If I’m good at anything, I’m pretty sure I’m
good an expert in shopping.
Before traveling to a country, I would usually google the best places to shop. Here’s my shopping style : yes I do splurge on branded goodies but only if they are a good deal, say in HK, US, or Europe where retail prices are cheaper than Indonesia (because of the import tax). Unfortunately, China is one of the countries that also has a high import tariff. So no branded goodies for me this time.
However, I am very interested in looking out for local brands and I do love a good deal, so I’ll also search for cheaper clothing (think Indonesia online shop quality) because hey, some trendy items will just live in my closet for a month or two before I sell them or find that they aren’t a great fit.
You totally know what I’m talking about – you try this piece of clothing in store and damn, it looks so nice but after buying it and retrying it at home, you form completely 180 degrees different opinions about it. You know what I’m talking about, don’t act like this has never happen to you!
As I was researching before my trip, I didn’t find any useful information on TripAdvisor/traveling websites about the places I’ll talk to you about. Are you ready?
TAIN HE FESTIVAL WALK/FASHION TIAN HE PLAZA
This place really reminds me of Far East’s underground mall. Small shops and clothes hung from the top of the ceiling til the bottom, they utilized every inch of the space.
The clothing sold at this mall aren’t exactly the best of quality. I would say that they are very mediocre. There were a lot of trendy pieces. Some shops look better than the rest, the pieces that they have carefully picked out are also of better quality, compared to those selling very obvious wholesale-priced clothing. China is very heavily influenced by Korea, therefore the style that they offer is very hip, trendy and at this moment, street grunge style is very in trend right now.
I really regret not taking pictures of the space! However, if you really are curious, you can watch my vlog and I did film clips of it. The space was utterly crowded because I visited on a weekend.
The thing about China clothing is that sometimes they do have the worst slogans on them. It’s like they take any fancy (or not) quote and just print them on the shirts. The moment I saw some of them, I was surprised, to say the least. Funny enough, I saw one shirt with the wording “Genuine Raw Horse Hide”. That made my day.
One thing I really appreciate about the clothes I buy from China is the sizing. Since I am very vertically challenged, European and Western sizings may not fit me ideally, especially bottoms. In China, I had an easy time finding pants. And if you know me, I prefer wearing pants compared to skirts/dresses.
Tai Koo Hui/One Link Center
One particular brand that I really recommend is OCE in One Link Center. It is very heavily inspired by the Norwegian style – simple, classic, casual. It reminded me a lot of MUJI but with more colors. I really enjoyed going to OCE that I shopped quite a few pieces, and they were decently priced at 200-500 yuan. Cheaper than Zara, with similar quality stand point.
Tai Koo Hui and One Link Center carry more high end brands. Tai Koo Hui mostly carry international brands, whereas One Link Center carries Chinese brands. I would recommend visiting One Link Center to see the stores. The products are pricey and are not worth it, however, the store layout and knick-knacks are worth seeing. The way they lay out products, the way they designed the stores, branding wise… I think they are really creative. I came across this store that has a small coffee shop inside. Cute.
From a high end mall, now I’ll be telling you where the cheapest clothes are at. Bai Ma. Bai Ma has the cheapest clothes you’ll ever find (or at least that’s what I think). Fashion-wise, there are a lot of weird clothings. Most of them aren’t my style. If you are into prints, dresses, then this is your place. It really doesn’t hurt to go and take a look but I get pretty annoyed if I’m in a place where there are loud music playing at the same time. One thing I don’t understand is that… Why must all the stores be playing different songs at different volumes? Do they think that it will attract customers? The salesgirls there are realllllllyyyyy aggressive and will pull you into their stores and follow you and… sigh, it’s just not the best shopping experience to be honest. But if you don’t mind all that, it’s worth a try.
These are the very few shopping places I visited so I hope it provides as a good to whoever is visiting Guang Zhou soon! I hope this helps and on to the next post which is HONG KONG! My favorite place in Asia!