One of the best parts of my recent vacation was my side trip to Zhuhai, a Special Economic Zone of the People’s Republic of China which is separated by a mere border gate from Macau.
Going to Zhuhai meant I had to go through two immigration counters again for my entry-exit. But applying for a visa is hassle-free, provided you have no problem with your papers. I just paid HKD $150, which is the same as what you would pay in Shenzhen, another China special economic zone nearer to Hong Kong.
The funny thing about this side trip is that I didn’t even see any greenery, rode a bus or ate in an outside resto. After passing through Zhuhai immigration, I immediately went through a giant basement mall (called Gong Bei Commercial Plaza) where I went crazy with all the cheap shopping, and even cheaper window-shopping. 😛
My Macau friends were telling me that you only go to Zhuhai for three things : the shopping, the cheap and good massage and the eating. I was happy enough to try the first two:)
This is moi with Anya Hindmarch‘s famous “I am not a Plastic Bag” China edition. The original bag cost only HKD $120 (out of stock though) and when the Zhuhai salesgirl told me it’s also $120, I borrowed her calculator and typed in $50. She agrees. The place is a haggling haven. You just have to use your skill to th fullest.
I stayed long in Tang Dynastic, a Chinese store with cheap but beautiful silk items. They had all these Chinese-inspired dresses, blouses, robes, even notebooks and wine holders. I bought a couple of blouses and silk bedsheets which would have been expensive elsewhere. What more, the young salesgirl named Kate was very amiable and spoke good English.
The clothes, bags and accessories on display in the Zhuhai mall were very hip and up-to-date. Did I mention cheap again? I really don’t know anymore. It has been a very long time since I visited 168 Mall or Tutuban. Here, a saleslady flashes clothes with labels by Miu Miu, Marc Jacobs, Anna Sui and other designers.
See what I meant when I said I didn’t have to go out of the mall? It had everything – from hair salons, manicure/pedicure and spas.
Hmm, the squid balls with the curry sauce really tasted good.:)
This is the spa I went to which is just a walk across the mall. A one-hour massage in Zhuhai cost only 30 RMB (rinminbi) which is almost equal to the Hong Kong dollar and macau pataca. That’s $4 or one hundred eighty pesos for you. Being the tired shopper, I availed of a two-hour massage for 60 RMB. I must say massages in the Philippines are better but there’s no hard in trying their service. Aside from the fact that it’s affordable, the massage rooms are high-tech (uses card-swiping system) and they also serve unlimited noodles, juices, and biscuits. Unbelievable.