Shanghai’s flower, bird, fish and insect market

Have you ever thought: “I could do with an enormous cricket in a tub” but never known where to get one?!

Well, the search is over – head to Shanghai’s flower, bird, fish and insect market where you’ll come across thousands of prize crickets, used for fighting and to bring good luck, and assorted other critters including turtles, cats, dogs and chinchillas, not to mention caged songbirds by the hundreds.

You can buy all manner of critters at the market.

Admittedly, it’s a somewhat depressing place for animal lovers and I had to resist buying and taking home about 15 sad-looking kittens. But, it is a fascinating glimpse of Shanghai’s less polished and more traditional side, something that’s becoming increasingly hard to find amongst the shiny new skyscrapers they keep building.

It’s common among older people in China to keep song birds.

Top tip!

Keep a look out for the mynah birds tucked away at the back of the market – see if you can get them to say “nǐ hǎo” or ”huānyíng guānglín” (welcome).

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