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Yiwu has become one of the great places to shop along with Shanghai and Hong Kong. But unlike those two cities that are upscale, you can get the best low wholesale prices for regular consumer products in Yiwu. It is so popular now that about 300,000 foreigners go there to shop each year.
Prices and selection are better than in Guangzhou partly because tens of thousands of factories and manufacturing shops are located around the city. It is even recognized by international organizations as unique in the world as a shopping area.
People by the tens of thousands come from Third World countries to buy and order products for their countries. Now that there are very fast G bullet trains connecting Yiwu with Shanghai that opened in 2014 and G bullet trains between Guangzhou and Yiwu, more foreign tourists will probably make Yiwu a shopping destination during their tour of China.
There are three big market areas: International Commodity City, Huangyuan Market, and Binwang Market. There are all within about 5 kilometers or 3 miles of each other in the city. This makes visiting all these places easy while staying in Yiwu. In these three places, it is said that you can find 40,000,000 types of products. Each market area specializes, so read the descriptions below about what products you can shop for in each location.
International Trade City: There are six connected buildings each with five floors spread on 4 kilometers of shopping area. Wholesalers say you can find everything under one roof in this well laid out and centrally heated and cooled market. Here, many sellers won't accommodate small purchases of an item or two. Most want to make bulk sales, but you can always shop around and try to buy the same item from other sellers. This is China's biggest wholesale shopping market.
It is the biggest of the Yiwu market places. It has as many as 70,000 booths with 100,000 sellers representing factories all over China. It measures 4,000,000 square meters or 43,000,000 square feet.
This is the newest market and it covers 117 acres. It is a clothing market. It is on Chaozhou Road. In general, expect regular and budget clothing products. Much of it is designed for Chinese consumption. The clothing might not meet the style or quality preferred in other countries.
This is a bedding and clothing market with 8,000 booths.
Yiwu International Expo Center: This large new exposition center is across from the older Meihu Exposition Center. It has a 5-star hotel and building area of 73 acres.
Many trade fairs and convention meetings are hosted here. The biggest is the Yiwu International Commodities Fair at the end of October (see below).
The International Commodities Fair (中国义乌进口商品博览会) is held in October 21 to October 25 each year. About 200,000 buyers go to the October fair. About 24,000 of these buyers are foreign. There are about 2,500 booths set up in the convention center, and hundreds of other seller at the main market areas.
Yiwu climate: Yiwu has a subtropical monsoon climate. Generally, it is mild and humid. There are four distinct seasons.
During the end of October when the International Commodities Fair is held, expect cool and sunny weather. October and November are the months with the best touring weather because the temperatures are pleasant and there is relatively less rain, so it is sunnier.
Local Snacks: Fotang biscuits, Suxi sesame cake, Zhalin bean paste cake, and Huihui cake are favorite snacks you can try.
Restaurant dining: With 300,000 foreign visitors each year and about 9,000 foreign permanent residents, you can expect restaurants serving a variety of foreign cuisine such as Korean, Japanese, Russian, American, South Asian and Arabic.
Yiwu hotels of the quality most of our clients would appreciate average about 42 dollars per night. There are many lower priced hotels that cater mainly to Chinese shoppers or sales people, and also luxury starred hotels.
The main train station with the regular train lines and high speed lines is Yiwu Station (义乌站) that is about 15 kilometers north of downtown where the big markets are.
In late 2014, G bullet trains, the fastest type of high speed train in China, started operating between Yiwu and Shanghai. So now, the trip takes only 1.5 hours. They leave approximately every half hour during the day.
There are also three G bullet trains operating between Guangzhou and Yiwu each day.
G class tickets for 1st class cost 33 dollars USD. But regular K train tickets for a hard seat cost 8 dollars, and it takes 5 hours.
Yiwu is a crossroads in the area. There are two regional bus stations. Binwang Bus Station mainly has regional buses going to places in Zhejiang Province. Yiwu Bus Station has buses from other provinces mainly.