Many times tourists asked me about the Chinese Market in Yekaterinburg because it is mentioned in Wikitravel as one of the best places for shopping in the city. And it’s one of the largest markets in Russia.
I realized that hadn’t been there since the 1996s when I needed a dress for the prom. Those days everyone shopped there as there were no shopping malls in Yekaterinburg and the boutiques were too expensive for ordinary people. Those days, however, it wasn’t called the Chinese Market. The official name of the bazaar is Tagansky Ryad.
Tagansky Ryad is a large territory in the western district called Sortirovska. That is why Sortirovka is called China Town although most of the sellers there are not Chinese but Uzbeks, Tajiks, the Vietnamese and Russians. The market has three large malls: Tagansky Ryad, Pekin and Hanoi. Pekin is the newest building with a food court on the 3d floor where you can try cheap Asian, Central Asian and Russian food.
But the best prices are at the stalls outside. Make sure to haggle fiercely to get a bargain.
The market has a sculpture of Chelnoki (shuttles) That was a nickname for the people who brought bad quality goods from China in the 1990s. After the collapse of the USSR Russian engineers, teachers and doctors had to find new ways of making money. The easiest way was to fly to China, bring bags with cheap stuff and to sell it at the market with a good profit. Nevermind, that the jeans you bought would fall to pieces in a day.
Things have changed. Russians are shopping at Mega and other malls with European brands. Chelnoki of the 90s are replaced with Asian emigrants but the quality of Chinese replicas has become much better too.
And I got my first Lacoste replica shoes at the market for 28$. Would have been cheaper in Beijing but good enough for Yekaterinburg. The quality seems all right. Let’s see how long they are going to last!
Tips for shoppers: prices are lower at the stalls outside. Asian sellers drop prices better than the Russians do and generally they are more hospitable and friendly to haggle with.
Working hours: The Chinese Market Tagansky Ryad on Tekhnicheskaya, 19 is open Mon-Fri 9am-4pm; Sat-Sun 8am-6pm
Getting there: at any tram stop on the main street Prospect Lenina catch tram 13 going westwards. From the train station get on tram 7 heading west. Get off at the tram stop Tagansky Ryad.