A trip to the Guangzhou Jade Market

It’s so much fun to move to a new town and go exploring. Whether it’s the local science museum, a butterfly observatory, a riverside park, or even a cool new movie theater, getting out is good to do!

A benefit of this Foreign Service lifestyle and moving all over is that our new far-away town has so many things to do that are truly new to us! We have only skimmed the surface of things to do in Guangzhou.  Last weekend we drove (yes, I said drove, in our car, on these crazy streets, more later), down to the Guangzhou Jade Market. It was about 30 minutes from our house and we were still well inside the city! This city of 15 million is soooo big!   We were able to find parking and even a gas station – and the jade market not too far away.

There were two distinct sides to the market area – one with the shiny glass cases, bright lights and goods in red boxes. The other side of the street was a bit less polished – think open air (well, covered stalls in an alley). We chose the latter and had a wonderful time wandering around the maze of stalls. It was exactly what I thought China would be like!  It was a little romantic walking through in the rain. And filled with the aromas of the lunch hot pots at almost every vendor’s stall. It reminded me just a tad – a small tad – of the Paris Flea Market (that we also went to on a rainy day so many years ago!).  The jade market was also a bit quiet because some people were napping and others had just stayed home. We felt perfectly safe, and a little bit stared at, but most people were friendly to us and the kids had a good time!

There were some magnificent pieces of jade, some beautiful jewelry and tons of beads. It’s definitely a buyer beware situation – fake jade is out there! I’m no expert in telling real from fake!  Where we were we saw mostly bracelets and beads….plus the large statues.  I must admit, most of this adventure was for the experience – we only bought two birthday presents for friends and family back home! (I hope what we bought is real!!)

We will be back to buy more treasures – and perhaps see what what there is in spit-shined cases across the way.  There’s an antique market in the same area. That would be very interesting to go to also!

The back alley of the Pearl Market in Guangzhou was a bit empty on a rainy Saturday at lunch time - perfect for us!

The back alley of the Jade Market in Guangzhou was a bit empty on a rainy Saturday at lunch time – perfect for us!

There were hundreds of ten-foot wide stalls lining the alley. The young, old, middle aged, and tired all served as sales people.

There were hundreds of ten-foot wide stalls lining the alley. The young, old, middle aged, happy and tired all served as sales people.

You could buy a bag of jade beads - by the thousands!

You could buy a bag of jade beads – by the thousands!  Jade comes in many colors – green, white, amber, and pink.  There were beads of all sizes – these are probably the smallest and went up to about 1 inch in diameter.

The careful shoppers....and negotiators!

The careful shoppers….and negotiators! (My hubby’s shirt is a shout out to Recife soccer fans!!)

Jade bracelets in many colors!

Jade bracelets in many colors!  Although we speak decent Chinese, all the shopkeepers used a calculator for negotiating. They would type in a number and we would go from there.

You could also buy a piece of carved jade. This shop, like many, featured large carved buddhas.

You could also buy a piece of carved jade. This shop, like many, featured large carved buddhas. 

This piece was as tall as me!  I can't imagine what it weighs!  Do you think they deliver that one on the back of a bicycle?? :)

This piece of carved jade was as tall as me! I can’t imagine what it weighs! Do you think they deliver that one on the back of a bicycle?? :)

Here's a really big buddha!

Here’s a really big buddha! (No, not the cute little girl..she’s mine!  It’s the thing next to her!)

Close up of the big buddha. The intricacy was amazing.

Close up of the big buddha. The intricacy was amazing.

Large jade spheres lined the wall. The shopkeeper gave each of the kids one - about 2 inches in diameter. :)

Large jade spheres lined the wall. The shopkeeper gave each of the kids one – about 2 inches in diameter. :)

There was one shop that sold "faux ivory" aka cow bone carvings. They were amazing!  There's a factory here in Guangzhou that produces them.

There was one shop that sold “faux ivory” aka cow bone carvings. They were amazing! There’s a factory here in Guangzhou that produces them.  Can’t you just hear Superboy saying “Cheese” with that little face??

Here's a close up of one of the faux ivory carvings.

Here’s a close up of one of the faux ivory carvings.

It was indeed lunch time, nap time, on a rainy day.

It was indeed lunch time, nap time, on a rainy day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About 

Currently, I’m globetrotting with my family as my husband is a Vice Consul with the United States Foreign Service.

Our first post was Recife, PE, Brazil, and we arrived in August 2010. Upon arrival, our daughter had just turned four and our superbaby son had just turned three months.

During the summer of 2013, our family of four moved to Guangzhou, China, for a two-year post. Our daughter is seven and our son is three.

3 thoughts on “A trip to the Guangzhou Jade Market

  1. admin Post author

    It was a fun trip! :) Not quite like going to H. Stern, but still fun! Have you gone on the H. Stern tour?

  2. Amanda R.

    I’m glad you are adjusting so well and I enjoy reading your blog. My husband I will be moving to Guangzhou in October after three years in Hunan. I’m not looking forward to it :( Maybe we can meet up and you can show us some of the sights.

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