Spring is finally here and with it comes the urge to watch greenery grow. What better time than now to check out some of Shanghai’s best Bird & Flower markets? We’ve checked out several around Shanghai that are relatively easy to get to from city center – greenify your life today!
Xi Gong Bird & Flower Market
225 Wuning Lu, near Caoyang Lu (武宁路225号)
Xi Gong Flower and Bird market is located smack in the middle of a park surrounding the Huxi Cultural Worker’s Palace (沪西工人文化宫内) – a sprawling area with a lake, boats for rent, tea houses, little shops and the like. It’s an open-air pet market, which is probably its single largest selling factor: fewer terrible smells!
While the market itself is spread across quite a large area, it actually struck us as relatively limited. Half the shops were shuttered (we visited on a Sunday, not sure whether that’s a factor.) And more importantly, save one small handful of cages squeezed away in a corner, there are no birds to speak of! Shops are dominated by the usual plants (mostly cacti), gerbils, turtles, and fish (and groups of cooing Chinese girls and their trailing boyfriends.) There are some larger pet shops with cats, dogs, ferrets and chinchillas for sale. Which, of course, come with the sad visage of full-sized adult dogs crammed into cages.
One distinguishing factor of Xi Gong is the animal adoption center, which was closed when we visited, but which apparently offers abandoned pets up for adoption. The sign outside the shop explained that they are exclusively an adoption center, not a shelter, and pleaded for people not to abandon their pets outside its doors.
The most exotic things we spotter were some medium-sized rays in the back of one fish shop (questionable legality??) We were impressed with the ray-related knowledge of the shop guy, though, who could speak with expertise about the illness one of the animals had contracted.
Xi Gong is just south of the Caoyang Lu stop on Line 3/4. Multiple buses (36, 40, 94, 838, to name a few) stop nearby at the Wuning Village stop (武宁新村). When entering the park from Wuning Lu (no. 225) you have to walk past some shops and along the lake until you see the entrance to the pet market on the left (look for piles of small cages!)