You never know what you might find on a stroll through Haizhu Square. I’ve been there five times already, in my three months of being in China, and though each time I wander down the same busy street, my view is always changing.
Haizhu is an old district in Guangzhou city where Chinese life is rife with an oldtown market feel. It’s the place where one can go to find low prices on imported goods such as pasta and sauce, balsamic vinegarette and cheese. It’s also home to a plethora of dried goods stores. Anything you might think of drying and eating can be found here.
Starfish and mushrooms? Check.
Snakes? You got it.
whale shark fins can easily be bought in bulk.
Across the street from the fantastic array of dried goods is an even more wonderful selection of two of the worlds finest creations: chocolate and wine. Unfortunately, most of them only sell wholesale quantities…or maybe that’s not so unfortunate.
Haizhu is also home to my favorite shop in all of Guangzhou – the only coffee store I’ve found with a selection of whole beans from all over the world and a grinder on site. But the deliciousness doesn’t end there. The shop carries nearly every flavor of Torani syrup and other creamers, plus various kinds of coffee makers (even an Italian one!). In a country where tea is relished and few people drink coffee, it’s nearly impossible to find any of the above in abundance, and at a low cost. I thought I found heaven when I first stumbled upon this little jewel of Haizhu.
Alas, I don’t think it’s heaven, but it’s close.
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Haizhu Square: Guangzhou’s Best Kept Secret