Date of visit: 25 May 2016.
In regions like Africa and the Middle East people may know nothing about China but most know the magic word YIWU CITY (Zhejiang Province): Yiwu where all what you fancy comes from.
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.
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.