I was fortunate to travel with two friends to Tokyo, Shanghai, and Beijing in November 2016. The trip was full of delicious food, colorful sights, and memorable people.

The photos from Japan can be seen in Part 1 of this post.

Shanghai, Yiwu Markets, and Beijing, China

Sights featured:

  • Meeting up with my uncle on The Bund, Shanghai
  • Yu Garden, Shanghai
  • Buying a custom sport coat with next-day delivery at AP Plaza, Shanghai
  • Kee Club, Shanghai
  • Great Wall - Mutianyu section with a treacherous 1/2 inch of ice from overnight freezing rain
  • Forbidden City, Beijing
  • Eating scorpions and squid on Wangfujing Street, Beijing
  • Hot pot meal in Beijing
  • A meal featuring traditional and odd dishes from Beijing - beef stomach, fried dough balls with face-numbing pepper, a soybean meal-based paste, spiralized spicy pickle, fermented soy milk, and a whole fish with cubed bamboo shoots
  • Photos of a day trip on the bullet train to Yiwu, attempting to show the scale of growth in the region surrounding Shanghai.

Yiwu is a destination well off the tourist path. Yiwu Market is the largest commodity wholesale market in the world and is located about 190 miles southwest of Shanghai. My photos don’t come close to conveying its scale. The market contains between 45 and 60 million square feet of shopping space depending on how it’s defined: for comparison, the largest office building in the United States is the Pentagon which covers approximately 6.5 million square feet. The building I explored, District 2 (of 5), is twice the size of the largest mall in the United States. Yiwu markets feature over 75,000 booths across its sprawling campus. Incredibly, approximately 70% of the world’s Christmas decorations originate from Yiwu.