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Friday, November 1, 2013

Dimei Guang Chang Underground Shopping Arcade

What I expected.... (1000+ hours in ms paint)

You won't find Dimei Guang Chang on any tour guide's list of places to shop, nor will you find many locals (over 25) who are familiar with this shopping wonderland. Dimei Guang Chang is tucked underground beneath People's Square and is easy to miss if you don't know where to turn.

Where: Enter through exit 1~3 (Shanghai Urban Planning Museum) at People's Square
What: underground shopping arcade for teens to 20+ years. Mostly women's clothing, accessories and shoes
Hours: Dimei Guang Chang is basically open from 9-9pm though the are known for closing early

I was introduced to the shopping arcade by a coworker who claimed I could find lolita style clothing at Dimei.  I expected to find something like a Chinese version of LaForet, with domestic lolita brands such as R-Series, Dear Celine and Surface Spell.

Unfortunately, Dimei Guang Chang does not have any lolita shops nor do they stock lolita items.
Initially, I was a bit disappointed by this, but my mood quickly lifted as I looked around to see a fashion wonderland. I was greeted by soft fabrics, cute characters, delicious snacks and all with a very reasonable price tag.


Majority of the brands at Dimei are domestic, though you will find occasional Japanese and Korean imports. The fashion here really caters to Asian fashion lovers. You can easy find frilly, feminine clothing and the latest fashion seen on the streets of Harajuku. Most of the stores do sell their own, unique clothing, though you will find a shop or two that sells replica clothing or shoes.

contact lenses are available w/o a prescription
if you don't know your prescription, they can test it on the spot

lines of stalls selling small beauty items & toys

replica found in Dimei vs the authentic dress 
* please let me know if you can identify what brand this dress is

Aside from clothing, you can also shop for prescription contacts (circle lenses are available), beauty products from the SkinFood shop or various other small stores, shoes, cute socks, and accessories.

Some notable shops you can't leave without checking out are:


It's no joke to say a girl could come dressed in pajamas and messy hair and leave looking fabulous after visiting Dimei Guang Chang. Aside from getting a new outfit, you can also have your hair and nails done in this underground arcade. You can choose from countless of nail stands who will happily give you a manicure while they weave in extensions for a nominal fee or if you prefer, you can sit down at Shinjuku Design and experience a more relaxing beauty upgrade.

Don't forget most nail salons here, especially the small ones, will allow you to bargain for a better price!

10 RMB off if you bring this card

Personally I've tried out one small nail shop at Dimei that I've been quite happy with. Both times I've had a gel manicure done there for less than 180 RMB (approx. 30$)  including a soak off of my previous manicure and detailed nail art! 


After shopping has worn you out, you can still have fun at Dimei with it's two purikura (print club) shops, 3D shooting game, 5D terror film, and a full video game arcade complete with rows of UFO catcher machines.



Feeling hungry? Don't worry, Dimei Guang Chang has got your covered. Whether you want a full meal or a small snack, you are sure to find something you like here.

My recommendations are:
  • Nana's Green Tea- awesome matcha parfaits, pretty good sushi and yakitori
  • Choux Creme- all flavors are good, but custard is my favorite
  • Muu's pudding- the traditional carmel at the bottom pudding is amazing here!

No trip to Dimei Guang Chang is complete without a trip down the streets of "Old Shanghai". If you happened to miss it, double back to the Urban Planning Museum subway entrance and enjoy the trompe d'oeil blue sky and old architecture. You can even stop in for coffee, tea or hookah at the retro looking cafe. Then stop to pose for pictures with the citizens of Shanghai, who are actually cardboard cutouts but hey, at least you know they'll never blink in a photo.



  1. wow! your blog is really interesting! I'm learning chinese at university and i love what you show me about shanghai!!^^

  2. Thank you for your sweet comment!


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