Where do the locals shop

Old Apr 26th, 2010, 03:48 AM
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Where do the locals shop

Hi, I want to do some shopping when in Beijing, but so many people say to keep away from Silk & Pearl markets - real tourist trap & high prices - so where do we go? Where do the locals shop? Love some feedback on that one please!
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Old Apr 26th, 2010, 08:26 PM
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Xiushui Street: (Xiushui Dongjie (Xiushui East Street), off Jianguomen Outer Street, near the US Embassy)
Hong Qiao Market(Pearl Market)
Tips: you'd better shop around a lot for bargains
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Old Apr 27th, 2010, 03:24 AM
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Thank you for that, I'll look them up.
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Old Apr 27th, 2010, 04:54 AM
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Not everything in the Pearl Market is of bad quality..that is kind of a ridiculous statement in my opinion. I adore the pearls I bought there. Most locals may not be shopping for the same things you are looking for, so I would not avoid a place just because there are tourists shopping there.

Here is their website:

http://www.thebeijingguide.com/shopp...ao-market.html
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Old Apr 27th, 2010, 07:43 AM
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> Thank you for that, I'll look them up.

And when you do, you'll find

Xiushui Street *is* the Silk Street Market

and

Hong Qiao *is* the 'Pearl Market'

so the advice given doesn't amount to much of use.

These are indeed both tourist-as-victim territory and you would be very unwise indeed to shop at either (although you will find a few people here who have already been victims and who are unwilling to accept it).

Of course, the locals shop there, too, when they are looking for fake handbags, knock-off watches, fake and low-quality pearls, etc. but for the most part they know what they are doing and get value for money at real local prices. As an obvious short-term visitor at two locations where guides herd in their foreign tour groups in order to earn big kick-backs, it is extremely unlikely that you will.

As to where you should shop, that very much depends on what you want to buy.

Peter N-H
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Old Apr 28th, 2010, 03:59 AM
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Hmmmm, interesting!
Actually I don't know what I want to buy - when I see it I'll know!!! I do want some good chinese souvenirs, yes classic stuff, antique-y stuff & also could consider shipping some furniture back....
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Old Apr 28th, 2010, 04:19 AM
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My comment about the ridiculous statement was directed at a spammer whose message has, thankfully, been removed. So do not take offense! Too much junk crops up when speaking of China! You need to be very careful whose advice you are preparing to heed. Present company excepted, of course!

Also, you should try to get to the Panjiayuan "Dirt Market" on weekends. I thought that was the best place to shop in Beijing. By far. But you need to go very early (get there by 8am if possible) and prepare to bargain fiercely. But I made one visit to the city while PeterNH really knows the territory!
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Old Apr 28th, 2010, 03:47 PM
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> good chinese souvenirs

The maelstrom of souvenirs is the well-known Pan Jia Yuan market, which at least has the merit of having every single sort of souvenir item you could ever conceive of all in one spot. There's no need to go early (nor has there been for years), because there's nothing of any real antique value there to be snapped up by the early bird, and even according to the vendors the overwhelming majority of what's on sale is fake. There's also no need to go at weekends as more stalls than you can reasonably cope with are open during the rest of the week as well, and during the week you'll find much lower prices (although you'll still pay too much).

For a similar thing on a much smaller scale, with far fewer foreign visitors, and within the grounds of a temple, you might try Baoguo Si market, a short walk south of Changchun Jie metro.

For a truly massive mall with the best prices and with some traditional souvenirs amongst the masses of practical items, Bairong Shimao Shangcheng on South Third Ring.

For real traditional crafts Baigongfang in Guangming Lu east of the Temple of Heaven.

> antique-y stuff

There are no antiques. If you think you've bought an antique you've merely paid a high price for something made last week and then deliberately distressed.

> could consider shipping some furniture back

Shopping for furniture is as tricky as shopping for anything else. In theory better shops label genuine antiques (effectively non-existent in reality), new furniture made from old wood (plenty of that around as temples and traditional houses are pulled down), and old style furniture newly made. In effect you'll often never know.

For vast stores with plenty of choice go to the Gaobeidian furniture market south of Gaobeidian metro. Closer at hand, but more used to seeing foreigners, the Zhaojia furniture market on the east third ring two mins' walk north of Pan Jia Yuan.

Peter N-H
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Old Apr 29th, 2010, 03:03 AM
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Thank you so much for that - just the info I want! Can't wait to get there!
Peter, are you able to please send me a copy of your Hutong walks?, I know this is not the place to request it, but we're leaving in a week & you are such a mine of information! my address is andy dot jane dot cameron at xtra dot co dot nz. Hope you check this thread out again thanks again!
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Old Apr 29th, 2010, 03:04 AM
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eksrunchy - thanks for giving me the web site address - was great to see
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Old Apr 29th, 2010, 04:09 AM
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I suggested arriving early at the market not to snap up genuine antiques, but to avoid the crowds that descent by 9:30 or 10am.

If you want to read about my visit to Gaobeidian, look at my trip report from 2007. I bought a couple of paintings for a low price; Some of the shops also have well-done copies of ancestor scrolls. But these shops are mostly for those wanting large pieces and would not be of huge interest to most tourists.

Look at the entry for April 26; also, there is a lot of detail on shopping throughout:


http://www.fodors.com/community/asia...g-shanghai.cfm
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Old Apr 29th, 2010, 10:20 AM
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To avoid the crowds at Pan Jia Yuan it is simply necessary to avoid the advice to go at the weekend.

But in general souvenir shopping for true traditional crafts (many of which you won't have heard of before) is best done at Baigongfang (although it's a slightly gloomy indoor market, and very occasionally sees a tour group, and better at weekends) and at smaller shops springing up in various quarters that combine reasonable quality control sometimes with a mix of Western and Chinese aesthetics. There's much that is genuinely Chinese that is newly invented, and, of course, there's nothing more representative of modern China than a fake. Boutiquey foreigner/upwardly-mobile-Chinese-targeting shops can be found around the Drum and Bell towers, just to the north and to the east of these, in Nan Luogu Xiang (east and then south of the towers), Yandai Xiejie (a turning west immediately south of the towers).

If willing to spend a few hundreds of dollars upwards then a piece of modern art makes a good souvenir, although don't believe a) that the artist himself painted it, b) any claims about a limited edition, unless shopping at a few reliable foreign-run galleries (e.g. Galerie Urs Meile at Caochangdi, north of 798). Wandering around art/entertainment district 798 (Qi Jiu Ba) with its myriad galleries and cafes offering everything from top-end art to complete tat is a pleasure in itself. Again, avoid weekends when it's packed.

Gaobeidian has been substantially redeveloped, especially to the south of the railway line, and has several large stores packed with furniture of all conditions, sizes, styles, and degrees of portability, and two or three museums dotted around including one that's genuinely interesting, right amongst the furniture stores, of calligraphy sign boards. It is possible to walk there from Gaobeidian metro in about 20 minutes. There are sufficient taxis around if needed.

Peter
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Old Apr 29th, 2010, 10:53 AM
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That is most interesting about the Pan Jia Yuan market being open and in full force during the week. I will certainly keep it in mind when planning a return visit to Beijing, as my visit there was one of the highlights of a fantastic week in that city. I need to go back to snag a partner to the "acupuncture woman" that I bought last time. She is rather lonely on my mantel and needs a male partner. Peter, do you know where else these are sold? (see links below; mine is about 30 inches tall)


http://www.silkroadcollection.com/li...edium=shopping
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