Before you go:
Another handy tip is to bring your own canvas bags or a small backpack to carry everything in. Most of the vendors will give you a small plastic bag each item you buy. This can mean a lot of plastic waste in your house (which isn’t great for the environment), and sometimes the plastic bags aren’t great quality and can break.
What to buy:
Be sure to look around before you settle on which goods to buy. Vendor prices, as well as range and quality of produce can vary greatly from stall to stall, and market to market. I definitely recommend you check out all that’s on offer before you settle on what to buy. After a few visits to the same produce market, you might find a particular vendor whose produce looks best. I’ve found that by shopping at my few favorite stalls often, they treat me very well, and even give me a discount, or something for free!
Usually these kinds of markets aren’t just for fruit and vegetables; you’ll also find seafood, meat, nuts, noodles, eggs, homewares, and even key cutters and tailors. So keep an open mind when you go and you might end up coming home with some handy extras for the house.
It’s also not a bad idea to go with an empty stomach! If your local produce market is a permanent structure (not the transient street-side type), it’s likely there’ll be a range of delicious breads, dumplings, and rice dishes to sample. And most importantly, don’t be scared! Just jump in there and buy what you need, but also try some of the stranger looking fruit and vegetables. It won’t be long before you’re a total produce market pro!
Have you been to a produce market in China? What did you like most about it?