We arrived at Shenzhen at around 1pm, following an 8:30am flight on China Southern airlines from Beijing. The first thing we noticed was the nice weather and blue sky, which we had not seen in Beijing. We immediately checked into our hotel, then ventured out to Lowu Commercial City for some suit shopping. First things first, Shenzhen is a magnificent city, much larger and substantial than just four years ago, when I was last here. The Commercial City is a massive "shopping mall", with five floors of brand knock-offs in handbags, clothing, watches, shoes, luggage, jewelry, etc. The fifth floor is home to the fabric market and various tailors who make custom clothing.

Howard and I went first to the fabric market on the 5th floor and found the same vendor for suit material that I went to four years ago (still the best quality mens suiting fabric in Lowu). We both found two nice suiting fabrics, one summer and one winter weight in Super 150's and negotiated a price of around $700 RMB (or $93 USD) for the fabric. We then negotiated with a a woman named Kelly who directed us to a fine tailor named Zhang Xiao Lin, who offered to cut the suits for us in roughly 24-36 hours, with a fitting tomorrow morning. The price of the tailoring is roughly $450 per suit or $60 USD each, bringing each of our totals to roughly $213 USD for two suits of roughly $700 USD value each. Additionally, I was pretty specific in my requests of the tailor, asking for high lapels, a tapered suit that was form-fitting, flat front pants, sleeve buttons that open, open stitching on the lapels, proper horn buttons, a cool colored lining (in this case, I went all Boateng with bring Orange), and side vents. Needless to say, I'm pretty excited for the fittings in the morning...

After getting our suits, Howard and I grabbed a late lunch, then ventured through the mall. I got some much-needed foot attention (it's tough walking on sandals for nearly 5 weeks) with a massage/pedicure. We visited several electronics and watch shops, as well as a few DVD vendors and some jewelers. Despite several trys, we were unsuccessful in making a deal on anything. I guess we didn't really need any of this stuff...

One thing that is pretty neat about the knock-off market is the model of operation. At each station, be it watch, DVD, or handbag, a catalog of products is handed to you and you pick out what you'd like. Within 5 minutes, the items you request are in your hand. I picked out a few Tag, Mont Blanc, and Omega watches, all of which were exactly identical to their commercial counterparts (as per advertisements from the vendor). These knock offs are pretty impressive. However, they wanted nearly $450 RMB or $60 USD for the fake Omega. I dont know if a fake $1000 watch constitutes a $60 purchase... Maybe i'm just naive.

After a full day at the Lowu Commercial City, we went back to the hotel and then headed out to dinner at an obscure pizza joint named NYPD Pizza. Although it was off the beaten path and very difficult to find, the pizza was quite good, made fresh before our eyes. A nice end to a long day...