Whether or not you plan to spend any money, you'll be hard-pressed not to leave the Silk Market without purchasing some form of gift!!
The streets can be immensely crowded but you can spend hours just wandering, ear-wigging on the destructive haggling battles and seeing what there is to offer, and being lucky not to escape without being involved in one yourself!!
One important thing, just keep your wallet in a safe place, as you maybe the unfortunate victim of a professional at work....
I strongly advise this as a must-see if you have afew hours free, and a craving for a gift to take back home.
Bought a traditional chinese blouse... looks like qibao but its not... Opening price at RMB 350. Deal closed at RMB70. Since I am in sales I think price negotiation is not a big issue. Well I do hope I get a good bargain.... but what is important is that I really love the blouse and its embroidery .....
The trick - just walk away and these vendors will pull you back asking you to offer a price. However don't offer a ridiculously price of RMB 10 or 20 bucks, unless ur prepared for the swearing and cursing ....
Just one road to the East of the Temple of Heaven you can find Hongqiao mMarket. It is a silvery tall building and you can track it down by a penetrant smell of fish coming from it.
This market is noted on most touristy city maps and well worth a visit - even if you are not interested in pearls.
The market is designed like a department store. On the bottom floor you find watches, optical equippment (e.g. binoculars), mp-3-players, USB-sticks and the like. On the second floor there are suitcases, garements, clothes etc. On the third floor you find fashony clothes and chinese traditional clothes and the fourth floor features jewelery (mostly pearls) and traditional Chinese thich-and-that like Go games, calligraphy, dragons, antiques.
I like the market the best for its BASEMENT FLOOR. This is a huge fish and seafood market with an incredble variety of things you might never have seen before. Eel, shrinp, octopus, shells, clams, and fish organs ...the smell is penetrant, but to walk through there (mostly Chinese people) very interesting.
The pearls in the fourth floor are partially excellent quality - many colleagues of mine have asked jewellers at home, after they brought home neclasses they bought for maybe 20€ and would have paid for the tenfold in Europe. But you need to bring a person to judge good pearls or need to read about it beforehand.
In general the seller tend to name a beginning price the tenfold of what you should pay.
Here some ideas:
Do not pay more than:
- 160 Yuan for a fake North Face Jacket
- 300 Yuan for a pearl necless
- 50 Yuan for a pair of fake Puma or Diesel sneakers
- 80 Yuan for a pair of pants
- 40 Yuan for a sweater
- 10 Yuan for any fake watch
- 100 Yuan for a pair of fake leather shoes
- 10 Yuan for a CD or DVD
Located on Jinguo Men Wai Dajie, the “Xiushuf Silk Markets” are a must for any visitor to Beijing that wishes to pick up a bargain!
Some believe that these markets are way over price. I, however, believe that the markets represent excellent value….especially when you must haggle for a great price!
Don't let the name foolyou, although there are beautiful silk items sold here, the Silk Markets offer 6 floors of shopping with each floor specializing in true “GENUINE COPY” items! From Rolex and Gucci watches, Polo, Jeep and Armani clothing right through to jewelry, bags and accessories, you can grab a bargain here.
In the late 1960s, with the cold war at its peak and strained diplomatic relations between the US, Soviet Union and China, the Chinese built huge civil defense systems, especially in northern China. One of the remnants from this period is the Underground City.
Today the Underground City is much like its counterpart above the surface - there are factories, warehouses, shops, hotels, theaters, rollerskating rinks and clinics. This subterranean city covers an area of 85 sq km and much of it was constructed by local citizens and volunteers under the guidance of the army.
On the 5th floor of shopping the silk markets you will find wall to wall tailors who are just waiting to “size you up” for any piece of clothing that you could ever want. From shorts, shirts, trousers, blouses and jackets to suits and “GENUINE COPY” Armani suits, you will find it all here!
Anne had 5 lined skirts, 5 blouses and 5 pairs of dress shorts manufactures for US110.00. 1 skirt alone cost over US$80 at home!
TIP – take along some of your favorite styles with you. All you have to do is give them the sample, choose a fabric, pick the colors and haggle a price! Everything is ready within 24 hours.
There is a “China Post” on floor B2 and it is cheap to send boxes home.
It is amazing how often you will have a stall holder hold out their hand and say, “I remember you!”
“Oh, you are killing me.”
“You are breaking my heart because you don’t buy from my store.”
“Real, not copy.”
“I have special morning price for you.”
“I have special afternoon price for you.”
“OK, how much you pay.”
Let’s face it.
A Polo "brand" or Jeep "brand" polo-shirt is approx 50 Yuan.
A "brand name" hand bag is approx 100 Yuan.
Leather "brand name" belts are approx 25 Yuan.
Polo "brand" short sleeve shirts are approx 70 Yuan.
"Brand name" watches are approx 100 to 120 yuan.
How do I know? That’s what I paid!
The birdmarket called Guan Yuan Hua Niao Shi Chang was a place we frequented because it was where my friend bought food for her lovebirds.
An interesting place where one can buy not only birds but also all sorts of creepy crawlers: crickets, snails etc
Watched the locals and their pet birds. And we also explored the hutongs next to the market.
It's a market open from 16:00 - 22:00.
You can get there all kind of Chinese food together with things like
3. Sea stars
6. Silk worms
7. Sea horses
8. a bunch off additional things that I don't know the english names
You don't have to eat it, however some stuff tasts better than it looks.
Beijing is one of the most modern and efficient cities in China, however in my past few months of living here I have found that modernization and efficiency does not (in my view) extend throughout all areas of society, so if you’re preparing to visit Beijing for the Olympics you may want to keep in mind the follow tips so you are not caught totally off guard.
1.Going to the Toilet:
When you are out away from your hotel and not visiting the newest shopping mall or restaurant please be aware that toilet paper may not be provided in the stalls. This is certainly one tip you want to remember. In most cases there is a large roll of paper next to the entrance to the restroom, at other times there is no paper or at lease none you want to touch. So to be on the safe side remember to bring some small packets of tissue that can fit in you purse or pocket easily and make sure everyone in you group gets at least one.
Along with your small packet of tissues you should include a small packet of sanity wipes to clean your hand and face or wipe off surfaces you are eating on. I can go on and on about this topic, but just to put things in perspective think about the care you take cleaning after your own family member in your home; now think about a thousand people coming over and touching everything in your house. Get the picture!
A vast walking area next door to Ladies' Street. Right across you can find souvenir items and beautiful crockery at reasonable prices - mostly less than RMB10. My favorite shop is the one shop tucked in the corner further back from the main street area where they mostly cater for export items.
The flower market is located across the street within a giant building. Any type of house plants, gardening equipments, fresh flowers - including that rare-looking tulips, deep red roses, calla lilies are all there.... Don't forget to bargain the price.
i have been to the Pearl Market several times and it is always good.
There are 5 floors of different goods. The pearl floor is the main attraction of the market. Here you can get pearls at ridiculously cheap prices (however always check the quality). Many sellers will also tailor make pearl jewellery to your needs. I always walk away with some pearl item when I visit.
The other floors have various goods such as:
- Fake designer bags, wallets, belts
- Fake designer jackets, shirts, jeans, jumpers, t-shirts, dresses
- 'Traditional' chinese tablecloths, bedspreads, placemats, etc (although the silk market is better for these things)
- You MUST bargain at the Pearl Market. Do it with a smile, a laugh and never get angry or offensive. It is a lot of fun if you don't take it seriously. Everyone will get ripped off at some point, so just take it as part of the experience.
- Never feel bad, even if they look sad and tell you that your price is so low they can't feed their family. If that were true they would not sell it to you for that price.
- Always check the quality of the products. Gently pull the seams, check the zips, and on handbags always check handles.
- If you are willing to pay more for a better product ask for "Triple A" quality. These are the very best fake designer goods and are never on display. They cost more but look better and last longer.
- Beware of pickpckets. They are known to frequent the Pearl Market after tourists.
At the Silk Market, shopping isn't an activity. It's an experience, a first-class mental and physical workout.
Shopping in China is great theater. And the Silk Market is pretty much the Carnegie Hall of Beijing.
Here's what the Fodor's tour guide said about it: "The intensity of the bargaining and the sheer number of goods available are pretty much unsurpassed anywhere else in the world."
You can find just about anything you want here but the main items are silk goods, jeans, luggage, men's suits and knock-off women's accessories, like purses and shoes. There's also a healthy collection of kitschy "Maomorabilia."
The vendors are the real gems at the Silk Market. Ninety-five percent of them are young women, and they are more aggressive than mixed martial arts champions. The narrow lanes between the market stands serve as the perfect gauntlet for their attacks. From the moment you enter, they are in your face, offering all manner of crafty come-on lines: "Mistah, you be good husband. Buy you wife scarf." "Sir, you handsome. You want T-shirt. Me make you deal." "USA, No. 1." And on and on it went, down ever lane, around every corner.
This place is not part of our tour package. I must thank VTer Confucius for recommending me to this place. On the last day, which is supposedly our free and easy day, our tour guide told the group that he can bring us to see ice sculpture and Temple of Earth at a small fee. However, as I need to meet up with a friend staying at Beijing, I didn't join the rest of them. Although I had requested him to bring the group to this place, he told me that there is nothing much to see which is definitely not true! Thus, I asked my friend to bring me to this flea market - Pan Jia Yuan. It is really an eye-opener as the place is huge. You can find many things here, mainly antiques, and many interesting ones! Although I heard that most of the antiques (or all?) here are fake ones but this place is definitely worth a visit. For those who loves to read, this is an alley in here with many stalls selling books.
A common stopover for visitors to Beijing is the central food market in the city.
Actually its a must see.
The market itself though is not what I would call a 'local market' by any means and is mostly catered to the fascination of foreign tourists with the weird and wonderful sights and smells of the Chinese diet unheard of in the West.
The range of food is astounding, everything from scorpions to goats testicles to turtles with the shell removed.
One thing I will never forget is a particularly horrible smell, unique in its vileness, and unlike anything I have ever or ever want to smell again.
Could this be the result of a completely natural cooking process or a mistake, makes you wonder.
I have since been informed by VTer 'Sugarpuff' ( thanks! ) that this unique smell is the result of lambs intestines and rotten bean curd ( tofu ).
Still to see what is capable of being eaten is well worthwhile.
We also saw some market stalls fishing used plates out of the bins and rewashing them to be used again, a different spin on recycling.
The highlight? Well for stomach turning value, I think the most unsettling food item I saw were baby birds with the beaks still attached and the thought of grinding up the beak in ones mouth should be sufficiently challenging to your stomach.
Bottom line : go, take your camera, open your eyes and take a big deep breath.