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China Zhengzhou Mall Pedestrian Street Food

20 April 2018

The most China of places I have ever been

Zhengzhou is a lot different to Beijing! It seems to be a tier of development below Chongqing, which up until now was the most China of places I have been to. I will be back in Chongqing soon to do a comparison.
To give you an idea, no traffic lights! Huge intersections where its just every man for himself, with enclosed motorbike taxis parked in the middle of the road, buses going either side, food carts set up in the traffic with people standing there eating dinner as trucks go past missing them by inches.

At first I spotted what I thought were some huge malls, so I wandered over to them, they are huge malls, but they seem to be for wholesale clothes buyers, they were closing early, and there was rubbish everywhere. I dont think I was wanted here, people were staring at me and pointing etc. and a heap of delivery guys were very amused that I wanted to look inside.

I then headed to the long distance bus station to buy a ticket for tomorrow, there is definitely no English, I thought that would be fine, but there was some confusion over my lack of passport. Eventually I worked out you now (since March) need your passport to buy long distance bus tickets, not to worry the station is very near my hotel so I wandered back and got my passport and bought a ticket successfully. If you did not speak any Chinese I think this would be impossible.

Eventually I worked out the central train station, the long distance bus station, and the wholesale clothes market, were all not really for tourists, and not really for the new generation of Chinese middle class. Back alongside my hotel, and 2 levels under it, I found areas which were a bit shinier!

Perhaps the interesting thing about this is, when I got to the east railway station this afternoon and looked out over the skyscrapers, it looked extremely futuristic, a stark contrast to where I am right now in the centre of town. Perhaps the plan is to build a new city, move everyone over there, demolish the old part and rebuild it! That is very possible, over in Lanzhou they literally removed a mountain.

China-Zhengzhou-Mall-Pedestrian Street-Food - The mall area outside of my hotel has shops, a lot like what I remember from the crossing into Shenzhen from Hong Kong. To try and get young people to

The mall area outside of my hotel has shops, a lot like what I remember from the crossing into Shenzhen from Hong Kong. To try and get young people to loiter, they have erected the worlds ultimate selfie station.


China-Zhengzhou-Mall-Pedestrian Street-Food - It is hard to tell in this photo, but this entire roof is a 3d screen. Things jump out at you. I never really saw anything like it before.

It is hard to tell in this photo, but this entire roof is a 3d screen. Things jump out at you. I never really saw anything like it before.


China-Zhengzhou-Mall-Pedestrian Street-Food - This is the central railway station. It does have high speed services, but I couldnt get one to Xian (my next destination). I recently realised the st

This is the central railway station. It does have high speed services, but I couldnt get one to Xian (my next destination). I recently realised the station that I am leaving from on Monday is not connected to the subway. It is however connected to the high speed line from the central station, so I checked if I could get a ticket between two high speed stations in Zhengzhou, and I could! On Monday I will take a 6 minute train ride.
I realise the above sounded very confusing, because it is.


China-Zhengzhou-Mall-Pedestrian Street-Food - This is the inside of what I thought would be a modern shopping centre. There are multiple levels of this.

This is the inside of what I thought would be a modern shopping centre. There are multiple levels of this.


China-Zhengzhou-Mall-Pedestrian Street-Food - This huge building is also what I think is just wholesale junk clothes markets. There were signs suggesting levels 9 and 10 were restaurants but I cou

This huge building is also what I think is just wholesale junk clothes markets. There were signs suggesting levels 9 and 10 were restaurants but I couldnt get up there, the place seemed shut.


China-Zhengzhou-Mall-Pedestrian Street-Food - I cant really convey the intersections in still photos, look at all those little things parked in the middle of the road..... there are no traffic lig

I cant really convey the intersections in still photos, look at all those little things parked in the middle of the road..... there are no traffic lights!


China-Zhengzhou-Mall-Pedestrian Street-Food - This is also a wholesale clothing market. It was also shut. I then realised there was a whole other world under me, and that crossing the street in th

This is also a wholesale clothing market. It was also shut. I then realised there was a whole other world under me, and that crossing the street in the traffic above ground was only for fools and long haired lost Australians.


China-Zhengzhou-Mall-Pedestrian Street-Food - There are lots of alleyways filled with food carts and little food stands such as this, 3 identical ma la tang shops in a row. They didnt really have

There are lots of alleyways filled with food carts and little food stands such as this, 3 identical ma la tang shops in a row. They didnt really have anywhere to sit though, so I moved on.


China-Zhengzhou-Mall-Pedestrian Street-Food - This is back right by my hotel, the cold comfort of neon and stores that are open and trying to attract regular customers.

This is back right by my hotel, the cold comfort of neon and stores that are open and trying to attract regular customers.


China-Zhengzhou-Mall-Pedestrian Street-Food - I descended into the underground, and wandered around a very long maze of little stores and people mingling about doing what they could to avoid what

I descended into the underground, and wandered around a very long maze of little stores and people mingling about doing what they could to avoid what was going on above ground. I couldnt find any food down here which I thought was weird.


China-Zhengzhou-Mall-Pedestrian Street-Food - Then I realised theres mored than one level underground. Basement level 2 has a food 'street'.

Then I realised theres mored than one level underground. Basement level 2 has a food 'street'.


China-Zhengzhou-Mall-Pedestrian Street-Food - I found ma la tang sushi train style, just like the ultra expensive fusion place by my house in Melbourne that charges $38 per person. Here in Zhengzh

I found ma la tang sushi train style, just like the ultra expensive fusion place by my house in Melbourne that charges $38 per person. Here in Zhengzhou, all you can eat is $3. There was no English, and there was some confusion as there are 6 soup choices. The way this all works is you get a bowl of soup on your own personal hot plate, you take things off the train and cook them yourself.
The boss came out from the kitchen and spoke really fast Chinese to me, I told him I can try and understand if he speaks slowly. He told me I am the first American customer he ever had.


China-Zhengzhou-Mall-Pedestrian Street-Food - This is Erqi square monument, it was constructed to memorialize a labour strike in 1927. I assume many people died. Nothing much of significance happe

This is Erqi square monument, it was constructed to memorialize a labour strike in 1927. I assume many people died. Nothing much of significance happens in China unless many people die. Now its the centre of the city, and about 100 metres from my hotel.


China-Zhengzhou-Mall-Pedestrian Street-Food - On the way back I decided to stop and lose all my money throwing neon hoops at plush toys.

On the way back I decided to stop and lose all my money throwing neon hoops at plush toys.


Tomorrow I have to get up early and hope that my bus ticket I purchased in advance takes me somewhere I want to go, I am not entirely sure! More concerning will be if I can actually get back to Zhengzhou, advance purchasing a return ticket seemed to be impossible, I can only buy the ticket in the city the trip originates from. Tomorrow is Saturday, tickets might be hard to come by, stay tuned to find out if I make it back!

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