Ive just returned from my very first visit to Shanghai !!
I know Beijing well and was hoping to find a big market that sells all the copies (!) such as one finds in Silk Alley but was told that the big market, Xiangyanglu had closed on 30th june.
This is the case but I was accompanied on my trip by a Singaporean lady who travels to China once a month so I was able to benefit from her experience.
Some of the traders have moved to 580 Nanjing road west,into a large airconditioned building on several floors. I didnt visit this one myself but some friends did and reported the usual bags,sunglasses,trainers etc .
Other traders from the market have moved to an indoor airconditioned area on Century Avenue (Pudong Area) behind the Science and Technology Museum and down the escalator to the station.
There are lots of little shops down here selling the usual, samsonite cases and wheelie bags, mont blanc pens, sunglasses, bags of all types, toys, spyder ski wear (didnt see any north face) trainers, timberlands etc etc etc!! Its good fun but definitely not like a market, no hustle and bustle and absolutely no character!
The market traders now see themselves as shopowners and price their goods accordingly so haggle hard. They're very friendly and willing to practice their english..............and had a great laugh at my expense when I spoke the few chinese words I know!!!
As mentioned in a previous post, in the side streets where the big market used to be there are still plenty of stalls selling stuff, its a case of wandering around and looking though!
Personally I prefer Beijing overall but thats just me!!!