Exploring Guangzhou's unique markets

Getting acquainted with Guangzhou’s historic markets is a fast track to understanding its soul


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Guangzhou is a city where old and new China aligns. Vertiginous skyscrapers and futuristic architecture hover over heritage colonial buildings. But behind Guangzhou’s glossy veneer its traditional side is present with buzzing markets, alive with the sounds and sights of locals purchasing their daily wares. From rare artisanal teas found at the world’s largest tea market, to beautiful antiques and jade jewellery; we go in search of what to buy at Guangzhou’s markets. Step off the tourist trail and immerse yourself in the hustle and bustle of the authentically local Guangzhou.


Hualin Jade Market

Near the historic Hualin Temple, Hualin Jade Market - the largest jade market in China - is a treasure trove of semi-precious stones that dates back to the Qing Dynasty. With over 100 quaint glass-fronted stores, this pretty street is where you can unearth the finest quality jade from Yunnan Province and further afield. Look out for bracelets, rings and trinkets to pick up as souvenirs or gifts, and watch craftsmen at work fashioning jade into elegant ornaments.


Huangsha Seafood Market

For a window into everyday Guangzhou living, the atmospheric Huangsha Seafood Market, next to Shamian Island, is where all the action happens. One of the biggest fish markets in southern China, you’ll witness hawkers selling an overwhelming selection of fish alongside exotic and unusual delicacies. Watch out for fish swimming in tanks, live crabs and fresh abalone plucked straight from the ocean. If you choose a fish to buy, restaurants within the market complex will cook it for you, straight from the tank.

Tea in a Chinese market


Fangcun Tea Market

The ancient tea ceremony is integral to Chinese culture and the immense Fangcun Tea market is the largest in the world. And it’s little wonder, given the incredible selection of rare and artisanal teas from across the country. Oolong enthusiasts will love spending an afternoon sampling different varieties before deciding on what teas to buy. From Yingdehong black tea to fermented Hunan Fu Zhuan, expect a spectacular array to choose from. You’ll also be able to buy hand-crafted tea accoutrements, like cups and trays.


Qingping Medicine Market

One of Guangzhou’s most famous bazaars, Qingping Medicine Market, is tucked away on a characterful street of pre-colonial buildings in the city’s old town, Liwan. Perhaps a market for window shopping, the stalls are filled with a weird and wonderful collection of medicinal curiosities. Rows of baskets and bags housing all manner of otherworldly herbal medicines — from dried locusts and giant fungi to a more appetising mandarin peel and red dates. Qingping Medicine Market offers a fascinating insight into traditional Chinese medicine.

Chinese flea market antiques


Xiguan Antiques City

With a reputation as one of China’s best antique markets for certified authentic relics, Xiguan Antiques City catapults you to old-world China. Located near Liwan Park, along Liang Feng-Yuan Road, a throng of shops overflow with everything from paintings and furniture to Tibetan rugs and elaborately carved statues. For beautiful keepsakes of a more suitcase-friendly variety, lookout for porcelain teapots, ornaments and rare calligraphy sets.

Use Jumeirah Guangzhou as your base to explore Guangzhou and its wonderfully eclectic collection of markets.