Shopping in Beijing

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dragon carpet

dragon carpet

Chris Buckley

China is an interesting place to go shopping, and Beijing has a long history as a commercial and cultural center. It you are not keen on shopping, a trip to a Chinese department store is still quite an experience and gives you a taste of everyday life in China.

Beijing has four major shopping streets-Wangfujing, Xidan, Xisi and Qianmen, but large department stores and supermarkets can be found in all the residential areas in the city. There are also many special markets for special goods like antiques, arts and crafts, paintings and calligraphy, silk and books. Therefore, where to shop depends on what you want to buy and what price you expect to pay. The prices in large department stores are fixed, but you can bargain and get a good deal in those open markets, free markets, small shops and some special shops.

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Xiushui Jie (Silk Alley)

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Once this was a crowded alley where vendors sold fake goods and people bargained to not get ripped off too badly.

But now a new building has just been finished to house the market. So now including the basement there are 5 floors of vendors. You still need to bargain to get anything near a decent price. Most of the sellers know some English even if it's just money. Lots of tourists come here. It's a good place to shop, just be aware that most anything name brand is fake.

Located on Jianguomen Dajie. Exit the Yonganli subway station on the north side of the road more..

type:Markets
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address:Jianguomen Dajie

Hong Qiao

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Located down the street from the Temple of Heaven, this is an indoor market with everything you can imagine - coats, jewelery, scarves, purses, little trinkets, etc. It's a good alternative to shopping at the outdoor street markets when it gets cold outside.

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Wangfujing Market Street

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This is the largest and busiest market street in Beijing, known not only in China but also abroad. Its southern end connects to the East Chang’an Avenue where the Beijing Hotel is located and its northern end to Jinyu Hutong where the Palace Hotel stands. Lining the street are many old stores, specialized stores, bookstores, and department stores.

The Beijing Department Store is the center of the market street, and at the site where the famous Dong’an Shopping Mall locates. For new comers to Beijing, it is an ideal and safe place to shop since most of the shops are more..

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Panjiayuan flee market

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Big outdoor market with antiques (fake and real), ceramics including figurines of the cultural revolution, traditional paintings, minority clothes, old books etc. The right place to purchase and bargain for presents, any kind of souvenir or just something useless for your cup board. Open every weekend, best in the early morning hours.

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Qianmen Market Street and Dashilan

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To the south of Tian’anmen Square and Qianmen Gate is a straight street running due south. This is the Qianmen market street, the oldest market street in Beijing with a history of five centuries. An east-west lane opening onto the street on its western side is the famous Dashilan. Most of the shops along the lane are hundreds of years old, and some still retain their traditional appearance, though there are also some new ones in between. This is the most traditional market street to see in Beijing and is a good place to buy silk or traditional Chinese medicine in the old more..

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Dongdan Market Street

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The street has experienced a boom recently, and is famous for selling imported goods. It is also known as the Silver Street, as opposed to the Golden Street-Wangfujing-about one block to its west.

type:Speciality shops
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Xidan Market Street photo

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Located just on the western side of the central axis of the city and north of West Chang’an Avenue, this street became a high street about 80 years ago with six small shops. Now it has become an all-function shopping mall with department stores, shopping centers, specialized stores, bookstores and food markets. It is second only to Wangfujing street in numbers of customers.

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Liulichang Culture Street

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Located in the southwestern part of the city, Liulichang is a traditional market of old and rare books, antiques, paintings, calligraphy and arts & crafts. It is one of two streets that still keep the appearance of a Qing Dynasty market street (the other is Suzhou Street in the Summer Palace, mainly for show purposes). Those who love antiques or arts and crafts will find it a really cool place to shop, and those who are not planning on spending money may also find it worth going to have a look at the street and architecture.

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Dongsi Market Area

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To the northeast of Wangfujing used to be an old fair around Longfu Temple. With the building of a large department store, the area gradually turned into a market area. Now there are many private shops along the adjacent street as well.

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Torana Gallery

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dragon carpet design
dragon carpet design
photo by: Chris Buckley

Torana Gallery, run by Englishman Chris Buckley, sells Tibetan and Chinese carpets and Tibetan textiles. Chris specializes in handmade textiles, made using traditional methods and materials. The store is located near to the German delicatessen in the Kempinski Hotel, which is at the North East corner of the 3rd ring road. Chris's book on antique Tibetan furniture, published by Thames and Hudson, will be on sale at the store from October 2005.

type:Speciality shops
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tel:010 64653388x5542
url:www.toranahouse.com
address:Shop 8, Kempinski Hotel, Beijing
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