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Where to pick flowers in Shanghai

Date: 2012-10-07

Shanghai's birds and flowers markets are often dingy, noisy and surprisingly smelly, considering the fragrant blooms on offer. They have everything needed to create a garden - minus the serenity.

However, depending on your bargaining skills, they can offer extraordinarily cheap prices.

The abundance of goods, including potted plants, freshly cut flowers, ornate stones and small pets, such as birds, turtles and fish, can take half a day to peruse.

Caojiadu Flower Market

Address: 1148 Changshou Road

This three-floor indoor market is perhaps the city's best-organized and most neatly arranged flower market. Artificial flowers, gardening tools and fertilizers can be found here.

Cao'an Flower and Bird Market

Address: 2299 Zhenbei Road

This market hosts more than 200 individual stores and is perhaps the largest of its kind downtown. Both wholesale and retail buyers frequent this locale. But some vendors charge more for smaller purchases. Sometimes, it comes down to the stallholders' moods.

Yongjia Road Flower Market

Address: 406 South Shaanxi Road

Yongjia is more of a street lined with florists than an actual flower market. Its central location next to the bustling Huaihai Road means higher prices, but it also provides a better shopping environment.

Most flower markets close before their stated business hours and usually pack up around sunset. The earlier you go, the fresher the flora.