Carrefour: "Where's the Wal-Mart?" Top 5 Page for this destination Harbin Shopping Tip by John195123
Harbin Shopping: 15 reviews and 18 photos
Carrefours seem to be popular places in Harbin. At least they are always busy and usually very warm. Greasy meat-and-fat-on-a-stick and ice cream greet you at the Haping Lu Carrefour, as you step inside, past the books on tables in the entryway. There is a shopping mall of sorts taking up the majority of the place, with restaurants scattered about. Downstairs (keep right, passing by and sampling the tea from the tea store until you find the escalator) are the food, bath, appliance, and more clothing sections. They have what I've dubbed the, "Gringo Aisle" of western and international foods, though it's pretty sparse. I've noticed a lack of spices that we'd use in the west, such as herbs, mustard and all. Ketchup is plentiful. I notice a lot of people buying prepared mixes or meals as well as from the plentiful fruit/vegetable and nice meat sections. When you're done, get in a long line and sweat for a while. Your cart will stay, don't worry. (You'll know what I mean if you shop there.)
Outside the Carrefour, vendors sell everything from watches and knives to meat on a stick, popcorn, corn, sweet potatoes (which I really want to try, I just haven't yet- they remind me of the sweet potatoes I had on the streets in Monterrey.) You can get a taxi right outside the Carrefour if you don't want to walk. Just near the entrance to the Carrefour, near the street, is a staircase down under the road. It's closed at night, but aside from a warm and safer walk across the street, there is even more shopping there, bowing to China's increasing demand for consumerism and increased capital to afford it.
There is often a lot of coal smoke and usually a very foul, almost other-worldly smell that is beyond description.
What to buy: Sausages and bread are two of the area's famed foods. There are many varieties available. Potatoes here are very good as well, very rich and buttery.
What to pay: We usually buy about 300 yuan worth of stuff, going once or twice a week, maybe less.
Directions: Haping Lu bus stop, at the intersection of a few busy streets, which I'll figure out here one of these days...
Theme: Food and Drink
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