In last week's program, we talked about Cantonese cuisine and other famous foods in Guangzhou. Today, our host Liu Yan will introduce you to some of the most popular places to go shopping in the city.
Enjoying the fame of a "shopping paradise," Guangzhou is one of the most important commodity distribution centers in southern China. Worldwide brand-name commodities in any category can be found here. Fashionable clothes, jewelry, cosmetics, computer and electronic products, popular toys, curios, medicines and herbs all meet the different demands of visitors from all over the world.
Lao Yibo is general manager of the marketing department of Guangzhou China International Travel Service.
"Beijing Road and Shangxiajiu Street are the most popular shopping areas and can best represent the lifestyles of the local people."
Lao says Beijing Road is preferred by domestic tourists while those from Western countries favor Shangxiajiu Street.
Beijing Road is one of the oldest areas in Guangzhou. It has everything that a tourist needs -- cheap clothes, good food and even a little history. Inside the shops, you can find men's, women's and children's clothing for really good prices. A lane was built in this area depicting scenes from the Song Dynasty some 1,000 years ago. In 1997, Beijing Road was honored as one of the best model shopping areas in the country.
Chen Peijie is a tourist from central China's Wuhan City.
"Beijing Road is one of my favorite shopping streets and has high-quality products. You can also find antiques if you explore deep in the lanes."
Online shopping also connects customers to all the shops in Beijing Road with just a simple click on your computer at home. This is the first large-scale online shopping street in southern China.
Stretching some 800 meters, Shangxiajiu Street is home to some 240 buildings. Built early in the last century, these buildings are sotto porticos, one of the most typical local styles of architectures.
With a low porch or walkway and a roof supported by columns, sotto porticos have been used for commercial buildings since ancient times. They are best known for the functions of displaying goods while sheltering the exhibits with the roofs.
Shangxiajiu is filled with shops, department stores, and various kinds of restaurants. There are old shops specializing in cured meat, groceries and cookies, and modern restaurants with all kinds of traditional and Western-style cuisine.
Different traditional professions and historical sites are scattered along the street. Among them, Xilaichudi is believed to be the site where an accomplished Indian monk who came to China as a missionary first landed in China. Hualin Temple, Jade Street and Antique Row all offer high-quality products at an affordable price.
Other famous Guangzhou specialty streets include Changzhou Road, which is the street for jade, while Daxin Road is for folk arts and crafts. Wendehellu is for cultural products such as antiques, calligraphy, porcelain and other art works. Tianhe Road is for computers, while Wushan is for scientific products; Qianjinnanlu is for pets and Danan Road is for fresh flowers.
In addition, a street called Zhuangyuanfang sells accessories popular with students, such as unique octopus barrettes, funny cartoon hair ornaments, delicate necklaces, cosmetics, and toys. The 700-year-old street has today become a favorite for young people.
Zhang Zijin is a student at Zhongshan University in Guangzhou.
"This is a place that is especially favored by young people where you can find all the fashionable things."
Besides these time-honored commercial streets, Guangzhou also has new commercial strips like Teem Plaza and the Friendship Store.
Jiang Guoyuan, deputy general manager of the Friendship Store in Guangzhou, says the commercial circles in Guangzhou are fully prepared to welcome athletes and tourists who come for the 2010 Asian Games.
"Preparation work has been underway since 2008, in which we teach local business people to communicate with foreign languages. The business circles in the city have vowed to present the best goods and services for Asian athletes and visitors from around the world."
The open-air night markets scattered across the city's major shopping areas are also worth mentioning. These night markets are open from dusk to midnight, selling things for daily use, fashionable clothing and food. With low prices and the fun of bargaining, these night markets are making the vibrant nightlife of Guangzhou even more colorful.
Thank you, Liu Yan, for your report. The information will be very useful to those who plan to go to Guangzhou for the games. If you do go to Beijing Road, I especially recommend ladies head there to shop. I love the clothes and shoes, not to mention the purses and other accessories for sale there.