Guangzhou China Fabric Markets

Almost a year ago I went to Hong Kong and had the chance to visit Sham Shui Po Fabric Market. I was thrilled to score some good quality fabrics and those rare ones that I couldn’t find it back in Malaysia. Do read about my experience here if you haven’t.

Ever since that trip,I’ve been waiting for the right time to rope in my crafter friends on  a fabric shopping spree. Long story short, Maizura, Liza and I finally decided that we should go to Guangzhou China as we heard ‘this is the real deal’ ‘the mother of all fabric markets’. Upon approval from our husbands (yay!) we proceed to book our flight tickets and waited anxiously for the day to come.

We arrived Baiyun International Airport, Guangzhou on 30th April 2014  in the morning.

The first fabric market we went was the HighSun String & Cloth Market (also known as HighSun Fabric Market). We took taxi to the market as it was more convenient that way. Tip #1 , for non mandarin speaking tourist like us , we came prepared printed the mandarin name and showed to the taxi driver. He understood right away and took us there, about couple minutes drive only from our hotel .

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In front of the store. Yes all smiley and super excited 🙂

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This Aunty shop carries variety of linen materials and she’s super nice too! We like her a lot that we came back again with more order.

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Liza felt all giddy here hahaha …honestly, we are all spoilt with tons of  fabric choices.

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Haggling is a must here! That’s my “gimme good price aunty..i buy many many”  pfft hahaha

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Some that I bought on that day..

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We stayed in Highsun until close to 6pm. Then we headed back to hotel as all of us suddenly felt our stomach growling- literally shop till we drop!

Day two –  Welcome to Zhongda Fabric Market (中大瑞纺布匹市场 ).  We arrived early morning around 9am and yerp! this time with our luggage bags. Pretty ambitious I’ll say. We took translator this time round as we’re not that confident when it comes to dealing with whole sellers.(or so we thought hmmm)

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Inside Zhongda.

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As expected there were swatches on each shops. Unfortunately due to Labor day many shops were closed ..even if there are shops that operates, they are unable to get fabrics as warehouses are closed as well. However they suggested we placed our orders and swing by tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, as by then warehouses are open.To be honest we were rather skeptical about the arrangement , firstly our flights back is tomorrow night and secondly we rather not take the risk of losing our deposit money if we failed to picked up/they failed to deliver.

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Anyhow we didn’t came back empty handed. Liza managed to grab few meters on the spot from a shop that happen to kept some fabric sample. As for the rest of us, we went for sewing accessories like rick racks, buttons, lace, knit elastic band which was pretty awesome too!

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On Day three – Well, we went back to HighSun for the same reason – another round of fabric freezy..haha just an excuse to finish up our yuans, which I might add was a good choice we make , as we got familiar and know which shops has yummy fabrics selections. We scored relatively good %  too if I may say ..so hurrah!

Ok here are some tips I gather :

1. Never ever ever Ever accept the first price offer.

2. Try to walk around first before you start buying .

2. Make sure what you bargain is what you really really want. It’s just not nice if you bargain and not interested to buy. So be nice to the seller too ya.

3. If the price offer is not right,  tryyyy walking away from the seller (tactics hehe)..and chances are sometimes they will call you back and give you your last offer price. But sometimes, they might just ignored you as they find your offer price too low ..haha in that case, if you really2 like it just buy lah!

4.Chinese beliefs first customer in the morning should bring “ong” (luck) for their business. We happened to come early that day. So as a first buyer they gave quite a good price. I even managed to get few meters free as well from the ‘many-many’ meters I bought from this seller., I believe she kinda like me hahaha ..My friends can attest to that 🙂

5. Few basic English to communicate “how much”(show the calculator), “buy many-many?”, “ok not ok?”

 

To conclude  I even made this table below as a comparison between HighSun vs Zhongda Fabric Markets.

 FABRIC MARKETS Highsun (Haiyin) Fabrics Market海印布匹市场 Zhongda Fabric Market(中大瑞纺布匹市场 — Zhongda Rui Fang Bu Pi Shichang)
Fabrics almost any kinds of fabrics can be found here, for curtains, bedsheets, silk materials, chiffon and cotton. you’ll be overwhelmed with the choices they have, you have to refer to their fabric swatches inside/outside their shops.
The place it is ideal for small quantity fabric purchases (between 2-10 meters) and for tailor making dresses. it mostly targeted for whole sellers, selling wide varieties of fabrics and taking up order until 1000 meters!
Opening Hours 9.30am – 6pm 8.30am – 6pm/7pm
Minimun Purchase you can buy small quantities about one meter of fabric Depending on each shop, some prefer you to buy in bulk. However, you can inquire them if you can buy fabrics as sample abt 5-10 meters, sometimes they do take up. Try asking
Do I have to wait for my fabric order? Normally they have their stocks within reach, so you can get your fabrics order right on the spot. Most of the time,Yes you do have to wait because their warehouse is elsewhere so they need to make contact for your order. some i read takes an hour or so, but for us they requested a day/ two days of delivery
Location/Address 沿江东路429 号海印大厦 海印布艺城1-4/F, Haiyin Building, 429 Yanjiang Dong Lu, GUANGZHOU Guangzhou Zhongda Fabric Market
海珠区新港西路中大国际轻纺城 Xingang Xi LuChina Fabrics and Accessories Center
(广州国际轻纺城 — Guangzhou guo ji qing fang cheng)
How to get there?  We didn’t take the metro, we took taxi , it was about 15 minute drive there. If by metro station > stop at Sun Yat Sen University, Exit D. Walk straight 200 meters after the exit and turn right on Ruikang Road. Then you will find fabric markets all over that street.By taxi from our Sino Trade Center hotel, took us about 20 minutes. The fare was about 20yuan.

Other good write up I look up before the trip was from these readers:

Libertad

Michele Ng part 1 | part 2

Our translator name was Carrie, from ChinaFabrix . She came to our hotel and we all went together to Zhongda.

In case you’re wondering, we stayed at Sino Trade Centre Hotel which we highly recommended. Great location, easy public transport access, there’s 7-11 and Circle K , a bakery shop and if you’re a muslim there’s few blocks away a halal restaurant. In the morning there’s a flea market just behind the hotel and there’s a yummy yogurt seller nearby too.

All in all, based on our business needs & the time we have in Guangzhou we preferred HighSun Fabric Market. That being said given the chance we would definitely like to come again to Zhongda Fabric Market and maybe this time we might place our orders 😉

I personally hope this entry inspired you readers to hop on that plane and explore this city!

Other places we went during this trip was One Link Plaza (selling lotsa toys, gifts and household items), Beijing Lu (fashion street) and One Link Walk (just to checkout Zara Home !).

The End.

 

 

Our Lombok and Gili Trawangan beach holiday

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I first heard of Lombok from a good friend, she went there last year and her Lombok photos was mesmerizing.

Since our kids loves to play with water and we’re thinking somewhere with nice beaches and so Lombok it is 🙂

The night before our trip we had our annual office dinner and I was involve as a committee..so came back late and I was practically rushing to pack everything in our suitcase (this is where I forgot to pack our sunblock sheesh).It didn’t help my baby boy decided to wake up too at 3am because hey mommy is awake why not play with her..hmmph!

Long story short, we boarded our early morning flight and arrived approximately around 11.30am at Bandara Lombok International Airport. The flight took us about three hours. Good thing we’ve arranged earlier an airport transfer to our hotel. Now, that took another 45 minutes ride (by this time I look like a zombie haha but rest assure still very excited hee)

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We choose Living Asia Spa & Resort Hotel at Sengigi, West Lombok for our four days and three night stays here. Upon arrival we were served juice drinks. Husband thought of requesting a room with private pool but it was fully book, nevertheless the receptionist gave us a room with a beach and pool view and get this, the pool is right in front of our door steps! Of course kids was the most happiest.

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The first day we just lazed around the hotel while kids had their fun in pool for hours (and I get my much needed nap). That night we had a delish seafood BBQ buffet and was entertained by live acoustics band.

On Sunday, after a hearty breakfast for all , kids jump in the pool while I get my dose online inspiration/pinterest.

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Lombok has three beautiful Island: Gile Meno – the quietest island, less crowd most beautiful I was told,  Gili Air – which has the largest local population and Gili Trawangan- being the most popular among all three.

Later that  afternoon we then make our way to Gili Trawangan. The much anticipated island we heard so much about. We booked a tour guide from the hotel and two supir came to pick us up. The nearest jetty from our hotel was about 20minutes drive.

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We booked a private speed boat to Gili T simply because we wanted to reach there fast. But boy was I nervous (and had a mini seasick) throughout the ride as it accelerate and quite bumpy, and dang those waves looks scary to me. Kids was all right, happy with the speed -.- unlike their mommy. Thankfully that took us slightly over 15 minutes to reach the island.

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The rest I let the pictures speaks for itself 😉

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That’s me with my girl Mia >>snorkelling..

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No prize guessing who had the most fun.

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We found out no cars/ motorbikes allowed on the island. Only bicycles and pony rides like this we took are prohibited.

Locals calls it the “ferrari ride” LOL. Took us around the island for a good forty five minutes.

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By six thirty pm our boat arrived to pick us back to Sengigi Lombok. It rained later that day..hence the gloomy look.

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Unbelievable – we came back and kids are still pumped and jumped right back in the pool for another round of funnnn.

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Monday we took the same supir to bring us for sightseeing around Sengigi.

First stop was at the traditional weaving village – Sukarara (situated at Central Lombok). All handmade and beautifully weaved fabrics  which I was informed takes months to complete.

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We then head for lunch at ……. Lesehan Taliwang Irama, where we had the locals -Ayam Taliwang dish. Oh! I must mention among the best part of Lombok is the muslim community. If Bali is well known for Pulau Seribu Temple, well Lombok is famous for Pulau Seribu Masjid. Mosque can be found every corners in this Island.

We then take a drive to Kuta beach, South of Lombok. Just chillaxing at the Novotel Kuta where we had a few drinks and desserts.

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While Mia and I went for the hotel spa, our boys waited us under this gazebo. The massage and facial cost only RM90 for both of us. What a steal right?!

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Day four – and our last day in Lombok, we just enjoyed the surrounding of our hotel beach view and kids had their last dip in the pool.

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Lombok has been good to us, definitely coming back to check out the rest of the Island.

 

p/s: On another note, very very sad with the devastating news of the missing Malaysian Airlines (MH370) on Saturday 8th,March. My prayers and positive thoughts to the victims family.

Hello 2014

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Inspired from Beci Orpin “Find & Keep” book ,I got myself busy making this “Hello” cross stitch at this Iphone5 casing.

Here is my version >>
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I made a bag

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One of my greatest purchase at Sham Shui Po, (HK largest fabric market) was leather. It has been in my shopping list for the longest time. Luckily I found shop selling tons of nice soft leather on my way back to MTR. There’s many types,sizes and colours to choose from, obviously that didn’t make it easier for me – as I need to decide & buy quickly ( catching up flight back that evening!) .

Leather as we know ain’t cheap. Furthermore I took the risk of just buy it and think later how to sew ’em (truth is most of the time that has always been the case..haha buy,think later LOL). And boy I’m glad I take the chance heh. So one fine evening, kids went to bed early (hurrah!) and I got myself busy – measure and cut , one of my favourite cotton and leather to turn it into a bag.

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Good thing about being frugal and the love of upcycle stuff, I kept an old zipper I ripped it of from my worn-out handbag. To be honest, I actually forgot where I kept it, so that night when I went to bed I was doing a “mental search” where could I hide/stash the zipper. I loathe working on a project and half way thru having to go to store to get stuff – major turn off!

Yup found it and get my hands busy ripping those fugly faux leather.

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To make it more in.ter.esting, I decided to made tassels. Easy and cute add-on if I may say so 🙂 (how to diy leather tassels go here)

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Long story short, I made my very first cotton & leather fold over clutch. It was beyond my expectation and damn glad I didn’t screw it up too! This by far is my fave project for this year (and 2013 almost coming to an end!) , more reason I got it done by two days. For a busy wife & mommy this is a huge success for moi.

Fits all my on-the-go stuff.

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Now, let’s see whatelse I can make with the rest of my leather hmmm..

Here You Leave Today and Enter The World of Yesterday,Tomorrow & Fantasy

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My husband and I have been keeping secrets from our kids about our Hong Kong vacation. Somehow along the way Mia found out and was super excited that she didn’t slept at all in flight, well only doze off when we were about to land. Anyhow, this trip was extra special because we went together with good friends. Six adults, four kids and two babies. Full house!

Tickets to Disneyland were bought months ago during Malaysia’s Matta fair. It was quite a good deal. We stayed at Disneyland Hotel for three days and two nights.

One main reason we opt to stayed in this hotel was to spend the time with the Disney character during breakfast. Kids was stoked when Mickey Mouse then Goofy then Pluto came to our tables.

We make a move to Disneyland about 9.30am by a shuttle bus provided from the hotel. The queue to enter Disneyland wasn’t that bad – I believe we came during a non-peak session. Ten am sharp they opened the entrance. We were super glad weather was bright and sunny as couple days ago HK weather forecasted raining.

We’re so happy to see kids enjoyed themselves tremendously. I would say it is a perfect age & time we brought the kids to Disneyland.

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to be continue…

 

Fabric Market : Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong

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Four days ago I was in Hong Kong for a family holiday. The highlight of the trip for me has got to be my shopping trip to Sham Shui Po (SSP), Hong Kong largest fabrics & DIY supplies. If I may quote from Hey Kumo blog Indeed, the Fabric Street in Hong Kong is something to behold. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of textile shops in the area, with their samples hung out for your picking.”  Every crafter dream to be to in this side of  ‘paradise‘.

I went to SSP with a dear friend sans our husbands, just us with our babies  in our boba babycarrier – (I swear this carrier is very comfortable for a long walkabout!)  Since it was our last day in HK and we had to check-out by 12pm, so husbands stayed back to do some packing while us ladies head to fabric shopping. No way I’m gonna miss going to this much talk about fabric market while I’m in Hong Kong.

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I am so blessed Mukhriz is an easy baby. He slept the moment I step into MTR and all the while during mommy-going-oooo-aaa-over-fabrics , he slept soundly. Alhamdulillah.

Alrighty – brace yourself diyer & fabrics lovers as I will present to you one of largest fabric town I have been to- Sham Shui Po.

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Our Regal Kowloon Hotel (where we stayed for three nights) situated nearby Tsim Sha Shui MTR and it took us about 3 minutes walk. We took the Tsuen Wan Line and head to Sham Shui Po MTR ( very important to get to the right exit – take exit A2) .

By 9 am we arrived SSP. *A tip I read in blogsphere it is better to go on a weekday because on Saturday & Sunday most shops are closed. I’m glad we decided to go on a Monday morning. Traffic was good and weather was kind too 🙂 . Since we were early, we roamed around Yu Chaun Street where we saw ribbons, trims & beads shops. Choices choices choices!

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Before we began to overspent on tons of beautiful ribbons & trims we quickly walk away (of course with our loots!)  from the shop (heavy heartily)  to locate Ki Lung Street and we found it! It was just a row behind the first lane from where we got off from the MTR exit.
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Sellers are getting ready to take out their stacks of fabrics. It’s nice to be there early.

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Weee…blardly excited ! Tee Hee

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Words could not described how stoked I was to finally arrived and experienced the awesomeness of the SSP fabrics town. My hands kept touching every fabrics I saw to get the feel – there’s jersey knits, cottons, lace, polyester, silk every types of fabrics one could imagine.

Samples of fabrics are displayed for customers to choose. However, most of it are sold as wholesale. I took couple of samples, didn’t asked further as I know I will have to wait a day or two before getting them so I head to available ones on Ki Lung Street.
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I have a thing with scissors. I love to collect them whenever I travel abroad. This uncle was seating in this cute corner shop selling nothing but scissors. He didn’t talk much but understood what I was looking for. I picked a size 10 scissors and he helped out to sharpen it and let me test to snip on scraps. He sure is an expert.
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Three hours passed by very quickly when we’re having too much fun picking our materials to your heart contents. I did get discounts from this one auntie (didnt get to snap her photo) since we bought A LOT from her. She has the nicest collections too I must say. *All shops sells in yards , some put up a minimum of 5yards , some at 3 yards and certain doesn’t mind at all. Try to negotiate and ask nicely 🙂

I wish we brought our roller luggage but what to do, it was our last day in HK and hubster need to use it to pack our stuff. My shoulders were overload with yards & yards of fabby furthermore with a sleeping baby it was quite unbearable to be standing and walking . No doubt both of us were exhausted but we were happy with our purchases.

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Price wise I would say very afforable even compared to Ringgits. Definitely a must go for every crafter & sewist …you won’t regret it.

Many thanks to HeyKumo blog, Katharine Yeung and TravellersYarn for their informative stories about sham shui po fabric market. Other related blogs you can read here, here , here, here and here.

And finally , here are stuff I bought – yards of cottons, oil cloth, knits, sequins, beads, ribbons and leather . Not in pictures are some ribbons, rick racks and lace. All worth the walk & sweat to SSP!

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I have been to Chinatown Bangkok (blogged here) but nothing beats Sham Shui Po market. Definitely coming back for sure! Who’s with me? 😉