Grab Christmas decor at Laitai flower market while you can!

Baubles, festive centerpieces, snowing Santa lamps and more

Images: Jackie Park
News that the Laitai flower market was closing earlier this year was another bit of dreary news to fans of China's largest botanical warehouse. Well apparently, it has yet to be shuttered. Which is great news for those who still haven't put up their Christmas decorations or are looking for more decor to complete this year's look. There are a number of locations around townto buy all you need to give your house that festive look, and like our Liangma Flower Market post, we're taking you for a closer look to what Christmas decorations the popular Laitai flower market has to offer.

Tips before you go:
A. The prices in our article aren't set in stone. Haggle if you can, but being a popular destination, prices might not go down too much unless you buy in bulk. Consider going with friends and buy as a group.

B. If you can't find something you're looking for, ask the vendors before giving up on your search. Chances are it might be stashed away out of sight.

C. Don't mind the empty stalls; according to some of the vendors, though a few shops have moved out, no one knows when the flower market will actually close. At the very least, they will still be there this December (and maybe beyond, we never know!).

D. While the market opens at 9am, not all shops will be open by then. For those who would like to go early, consider going at 9.30-10am instead.

1. Shops selling Christmas decorations
Christmas shoppers, explore the ground floor. The area is divided into lanes, and for those in a hurry head straight for the fourth lane. There are two shops selling Christmas items. This one is Shop 4-10.

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From festive children's hair clips, gift wrappers, baubles, tinsels, the usual basic decorations and more, this shop has a lot to offer.

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Christmas stockings are from 30RMB, Christmas trees are from 80RMB, reindeers are from 150RMB and the smallest Christmas ornaments are around 10RMB for a set of 24 pieces. Buying gift wrapping paper here is cheaper compared to Liangma Flower Market, which sells theirs for more than double the price.

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On the same lane is another shop selling even more Christmas items, although with a bit more style. While it still has the usual Christmas trees and basic decorations, the shop is also selling interesting embellishments such as a knee-high gingerbread house, gigantic Christmas trees like the ones you see outside malls (only available if you pre-order, in case one of you readers have a large enough backyard to hold it.)

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Christmas trees are from 150RMB. Wreaths are from 75-380RMB and the small gingerbread house is around 650RMB.

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2. Christmas cards
For those looking for Christmas cards, there's not a huge selection but if you're not picky, head over to the convenience store on aisle 10, shop 0 to see your options. 20RMB per card.

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3. Festive centerpieces you can pre-order
It's a flower market, after all. Take a stroll through the different lanes and find a flower shop you like. They'll have a few of these centerpieces either on display or being made as you walk by.

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This particular centerpiece from the shop 16 on aisle 10 is around 130RMB, add an extra 20RMB to include a candle as shown in the picture.

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These ones from shop 17 on aisle 9 are from 80-260RMB. One of the shop ladies proudly shared their products, saying they have the best at Laitai and that she can speak some English to foreign customers. Their centerpieces range from 350-680RMB.

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4. A DIY gardening corner for kids
Looking for a unique kid-friendly activity in the area? For kids around five and up, check out shop 7-26 (Plants and Flowers) where both adults and kids can purchase a small plant glass bowl to design.

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A variety of characters, tiny pebbles and rocks in different colours and more are available.

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5. Plants, flowers, and tiny little pets of course
The holiday season may bring a bit of festive colour to the flower market, but at its core, its main draw is still the vibrancy its mainstay bring. Spend some time in this flower market and browse through its collection of simple house decorations, the variety of plants that populate the market, the animals on the rightmost lane you could bring home as pets and more. At the end of the holiday, come visit again even it's just to enjoy the smell of fresh flowers in the air.

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IMG_20181201_101245We're still wondering where we're going to hang up this massive wreath in the office...

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