In what it is known in Macau as Mainland China, the old city of Jin Shan (the front mountain) gave a very big leap forward in industrial terms that was quite unexpected by me.
I have heard of the old city back in the 60's when we could not go to mainland China. Most of the Macau Chinese population came from Jin Shan, Foshan, and Shi Wan, the oldest ceramic center in Southern China.
A
bem poucos quilómetros de Macau, na chamada China Continental, a velha cidade de Jin Shan (montanha da frente) deu repentinamente um salto industrial deveras inesperado por mim.
Friends told us it was just ten minutes ride from Macau so we went there.

Before everything else it is important to explain that all this region was agricultural, and with the new industrial era, where Volkswagen Shanghai and General Motors Shangai speaks much louder than what politics try to infuse on world audience.
This having been said, you reach Jin Shan and you can buy marbles, ceramic tiles, house hardwares, entire kitchens of international quality and design, bathroom acessories of the latest designs, custom made doors and even custom made industrialized finished bathroom furniture.

American Standard, Japanese Toto, German Kohler, were identified instantly among other brands.

In this period of extraordinarily fast technological transformation, China has been manufacturing for these companies while it capitalized on the technologies and learning from them.

The narrative below unveils a bit more over what is China today, and how low their prices are for the domestic market. Suffice to say that we had to buy a big airline bag to carry things and it costed less than US$20.

       

DEPARTING FROM MACAU

   

Going to China, as we say in Macau, it is done through the border gate. In the second photo it is visible the ancient border gate built by the Portuguese which is kept as a relic, while behind it is the new immigration building.
The amount of people crossing any day is of hundreds of thousands, and it takes about ten minutes to show your Macau resident card. Then you go down the stairs and cross into no-man's land.

The visitor walks 300 meters and he begins to see the Chinese side of the immigration. Another 10 minutes wait and you leave the Immigration and are confronted with a huge square and a shopping mall thousands of square meters large.
This is Gongbei which has no limit to Zuhai where many foreigners, including American staff from Macau Casinos have bought weekend flats.
You take a taxi for US$2.00 and you reach Jin Shan in no time.

The city is an immense supermarket of the goods mentioned. I took some pictures of kitchens here. Are they any different from what come from the Magazines? Yes, they cost many folds less.

Many different ceramic tiles, by the hundreds, are there for you to choose.

More no frilss house appliances shopping malls where you can buy anything for an unbelievable cost.

Magazine style lavatories, many as low as US$35, shops selling all kinds of lighting equipment, mostly Made in China. These photos are but a very brief samples. You tend to spend hours looking for what you want as the offer is immense.

Foreign designers furniture made in China are on display in hundreds of meters of corridors. Then suddenly you find that you are exhausted and it is almost night. The last picture shows our return to the Macau Immigration building.
Many things can be said about China by the West, but the fact is that it is getting to what is briefly shown here in just simply 20 years with an average growth of 9.5 percent.

 

Copyright © 2007.
by Antonio Cejunior

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