Appropriately enough for a major commercial city, Canton’s specialty markets are destinations in themselves – yet often overlooked by foreign visitors. One sight which rivals the city’s wholesale tea market – itself truly a must-see – is Chang Shou Road’s jade market.
Famous all over the country, this market offers items ranging from cheap soapstone and imitation jades, to extensively worked heirloom treasures. Plenty of delightful objects can be obtained in the intermediate price range. Even average quality is high.
Jade and curio traders come from all over the country to stock up here. Original and reproduction antique furniture can also be found in this area; expect to pay more, but prices are reasonable for this quality.
Nearby, 19th century lanes contain narrow-fronted, highly ornamented courtyard houses. A swift peek inside their gates offers a lingering glimpse of what most of back street Canton looked like before the city’s transformation began in the 1930s. Lanes were gated at the entrance, and an entire urban-village world was contained within these narrow precincts. Excellent restoration work is ongoing around here as well.