Here is one of the last typical markets of Shanghai, where a crowd of mynah birds, each in its cage, welcomes you with nihao, which means ‘hello' in Mandarin. The parrots on their perch mimic them. Imagine a place that brings together squealing chinchillas, hundreds of croaking frogs, and hundreds of cicadas enclosed in wicker boxes chirping like they do in the South of France in summer. No scorpions, as in Canton, but there are tarantulas. Iguanas, pigeons, and puppies complete this Noah's ark.
You will then discover the star of the show, the cricket, which the Shanghainese believe brings good luck. At home, the Chinese love to be lulled to sleep by its melody. The market has a special room with very good acoustics so you can listen to a cricket before buying it!
Some species are sold for more than $1,000 a piece. Among them are fighting insects that have been trained by men using chopsticks while sitting on small stools in the open market.
Wanshang Huaniao Market
417 Xizang South Road,
+86 (0)21 6336 3530