Meeting Mainland China

I’d been living in Hong Kong for almost a year now and had still never been to Mainland China, despite it being only a few miles away. Though this was mainly due to needing a ridiculously expensive visa, once I finally acquired one, I had no excuse. So I packed my camera and headed to Mainland for a day.

The closest city from Hong Kong is Shenzhen, China’s first Special Economic Zone. A city built merely 30 years ago, most people will argue this is nothing like the real China. Shenzhen is filled with kitschy theme parks, massage resorts, shopping and crime.

Rainy Shenzhen

Rainy Shenzhen

The day we went it ended up pouring rain most the day, so paying an expensive entry fee to a theme park was out of the question, and it was too late for massage reservations. Instead, we spent our time experiencing an American pastime in China– shopping at Wal-Mart.

Meeting Mainland China

Here’s a look inside my visit to Chinese Wal-Mart with a mini photo essay.

Meeting Mainland China

The bakery consisted of various buns and dumplings

Meeting Mainland China

The deli section– complete with chicken feet

Meeting Mainland China

Rice by the pound

Meeting Mainland China

Fresh whole meats

Meeting Mainland China

Sale displays still filled the aisles

Meeting Mainland China

Tons of weird Tang flavors

Meeting Mainland China

A whole aisle of packaged jujebes

Meeting Mainland China

All the same sodas

Meeting Mainland China

The check-out looked just like in the US

Meeting Mainland China

Sam Walton bids shoppers farewell in the exit

It felt a little bit like we were in the twilight zone walking around somewhere that’s so familiar to us, yet completely different.

In the end, Wal-Mart really caters to the local population and almost nothing that’s found in Wal-Mart’s in the US could be found in China. But of course we couldn’t come home empty handed– so just what did we come home with?

Meeting Mainland China

A bunch of horrible sounding Chinese junk food of course! Mango Tang, mango Oreos, peach Oreos, teriyaki chicken Cheetos… just to name a few. We still have yet to open anything we bought to try, but we’ll soon find out!

Meeting Mainland China

Have you visited someplace that’s so familiar to home, yet so different?

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