Wanderer Neha

"i haven't been everywhere but it's on my list."

3 Surprisingly Chic Yet Haggle-Friendly Places To Shop

I'm very excited about shopping while traveling to a new destination. It's not just about getting souvenirs back for friends and family but exploring the local fashion outlets. I'm not too keen on big brands which I know I can easily shop online at home. But every new place has got its unique style. I love to get back some pieces which are fairly common among the locals.

With only a few destinations ticked off on my bucket list, I still feel the need to share this list since they are popular destinations and largely frequented by travelers. Ladies, be sure to check them out when you are here next and brush up on your bargaining skills before you enter!

  1. Luohu Commercial City, Shenzhen, China

    China, Guangdong, Shenzhen, Luohu

    I was not sure as to what I could particularly find for myself here as I was told that this place is known for manufacturing fake branded items. I don't necessarily propagate the idea of buying fake brands. However, my friend and I still took a chance and strolled the different levels of this mall. I'm glad we did since we found quite a few non-branded shops selling locally manufactured fashion accessories. Women in Shenzhen dress up exceptionally well and gave us serious complex. We were lucky to find their shopping paradise! 

    We picked up scarfs and boots at a really good deal. Back in Mumbai, they are expensive and without much variety to choose from. I love boots and even though I can rarely wear them in Mumbai, I bought them as I could never find such designs back home. Since we came with a limited budget for this place we couldn't shop more even though most of the products were of good quality and fairly priced.

    The nature of most shops here is wholesale but do not forget to bargain and try your luck. You can look for handbags, watches, shoes, clothes, electronics etc. for men and women. Beware before you pick up any electronic items as they might not function properly once you get them back home. The good thing about this mall is that you will be able to pay in HKD and USD and probably in other currencies (which I'm not too sure of) at a certain exchange rate. Always keep a calculator handy to get an idea of the price in your local currency. 
  2. Ladies Market, Hong Kong

    Tung Choi St, Hong Kong

    I saved most of my dollars on my Hong Kong trip to shop on this street as I had heard only good things about this place. And so it was, a true shopaholic's dream destination. With several streets lined with shops selling clothing, accessories, electronics and souvenirs, be careful of the directions since you are bound to get lost.

    Not to take anything away from how wonderful Hong Kong is, the fashion scenes here compared to my previous stop in Shenzhen were pretty dry. I guess it's the consequence of living in a fast-paced city. You just don't have time for anything! Having said that, Ladies Market did not disappoint. Our bargaining skills were put to test and emerged victorious as we haggled for half the price. We picked up scarves, bags, jackets, stockings and souvenirs. We were spoiled with choice and products were of superior quality, way better than what we find back in India. 

    Generally, with street shopping, people have the perception that products are of poor quality and shops are selling fake branded items. This is not completely untrue. If you are a smart shopper, you know what to pick from the streets and at what price. There are certain items that require purchase from shops with a warranty card. Boutiques around the world pick up their stuff from these Chinese markets and sell at exorbitant rates back home. If you are alert and aware then you won't ever be duped while street shopping and on most occasions will walk away with great deals.   
  3. The Platinum Fashion Mall, Bangkok, Thailand

    Petchburi, Ratchathewi (next to Pantip Plaza), Bangkok 

    We zeroed down on this specific mall out of the several others in Bangkok because it is one of a kind. Platinum mall is a wholesale mall selling right about everything you use to clad yourself from head to toe. It is also Thailand's largest wholesale and retail shopping destination with close to 2,500 shops. The mall is well planned and has designated floors selling clothing, footwear and accessories. The mall is humongous and at one point you get dizzy simply looking at the number of shops selling coats. Not a surprise but it mostly features women's fashion items.

    You will see most of the people walking inside the mall with trolley bags and it's a good tip for you to consider as I was struggling with my shopping bags. Boutique owners around the world frequent this mall to buy items and brand it in their name to sell locally. The range of styles that is offered is what is most impressive about this mall. You will get a good deal if you buy in bulk and you do get to pick different styles. We spent two entire days at this mall and I picked up handbags, dresses and lots of jewelry. Dress up comfortably before you head to this mall because for some weird reason there is no place you can find to sit and rest. Also, come loaded with cash! My friends and family are still raving about the stuff that I shopped from here. 

Have you come across any such affordable shopping destinations? Let me know!


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