If there’s one thing that keeps me in awe about about China it’s simply the scale of things. As we drive from Shenzhen to Humen we pass factory after factory. I don’t often need much reminding that this is the worlds most populus country but I’m reminded again that it’s also the worlds factory.
Instead of catching a bus from Shenzhen to Humen we got lucky and found a taxi that needed to get back to that area, so for the same price as the bus tickets, were getting a ride straight to our hotel door.
As I look out the taxi window from the highway these factories look just like multi level apartments, long 5- 10 storey high buildings, but somewhat dilapidated. As Susan tells me there packed with workers busy sewing together the clothes to be shipped around China, in particular to nearby Guangzhuo, Shenzhen, Hong Kong and of course beyond China’s borders.
According to some government stats there is around 2500 garment processing enterprises exporting some 150 billion (22 billion AUD) worth of products last year. Not bad for a ‘town’ that is just part of a larger city Dongguan.
And where there’s factories there’s shops, and in Humens case, lots of shops. There’s multi level shopping mall after multi level shopping mall, spreading out over city block after city block, all packed with independent retailers jammed into stalls selling clothes and fashion.
It spills out onto the streets too, on the footpaths there’s ad-hoc street stalls offering up sports shoes, sunglasses, dresses and on and on.
These several of these multi level malls located over many blocks and even after a half day exploring, there was much that was missed. There’s only so much walking you can do, and it would take a good couple of days to really get an insight into it all. I think knowing a local of Humen would be real handy to help fast track a way around it all.
The malls seem organised in that each one has a speciality, for example there’s a womens fashion mall, a shoes mall, a leather goods mall and so on, which is quite common in China to have themed streets or malls where they all sell the same type of goods. Whats really missing in Humen is a local tourist map, or even a shopping map, I wonder why they are not using all this infrastructure as a major tourism driver but perhaps they’re working towards it.
The main malls include Huanghe Fashion City, Fumin Fashion City, Li City, Humen Fumin Kids City and theres also a pedestrian street. Most of these are concentrated along and around Yinlong Road which is one big long shopping street and Humen Avenue.
Heres a web site which has more info on the Humen fashion industry and info on the China International Fashion Fair held in Humen see http://en.fumin.com.