A Tour of the Bird and Flower Market with LTL Shanghai
Bird and Flower Market Shanghai – Temperatures are rising and winter is finally behind us.
Now that spring is upon us, it’s the perfect time to add some life to your dwelling with flowers and plants, maybe even a small pet.
If you are in China, the perfect place to go is the Bird and Flower Market Shanghai (花鸟市场).
In this article, I will take you on a tour with me to one of the many flower and bird markets in Shanghai.
What is a Bird and Flower Market you ask?
As the name implies, this market has flowers, birds, as well as a variety of plants and pets. Its super local and you will likely be able to find things at a steep discount compared to your local flower shop or pet shop. But be warned…
while the flower and bird markets here in China make for a great cultural experience, it isn’t for the faint of heart.
However, if you keep an open mind, you may just be in for a fascinating adventure.
Bird and Flower Market Shanghai
There are many flower and bird markets here in Shanghai. The one I decided to visit is the one located on South Xizang Road (西藏南路) in Laoximen (老西门) in Huangpu District (黄浦区).
I did not find any signs identifying the market and entrances are inconspicuous. You know you’ve arrived when you hear the sound of the hot and noisy (热闹 ) crowd.
Inside the Market
The market is packed and the concrete floor is narrow and uneven. Brace yourself for the occasional push from strangers trying to get through and prepare to do the same if necessary. Did I mention it’s loud?
The inside of the market is a cacophony of people talking, vendors shouting, birds and crickets chirping.
Yes they also sell crickets here. More on crickets later. Let’s get through first.
Tiny stores flank the walkway displaying shelves of fish tanks, cages with small and large furry friends, plants, the aforementioned crickets in neat containers, and even jewelries and decorations like mini sculptures and beautiful vases. There are display shelves both inside and outside of the stores. Not an inch of space is wasted.
Being a small pet lover myself, I was immediately drawn to the display of rabbits, hamsters, and squirrels.
You can also find few vendors that sell kittens and puppies. Sadly, the conditions that these animals live in are nowhere near those of in western countries. But most people don’t seem to be too bothered by it. Perhaps it’s a cultural thing.
If you’re here to find greenery to add to your abode, you’ve come to the right place.
You can find a myriad of indoor and outdoor plants like succulents (多肉), Chinese rose (月季), lucky bamboo (富贵竹), bonsai (盆栽), devil’s ivy (绿萝) just to name a few.
Let’s talk about crickets (蟋蟀).
Cricket fighting (斗蟋蟀) has been a popular pastime in China for one thousand years since the Tang Dynasty.
Emperors and commoners alike enjoyed this blood sport. Another name for cricket is Qu Qu (蛐蛐), which is a phonetic similar to the sound they make.
You will see people in the market standing while holding an opened box on one hand and a straw stick on the other poking at the content inside the box. That is one way cricket fans determine how belligerent the cricket will be on the battlefield.
Even though I was aware of this popular activity, I was still surprised to find the variety of crickets there are and I definitely did not expect some of them to cost as high as 200 rmb!
As you make your way into the open area in the back of this flower and bird market, you will find more cricket vendors surrounded by stacks of small boxes and a crowd of people.
The Chinese, especially middle-aged Chinese men, still has a lot of enthusiasm for this “sport”.
That concludes my visit and your tour. If you’re feeling adventurous and want a bargain, make a visit yourself. You will thank me later 🙂
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