5 Things You Should Know About Yiwu

Yiwu is a city of Zhejiang province. To get to Yiwu, you will need to fly to Hangzhou and take a high speed train (50 minutes) or normal train (2 hours) to reach to this city. Trade has been historically important in Yiwu since the surrounding area has little arable soil. Even before 1600s, Yiwu men would carry sewing needles, threads, sugar chunks and other small commodities in their bamboo baskets, using a shoulder-pole, and travel to surrounding rural villages in exchange for chicken feathers. Chicken feathers could be either used as a fertilizer for their own lands, or made into feather dusters for exporting. This "Sugar-For-Chicken Feathers" tradition had become part of Yiwu culture. However, why you should visit this city? Read more to know.

1) Yiwu International Trade City is the only reason for you being here

If you have a business idea in your mind and you do not know where to get the supplier, here is the place. Yiwu International Trade City is the primary wholesale market complex in Yiwu, Zhejiang. There are a number of other large wholesale markets in Yiwu including the Huangyuan Market for clothing, several furniture markets, a capital goods market, and others. It's the world's largest wholesale market for items that are "relatively inexpensive, non-technical, mass-market", serving as the major conduit for many types of such goods.

It has 5 floors and 5 districts which made the floor area of 59 million sq ft. It is a size of 1024 standard football field size. Maybe it is too big for you to imagine it. How about One Utama Shopping Mall which is Malaysia's largest shopping mall? It is 17th largest shopping mall in the world and you may need approximately 12 One Utama Shopping Mall to make one Yiwu International Trade City. Yes, it is enormous and it is already like a city by itself. There are 75,000 over stores in there and counting.
So, can you imagine it now? If you want to explore every single store, you may need at least a week. That's according to a trader from Jordan that I have known of during my visit here. So to make your life simple, please do know what you are looking for, walk straight to the district and the level of that department. This will shorten your time.
Their major language is Chinese but due to too many overseas especially Middle Eastern contingent and Africa continent to Yiwu, most of the stores have equipped themselves with basic English knowledge.

Another thing you have to take note is they only sell it bulk. Almost 90% of them. The bulk size started from minimum 100 pieces of the same design. So please do not be surprised when you are asking for the pricing and all you is this for an answer, "How many pieces you want?"

There are too many kinds of product to be expected here. So if you really have a product you would like to import to your country in mind, they will surely have it. I can guarantee it! You just need to be optimistic to find it. On the side note, not all shops like you to take a picture of their things. So just be careful or ask for their permission before you do so.

They are opened everyday from 9.00am - 5.00pm except on their public holidays. There are some store owners will decide themselves their operation hours and days. The entrance fee is free. If you decided to buy a bulk or a container, they will have logistic partners to sort it out for you. You do not have to worry. You just have to worry the moment the goods arrived at your country's port.

2) Hunting for a Halal Food is over

The most common foreign buyers are from the Middle East, Russia and Africa. The number of buyers of the Middle East has given rise to a street filled with Middle East restaurants. So getting a Halal food in this city is never a problem. 

Their Halal restaurants are sometimes located just next to a non-halal restaurants which is not allowed in some conservative minded countries. So you have to decide yourself if that's really an issue for you.
Their Halal restaurant is really exclusive, grand and fancy. The price is not cheap thou but there are some restaurants serve quality food. 
There are Chinese Muslim but there are mostly located at the Xinjiang province, Gansu province, Qinghai province and Ningxia province which is at the North West region. At Zhejiang which is at the Eastern part of China, Yiwu city is the city where you thought you are dining at the Middle Eastern countries.

Please do not feel surprise by now if I am telling you there are Halal supermarket here too. They are selling local products as well as importing other products from Middle Eastern countries.

3) Airbnb is available here

Lots of hotel, lots of motel and there are some giving promotion for those who staying for more than a week because there are really merchants coming from either locally or overseas are staying here and getting around with other merchants to talk about business opportunities by making new friends. Language might be a barrier but don't get shocked with the foreigners here who can speak in Chinese. So if you are a Chinese, refrain yourself from your own bad habit of talking bad things behind someone's back.

So getting a stay here is never an issue and even Airbnb is available here too. All you need to make sure is the place you stay is very near to a bus stop which is the next topic I am going to talk about.

4) Bus is king here

Bus and taxi are the only public transport to let you travel around the city. There is no subway here. There are some private cars that can be hired too but their price can be as expensive as a taxi. So the best choice is to take their public bus. The price is CNY 2 - CNY 3, depend to the route. You need to have small change to take a bus. They will not give you any change. The bus is very frequent. The most you have to wait is about 15 minutes. So just make sure your hotel, motel or Airbnb is located near a bus stop for conveniences. As for the route of the bus, it is written on the board at the bus stop. Sorry to say it is mainly written in Chinese. There some important location, then will translate to Hanyu Pinyin.

5) Do not miss their night market

Their night market is located in their city. Just ask any people around to point you to the direction of the night market. It is one and only night market which opens everyday started from 5.00pm. 
If you not really specifically need a Halal food, over here is the heaven of all kinds of food. Just settle your everyday dinner here by trying every each stall.

This is a mini lobster which is generally famous in China but largely originated from Hunan. You can eat the whole thing together with the shell. As for me, I do not really like it.
A big piece of tofu for you. I bet generally people will love this unless you have some allergic with soy bean.
Beggar chicken is also one of Chinese delicacies. I can't imagine one person can finished up the whole chicken like that but that's how they are selling it. It is meant for one person portion and you eat straight away like that like some kind of carnivore. No thanks!

Husband and wife doing Chinese teppanyaki style. The aroma fragrance can be smelled from miles apart. Everybody is queuing up for it but I am not a person who likes to queue. So next time then.
My favourite is still the grilled skewers. I really do not know why I only able to eat delicious skewers in China. They really good at making good skewers especially the Chinese Muslim, they are the best skewers in the world that I reckon.
The price is CNY10 for 4 sticks. The portion is small but it is delicious.
I have tried different kind of smelly tofu in different provinces in China. I still think Malaysia one at Taman Connaught Pasar Malam is still the best. It stinks your nose from miles away but you love it in your mouth because its stinky smell. Maybe I haven't been to Hong Kong to try yet because Hong Kong is famous for their stinky tofu too.
No matter what they are selling, I find it they are doing it with their heart just to earn an honest living. Either delicious or not, they just want to continue to live.
Now I am full, let's do some shopping. It is crazy cheap here. A lot of them are selling clothes at CNY50 for 3 pieces. That's the average price selling here in this market. The cheapest is CNY10 for 3 pieces. Yeah, you read it correctly. CNY10 for 3 pieces of clothes.
Not just clothes, other things such as bags, shoes, toys and baby stuffs are dirt cheap. The best part is the price is still can be bargained. So just offer your reasonable price to them and they might accept it. Never try never know. It is always feel good for able to buy something very cheap.
Others are pets...like our ordinary Pasar Malam in Malaysia also have.
Adorable mini plants is up for sale too. Too bad I am not into gardening at this moment. Maybe I will in another 30 years.

Manicure service is available too. Seems like they didn't have any customers at this moment. Overall, I really enjoy experience night market at other countries. It is crowded, it is dirty but it is happening!
Overall, Yiwu is just a place for merchant from all around the world to gather to purchase your stocks at the lowest price. This is always the best place to start you retail business.

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