The markets near there are pretty cool, as long as you know that most of the antiques aren't really that great. For antiques go to the 'Sunday Stuff Market' or 'Dirt Market' in the Southeast on Sundays and bargain well. Qianmen area next to Tiananmen has good markets and authentic tea and Peking Duck shops, and the Xiu Shui Street (Silk Market) by the embassy has every kind of knockoff product in the world and all kinds of good Chinese souveniers for your friends (oh and stock up on bootlegged DVDs and DCs!). You're better off getting silk elsewhere though. Hongqiao (aka the Pearl Market) by Tiantan is a neat indoor market, and you can really get some inexpensive nice pearls and silk there. Look out for the giant picture of Bill Clinton with a pearl vendor - worth the trip right there.
This is a tag from some 'Abercrombie' pants I bought at a market there. Look carefully - I love all the knockoffs, they're so funny!
Shopping at the silk market was a great trip. We went to some other markets but by far this was the best one. Of course, like all markets in Asia, you'd do well to browse a little first and then you ABSOLUTELY must bargain. General rule of thumb is to offer half of what they are asking for the item...most likely you'll get it for that or close to it.
If you want to do some shopping while in Beijing you won't want to miss the Silk Market (aka Xiushui Dongjie). In this row of outdoor shops you will find everything from Mao and Rolex watches to Northface and Nike gear among other things. Remember all prices are negotiable and their best price is never their best price. I won't ruin it by telling you how much I paid for stuff but my recommendation to you is to set your best price in your head before you start your negotiation. Your best bet will be to give them your price and walk away. If it is at all within reason they will quickly sell you what you want at your best price. The best deals are often times made at the end of the day. The market closes abruptly at 6pm as the police walk down the row looking to give out citations for those who do not close on time.
One word of warning, watch your bags and your wallet. This is a well known spot for pick pockets because it is very crowded. You will have no problem if you keep you purse or backpack in front of you, close at hand and your wallet in your front pocket.
Silk street unfold..... the buzzling stalls where transactions in cash and the voices of people bargaining echoed through the crowded multi-storey building.
Stalls set up along the street offering 'xiaochi' (small food) from all over China. Nothing is more than a few kuai, except the odd delicacy such as scorpion on a stick for 10 Yuan.
See who are tallest you or the statue....
I bought me an smaller copy of this statue and it is really cute... I would love to have this BIG statue outside my house!
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