Shang Mao Qu Fresh Market, Yiwu China


The market seemed unusually clean, almost antiseptic. It’s odd that I would find that a bit discombobulating, but I did. There we were, in the middle of downtown Yiwu, China, some 4.5 hours southwest of Shanghai, in a town that was essentially one massive wholesale market, and here we were in this gleaming, odorless, sterile market with some of the most amazing looking produce on offer. But it didn’t seem right.


Probably some government initiative to set up a very orderly clean market space, but I was pleasantly surprised, having just come from a chaotic street market just steps away…


Square islands with display counters all around them were rented out to vendors who stayed inside the square. Up top, a wonderful selection of chilies and spices…


…preserved and/or pickled vegetables, various kinds of seaweed, etc.

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More preserved or pickled vegetable concoctions.


I’m not even sure what these are, but they looked like young shoots of particularly thin bamboo, but I could be wrong on this.

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Lotus root.


Various greens that just looked too pristine. Isn’t it odd that I find that unusual to have near perfect greens in the middle of China?

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Again, I wasn’t sure what these were, but something mustardy popped into my mind. No one seemed to speak any English, and my chinese is limited to 3-4 words, so I wouldn’t really know for sure.


Overall, a pleasant 10 minute walk through this market but I would have been a lot happier and knowledgeable if I had had a guide or someone who could translate with me…


3 Responses

  1. I thought it was hilarious as well as interesting experience for you Marketman!
    However, Every foods & Vegetable looks pretty fresh in the Chinese market but it’s found little in my country .

  2. Indeed. So clean! The mustardy plant looks like stems of lettuce plants that have bolted. I saw that in the huge Korean market here,

  3. Hello MM, I’m really amazed at your China posts. Just wondered how you checked for food safety since (rightly or wrongly) the country has a reputation for enhancing fresh food with chemicals. I still remember the exploding watermelons, bleached mushrooms & tainted rice from a few years back. Watermelons were sprayed with a growth accelerator w/c caused them to explode.



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