Whatever you're in the market for, Suzhou has the place for you. Brides-to-be can get planning at the Tiger Hill Wedding Market, budding chefs can source fresh produce at the South Gate Market, while green-thumbed gardeners will feel at home at the Bird and Flower Market. Suzhou also has markets for pearl aficionados and antique collectors. If none of that sounds like your cup of tea, perk yourself up with a trip to Suzhou's very own tea market.
Packed with locally run stores and workshops, Till Hill Wedding Market is a must-see for anyone with a taste for local flair and certainly shouldn’t be missed by any brides-to-be, which stocks a range of wedding gowns, formal menswear, and cocktail dresses. Brides from all over China visit the area to shop for gowns, ranging in price from RMB 200 ($30) to to over RMB 3.000 ($5,000). Besides wedding gowns, a handful of oddities and hidden gems are tucked away from view of the main streets, including various costume and specialty shops—even a store specializing in Elizabethan-style historical gowns. Once you're in the area, it's worth taking the time to do a bit of exploring!
Name in Chinese: 虎丘婚纱市场
Address: Huqiu Road Jinchang district
Address in Chinese: 金阊区虎丘路
South Gate Market is a wholesale market where small vendors in the SIP come to buy their vegetables and other ingredients. This market offers a good deal on many essential ingredients. It is divided into two sections. The interior part sells a myriad of vegetables and other fresh produce, including an extensive selection of seafood. On the periphery of the market, a range of dried and preserved goods are available.
Name in Chinese: 苏州南门市场
Address: Xi'er Road 9 Canglang District
Address in Chinese: 沧浪区西二路9号
If you've got green thumbs, this is the place to get all your decorative garden supplies and accessories. As its name suggests, the market is also the place to shop for birds. We can’t tell apart an oriole from a sparrow to save our lives, but there were dozens of these singing, twittering creatures peering out at us from individual makeshift woven bamboo cages. Besides birds, the market is also home to a number of small animals for sale—think turtles, lizards, goldfish, and hamsters. Even if you’re not looking to take home a new friend, we think a visit to this market is quite an experience.
Name in Chinese: 皮市街花鸟市场
Address: 172 Pishi Street
Address in Chinese: 苏州市皮市街172号
This sprawling bazaar of anything and everything goes by a number of names—we’ve also heard it being referred to as the Railroad Market and the Fabric Market. During our visit here, we found a bizarre variety of things on sale, from three-pound dumbbells, to dartboards, bicycles, hair extensions and statues of a laughing Buddha made from carved wood. Things are ridiculously cheap, and if you’ve got skin the thickness of hide, you can bargain these prices even lower.
Name in Chinese: 新钱万里桥小商品市场
Address: 88 Huchi Lu, Gusu District
Address in Chinese: 姑苏区虎池路88号
Built up in 1993, this market already has 25 years of history. It opens every day from 8.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. Many consigners collect antiques on week days and sell them during the weekend, providing goods in this market a sense of mobility. Wood carvings, jade objects, scripts,paintings, chinaware and ancient coins are all available here. Customers from all over the country and even from Japan and Korea often come here to purchase antiques.
Name in Chinese: 文庙古玩市场
Address: No 36 Xinshi road Canglang District.
Address in Chinese: 沧浪区人民路 667号
Tea is one of the symbols of China, and an irreplaceable element of daily life. Suzhou is famous for the tea it produces and sells, and this market demonstrates Suzhou's importance to the tea world. Various kinds of tea are sold at different prices, so you need to sharpen your eyes to buy high quality tea. In addition, there are also tea sets and packages available. You can come here from 9:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. everyday to experience Chinese classical tea culture.
Name in Chinese: 苏州茶叶市场
Address: No.25 Nanhuanxi Road Canglang District
Address in Chinese: 沧浪区南环西路25号
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