacon, eggs, breads, yogurt, fruit etc. and Chinese foods like noodles and rice. For me, it was like have brunch everyday as I had bacon & eggs with chow mien.

The rest of the day was spent shopping! We walked to the metro station near the hotel and headed underground. After sorting out that the ticket machines only accepted small bills or only coin in some cases, we finally got our tickets. Our first stop was the Silk Market, which is a multi-floor shopping center famous for their fake brand name goods. There were fake clothes, shoes, purses, bags, watches, and electronics. We split up into pairs so that we could each get a chance to look around at what we wanted, meeting up every 1-2 hours to check-in with each and compare deals. At this market it’s expected that haggle for price and NEVER pay the asking price. The rule of thumb we have investigated before arriving was to pay 30-40% of their initially asking price. It was a lot of fun for a day, but it’s a little exhausting having to work the price down for every item. We walked out with t-shirts, a watch, a designer bag, wallet, Bluetooth speaker and a few other souvenirs.

After the Silk Market, we hopped back on the subway and headed to the Pearl Market, which is a similar market with knock-off brand name merchandise. By this time is was late afternoon and we’d all had our fill of shopping so we only spent a couple hours here, but not without getting a few more things!

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