I’d been living in Hong Kong for almost a year now and had still never been to Mainland China, despite it being only a few miles away. Though this was mainly due to needing a ridiculously expensive visa, once I finally acquired one, I had no excuse. So I packed my camera and headed to Mainland for a day.
The closest city from Hong Kong is Shenzhen, China’s first Special Economic Zone. A city built merely 30 years ago, most people will argue this is nothing like the real China. Shenzhen is filled with kitschy theme parks, massage resorts, shopping and crime.
The day we went it ended up pouring rain most the day, so paying an expensive entry fee to a theme park was out of the question, and it was too late for massage reservations. Instead, we spent our time experiencing an American pastime in China– shopping at Wal-Mart.
Here’s a look inside my visit to Chinese Wal-Mart with a mini photo essay.
The bakery consisted of various buns and dumplings
The deli section– complete with all different types of chicken feet
Candy by the pound? Nope, just rice here
Fresh, whole poultry just lying about
Sale displays still filled the aisles
Tons of weird Tang flavors. Mango? Yes, please!
A whole section of Walmart-brand jujebes
Chinese love Coca-cola
Yet the check-out looked just like in the US
Sam Walton bids shoppers farewell in the exit
It felt a little bit like we were in the twilight zone walking around somewhere that’s so familiar to us, yet completely different.
In the end, Wal-Mart really caters to the local population and almost nothing that’s found in Wal-Mart’s in the US could be found in China. But of course we couldn’t come home empty handed– so just what did we come home with?
A bunch of horrible sounding Chinese junk food of course! Mango Tang, mango Oreos, peach Oreos, teriyaki chicken Cheetos… just to name a few. We still have yet to open anything we bought to try, but we’ll soon find out!