Shopping >Chinese Cultural Ctr
COFCO Chinese Cultural Center: Something Special.
COFCO Chinese Cultural Center is located downtown. It is not to far of a drive, even if you are coming from Chandler, Arizona. It is easy to locate because you can see the large buildings and the unique architecture of the center,
Once you arrive you can go through any shop, restaurant, market, or just simply walk around and enjoy the nature the center offers. One of the shops i went to was called The Oriental Factory Direct. On the outside it looks like a tiny plant shop but as you walk in you can grasp a better idea of all the artifacts they have displayed for customers to purchase. This shop has everything from Chinese toe separated sandals to sharp metal swords. The best thing about this shop is that it's small, calming, and the owner is extremely friendly.
Nest is Ranch Market. On the outside it looks like your average grocery store but as you walk inside you instantly notice the unique smells, produce, and items being sold here. It is set up like most grocery stores, so it is easy to navigate yourself through. The nicest thing about this market is that they offer items that you would never find in a grocery store, such as unique fruits, baby octopus, and specialty drinks and candy. These are only a few of the things they sell. The only down side to this market is that it smells strongly of fish, because of their fresh meats.
My favorite thing of the entire center is the Chinese Cultural Botanical Garden. The garden is set up as a little journey filled with stone pathways, architectural statues, and places to sit down, all surrounding a large central Koi pond. The pond is filled with vibrant green lily pads, large marble statues, and beautiful fountains. The garden is a calm environment with beautiful architecture and nature. Every where you walk along the path you can read the plaques that teach you about the architecture you are observing. The botanical garden is calming and stunning. The only thing I suggest is to go when it is nice and cool outside. Because it is outside, you don't want to be walking around trying to enjoy yourself in 100 degree weather.
Overall The COFCO Chinese Cultural Center is an extremely unique experience. There are numerous shops, restaurants, and places to go and explore whenever you feel like it. It is completely free to go to it and you if you want, you can always bring a little extra money to purchase a souvenir.
Cofco Chinese Cultural Center.
My experience at the Chinese cultural center began in the supermarket called Ranch Market. The inside of the store basically looked like an Albertson's or Basha's but was filled with strange and interesting foods from China. Unlike a normal supermarket this market had more fresh foods and meat. Even though the store smelled like a petsmart it was a neat experience to see all sorts of new foods and the ways they are sold.
The garden consists of small architecture and signs that explain them. There are a few sculptures but the garden is on the small side. There was also an abundance of small ponds and one large pond filled with koi. The trip through the garden though only took about 10 minutes and I did not feel like I had learned anything about the chinese culture from the garden.
The Oriental Factory Direct was filled with Chinese novelties, plants, collectibles, and weapons. All the products were imported from China and many of the items were religous or promised good luck. The items were priced fairly and some items were extremely cheap. The experience would be best if you are with friends. Without friends the Cultural Center becomes very bland and boring. It was great that the parking and visit was free though. I recommend trying new foods in the Ranch market, and walk through the gardens for a short time.
Walk in harmony, eat like an emperor and take home treasures of the East..
Imagine a ready-made Chinatown with urban gangways, unique shops, elegant restaurants, meditation gardens and an Asian grocery store large enough to be called a ranch. Add an all-you-can-eat sushi bar and hassle-free parking, and the outcome is COFCO Chinese Cultural Center. A small sampling of retailers includes Oriental Factory Direct, offering bargain-price silk, jade, porcelain and rosewood; Ranch 99 market, stocking fresh seafood and isle after isle of exotic spices, teas and cookies; Imperial Arts and the Art Gallery, teeming with Asian treasures.
Unique shopping and dinning experience.
The Chinese Cultural Center located on 44th Street just south of the 202, sticks out like a Purple bunny in a pile of boring goats. So my curiosity got the best of me and I made a fast Right turn off of 44th street onto E. Cofco Center Blvd. I found plenty of easy parking and an amazing shopping experience. I started at the CommUnity Market Cafe, a tiny little coffee, breakfast lunch thing that serves the best Fair Trade Coffee I have tasted in Phoenix. Next we went into a fun gift shop right next door full of Chinese oriented (no pun intended) items from incense to Samuri Knifes, shoes, and clothing. And of course, we couldn't walk out without purchasing a $1.95 silk embroidered fan. Good thing to have while in Phoenix in the summer. Next we hit the Chinese Grocery store and spent an hour cruising the isles filled with every chinese related food item you could imagine, including fresh still alive eel, and crabs. Frozen pigs feet and yes, fortune cookies. The prices were surprisingly reasonable. I came out of there $29.00 down but had five bags full of sauces, noodles and other interesting items.
Overall it was a fun experience and I would highly reccommend a visit. Especially if you are from Arizona and would like something different than mexican. I didn't even know this place existed. I don't agree with the other comment that it was difficult to get into. It is very easy to access and has plenty of parking off E. Cofco Center Blvd. It is just South of the 202 on 44th street.
It's a grocery store. The 99 Market grocery store is about as good as it gets with the CCC. The restaurants are not that good... and accessibility stinks.
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