On 25 May 2016 I had a quick tour of Yiwu City (Zhejiang). There are direct flights between Beijing and Yiwu (just over two hours).
In regions like Africa and the Middle East people may know nothing about China but most know the magic word YIWU CITY. To see the pictures:
We stayed in the Crown Plaza Yiwu Expo. Next to it are the Yiwu Expo Hall, the Yiwu Library and Yiwu Archives.
The city is still expanding. See the enormous group of buildings under construction, also seen during the night. The pics are now on my new China Pictures website:
Yiwu City (Zhejiang) May 2016
Due to the enormous commodity trade the city has a lot of foreigners, many who decided to settle. We visited the Muslim neighborhood in the evening. There is also a Korean one, among others.
But the real and main attraction is the Yiwu International Trade Mart, a gigantic shopping center for exporters – no single pieces are sold. It covers 4.7 million sqm with 70,000 booths and over 200,000 daily visitors. It is said to be “the largest mall commodity wholesale market in the world”.
Visiting the mall you never want to buy that cute souvenir in Madrid, Amsterdam, Malaga, wherever. Or that exquisite doll in Japan or that magnificent Buddha statue in Thailand. Or that cute dog in porcelain in a high-end store. Or those bells and bracelets in a Chinese temple on a remote mountain (the monks come to buy here!).
Indeed, whatever you fancy, it come from Yiwu.
To see the pictures of the Mart:
Yiwu where all what you fancy comes from
When I had brought some souvenirs from Belgium to Beijing I was shown by my Chinese friends you could simply buy it (cheaply!!!) online on Taobao.
Kills the fun of looking for souvenirs!
The mall is indeed just as magical as the Cave of Alibaba (not to be confused by the Chinese Alibaba!).