Shanghai’s Dongtai Road antique market is definitely worth a visit if you are doing some sight-seeing in this most vibrant of Chinese cities. But don’t go there expecting to find anything really genuine – rather look upon it as a pleasant way to pass an hour or two…
There is very little for sale that could be classified as actually antique, although you will find things like Chinese made cameras that are genuinely old but of dubious value.
Plus the stall holders give the distinct impression that they would not be seen dead with much of the stuff on display in their homes.
But the market attracts lots of tourists and the Chinese relish the opportunity to sell something to them, particularly if it’s at a grossly inflated margin which the majority of the stuff for sale is at.
Most of the stalls sell much the same thing and the irony of so many similar “antiques” being available in the same location seems to be lost on the vendors.
Care need to be taken in expressing even the merest hint of interest in one of the many things for sale as it is immediately seized on as an intention to buy and leads to a bout of “calculator based negotiation” whereby offer and counter-offer is transmitted back and forth courtesy of a calculator as very little English is spoken.
The area around Dongtai Road is very safe and well worth wandering around and watching the locals…
How to get to Dong tai Road Antique Market
The market is just on the edge of the Xintiandi area and is a 10 minute walk from South Huangpi Road Metro station, which is on Line 1.
The SmartShanghai website is a great resource for finding your way around Shanghai and has excellent street maps so that you can find specific locations easily and a very good map of the extensive and really excellent Shanghai Metro.