Archive for market finds

market finds

Well, first let me tell you what I didn’t find at any of our local stores…all those Smithfield products that were there just a few weeks ago. They went from having entire cases to a couple of packages of ham. Maybe the Weiduoli at City Mall still has some but both the large stores near us have sold out with new replacements in sight.


Someone with better Chinese than me confirm, but I think those are pecans. Too bad Thanksgiving is half a year away.


IMG_20160329_135026When choosing the wipes that will be exposed to all the things that come out of my kids, I always choose the Fashion Choice 🙂  Not really, I get the cheapest one, but this made me chuckle.


market finds


If you’ve been away for the holiday, as you return to your regular shopping routine, you may notice something like this at your local supermarket. Most of our American friends in the US weren’t very excited about a Chinese company buying Smithfield Foods in 2013, but for those of us living on this side, the case above is what that acquisition means to us here in Hohhot: US style bacon and ham readily available at local markets for local prices. The pork is not imported, but is processed by Smithfield and whatever local affiliate they’re partnering with.

Read more about that buy/merger here.

and here.

What do you think? Does the Smithfield label make you more likely to choose this bacon over another? Have you tried any or all of the products yet?

I tagged this in “stuff foreigners like” because of bacon. Am I right?

seen around town

With an infant I don’t get out and about as much as I used to, but it only took running one errand on Monday to see all of this craziness. Or normal-ness?


This older gentleman is taking his sheep out for an afternoon stroll around our neighborhood. That’s it there eating from the trash can.


I walked just a few more steps and they’re selling fresh beef at our gate. very fresh…butchering it right there.



This one is harder to see, but a sales promotion for electric cooking surfaces. One would think they wouldn’t want the one they cut open to show the inner workings to be the one with corroded acid leaking all over, but I’m no home appliances salesperson.

In better news, the shop at our gate is now selling Newman’s Own butter flavor microwave popcorn.


What interesting things have you seen around town this week?

this week’s market finds

Here’s another edition of what you might and might not want to buy around town.


A large box of French chocolate truffles for 99 RMB. I didn’t try them, but they seemed legit so it seems like a pretty good deal.

Located at Beijing Hualian across from Runyu (Xing An and Hailar)


Small Jif peanut butter for 47 RMB. I will personally be angry with you if you buy this for this price. We can’t let the stores think this is the market value for this product. You can get 2-3 times as much for 35 RMB at Dong Wa Yao.

Also located at Beijing Hualian across from Runyu (Xing An and Hailar) but I saw a similar size and price at the Weiduoli in the basement of City Mall.
And it seems avocados are becoming a staple at many of the larger fruit markets. However, this week, the one near our home on the corner of Zhan Dong Lu and Ai Min Jie has them for 5 RMB each. Join us for guacamole later this week. 🙂


What interesting, cool, tasty, or overpriced items have you seen this week?



market finds

Here’s another edition of great, helpful, odd, funny, or random things I’ve found in our fair city recently.
I’ve seen these a few places around town. Is this a legitimate Starbucks product? I’m not really a coffee drinker (although three kids have pushed me closer to becoming one than I used to be) so I don’t buy coffee often. Something just seems off about the packing in making me believe it’s an authentic product. Plus, I don’t remember seeing these in the actual Starbucks. Thoughts, anyone?

If you’d like to try them regardless of their legitimacy, you can find them at the large convenience store inside our complex, which is Ming Du Feng Jing. The store has quite a few interesting imports including Dr. Pepper, Root Beer, Russian Tiramisu (and other Russian products), and random cookies and crackers and such.



Florida Marlins bedding fabric. Of course. and spelling mistakes. of course.

IMG_20150619_092951This picture is here to serve as a warning: do not buy these. I got them on clearance at a small import store near our home. I did not expect them to be “fresh” blueberries, but I should have read the Chinese more carefully. They were blueberry flavored (only not quite) dried plums with big seeds in the middle.


IMG_20151206_193838 IMG_20151206_193854
I found these at the 5-4 market (wu si shang chang) the other day. They may not be the best socks I’ve ever had, but they are close. And they are DEFINITELY the best 5 kuai socks I’ve had.


What great or crazy items have you encountered recently?  Leave us a comment.

market finds

You know those items you randomly see in Hohhot that you would NEVER be able to find if you actually went about looking for them?

We (actually our children) were given just such a gift recently.

IMG_20150923_212712 IMG_20150923_212811

These are Bible story puzzle books……………in PORTUGUESE!

If you went out looking for them, I think it would be hard to find puzzle books. It would even harder to find ones that depict Bible stories. I’ve never seen ANY kind of printed literature in this city in Portuguese. But here you have it, the trifecta of randomness purchased from a tent outside the gate of Meng Zhuan.

What’s the most random or surprising item you’ve even seen in Hohhot?

Used Furniture Markets

Here is an older post about some good finds at local used furniture markets, but it was recently requested that I add maps to the locations, so I hope this will be helpful in finding what you need. And, I’ve learned of at least one more since the previous post so it is included below as well.

I know of a few used furniture stores.  Descriptions, names, and locations are below.
1.  Name unknown and not marked with signage:  This one is located on Xhe Li Mu street just north (about 200 meters) of Gong Da’s west gate. It’s in a hutong/ping fang/courtyard style building and you have to wander in and out of each courtyard to find what you’re looking for.
Best finds:  small size dining room table for 60 RMB, large nice, solid wood dining table for 320

used furniture one


2.  旧货市场  jiu huo shi chang “Old goods market”  This is located on the north side of wu ta si xi jie (Wu Ta Si West Road).  It’s in a large warehouse style building with stall after stall of used items, in some cases stacked to the ceiling. They have furniture, commercial/industrial kitchens items, appliances, some new furniture, and items to random to list individually.
Best finds:   Commercial/Industrial Oven for 800 RMB
New 3-door wardrobe/closet/柜子 with many finishes/colors available:  300 RMB (2 doors for 200, 4 doors for 400)

used market 2
3.  旧家具店  jiu jia ju dian “Old Furniture Shop”  This is a very small shop located just west of the intersection of E’erduosi Road and Zhao Wu Da South Road on the south side of the street.  (red sign)  The selection is large considering the size of the shop, but definitely doesn’t have as much as the others, but they seemed to have a good selection of TVs.  The owner is really nice.
Best find:   Standing coat rack for 30 RMB

used market 3
4. 鑫春新旧货市场 xin chun xin jiu huo shi chang



This one is located on Zhan Dong Lu on the west side of the road, just south of the railroad tracks. This is a large lot with a warehouse of goods on the north side that is labeled something to the effect of “smoke free goods” but I doubt that. The south side of the lot has more individual stalls.

Best finds: a metal rack/shelf (like the ones sold on the bottom floor of guo mao for 150-300) for 40 RMB, a standing electric fan in like-new condition for 80 RMB.

And in the category of scariest finds, this item (pictured below) was sitting on one of the tables for sale.



Here are others that mapped that I have no personal experience with, but if you try them leave us a comment and let us know how they are. (F and G are mentioned above)

other markets

What are your best used store purchases? Leave us a comment.

this week’s market finds

I don’t plan to make this a habit EVERY week, unless I keep finding awesomeness each time I go shopping. Here are my finds from this week. I’d also like to throw in a disclaimer that although I’ve been here off and on since 2002, we have only recently returned from being away for nine months. Some of these things may be common now as nine months is plenty of time for things to change.

Nacho cheese flavored Doritos. These were found at a Leicoo on Zhelimu North Road near the gate of Hu He Jia Di housing complex. I checked at a few other Leicoo and they had Doritos also, but they were something like “night market chicken wings” flavor. And that just doesn’t satisfy a pregnant lady’s craving in the same way.

The Meng Hui supermarket on Hailar east road (north side of the road just west of the north/south railroad tracks) is the largest supermarket closest to my house, but it doesn’t have any Western products (peanut butter, cheese, pasta, etc…the things you can now find at many stores). So, you can imagine my surprise when I found a shelf of Reese’s candy. I personally am a salty snack person, not a sweet snack person, but the availability of Reese’s could sway me to the other side 🙂

Sweet finds at the market today

I generally do the grocery shopping for my family on Monday, and whenever possible, I try to do it as close to home as possible. We’ve lived in our new location for about a month, but so far I’m quite pleased with our selection.

I know bacon is getting more and more common and easier to find, but finding 1.5 kg of it for 38 RMB was the best deal I’ve ever found.


Today they were also opening a new fruit supermarket on our corner.

Those, my friends, are avocados! I know you can find them sporadically here and there, but if they really do keep offering them just at the gate of my complex, I may never leave. And I’ll invite you all over for some guacamole.
They will set you back about 10-15 RMB each. 38 RMB/jin Please come buy some so they’ll keep ordering more.

Our family will be eating well this week. What’s on the menu at your house?

OH! I wish I drank soda/pop/coke (whatever your region calls it) because then I would be excited that a small store at the gate of our complex has A&W root beet, cherry Dr. Pepper, and a few other harder-to-find varieties. And there’s a mounted elk head on the wall of the store.

Have you found any random imports in random locations? Leave us a comment about what and where.