The Plant and Flower Market

    The Shantou Plant and Flower Market is a pretty cool place – both literally and figuratively – to stop by and get a few green things to brighten up your apartment, if you are so inclined.

    Mostly, I was impressed that I could get five or six good-sized plants for about 120 kuai.

    Most of these plants were unrecognizable to me, except for one which may be some variety of fern.

    The market – Huamu Shichang, I believe, in Chinese – is off to the right of the last roundabout as you drive out toward the airport. It is on a long street that is called (please double check my Pinyin, this is from memory) Hengshan Lu. Actually, I’ve heard there is at least one more such market on this street.

    The market itself is a huge outdoor space, the size of a football field at least. A rough, eyeball estimate would put the number of shops there at 30 or so. All selling, more or less, identical plants. This is a feature of business life here I find fascinating and really difficult to understand. You have got the street where people sell indentical-looking, identically-priced mattresses. You have got the street where all the artists are, selling paintings that are more or less the same as the paintings of their neighbor. You have got the plant and flower market. How do these businesses successfully compete against one another?

    In any case, if you are not particulary interested in purchasing plants but need a cool respite from the hot weather, I would still recommend the market. Two thumbs up on being a relaxing place, where even shop owners have a mellow approach.