One of my favorite destinations for a Sunday stroll is the Low Maintenance Pets and Plants Market in Jing'an where vendors deal in a variety of caged creatures.
"Offbeat" is a SmartShanghai column about stuff to look at or do in Shanghai that's interesting or weird (relatively, of course), that doesn't fit anywhere else. It appears weekly, monthly, or maybe even annually, when we're not busy working on other superfluous column ideas.
One of my favorite destinations for a Sunday stroll (besides to the DVD player) is the Low Maintenance Pets and Plants Market in Jing'an. Basically, at the L.M.P.P.M., in strip mall set up, vendors deal in a variety of caged creatures including, but not limited to, turtles, crickets, hamsters, rabbits, (somewhat depressingly) kittens, fish, and birds.
It's not the only small pets market in town, but it IS the closest one to my house. Most of the vendors are selling pet birds, with the varieties being small, talentless ones for around 35rmb, right up to multi-lingual endangered species ones for 1,800rmb. As with everything, it's all bargaining though. There's also a variety of really nice wooden cages to house your new pet bird, ranging from the small and utilitarian to the serious and ornate.
The other thing a lot of the vendors are selling is varieties of fish, and the accompanying aquarium equipment for you to keep them at home. I know even less about varieties of fish than I do birds, suffice to say, they've got a lot. Aquarium equipment is a little more involved as well, but you can get that stereotypical gold fish bowl, as well as gigantic aquariums that go for several thousand. They've also got the plants and accessories, should you feel the predilection to pimp out your home aquarium.
Apart from birds and fish, vendors are also selling rabbits and hamsters (including cages with wheels and toys), Fear Factor-looking crickets, and also really exotic and expensive looking turtles. One shop in particular was selling what appeared to be several varieties of dinosaur. If you're looking for a pet to grown ancient with, I suggest something out of the Palaeozoic era. I didn't check for prices on them, but I would guess they'd be expensive because they're extinct.
Along with the pets, they've got lots of medium to large-sized potted plants, and it's a great place to go if you're looking for potted plants for your flat. They've got plants of the more unusual variety that you can't get at your corner flower store. In particular, there's one store that deals exclusively in those mini tree things. You know the ones I'm talking about -- the ones that are always used as metaphors in kung fu movies.
Anglers, I'd also like to inform you that there is a great fishing gear shop at number 46. Really great rods, reels, lures, and accessories. Summer fishing season is almost upon us, so you should pop by check out the new 2009 rods.
Anyways, the L.M.P.P.M. is a great place to check out if you're looking for something to walk to on a nice sunny Sunday afternoon, and also if your looking for some caged companionship.
The Small Pets and Plants Market in Jing'an is at 261 Changhua Lu, near Kangding Lu. You go down a little alley and it opens up into a market area.