Archives For Market & Street
There is a little overlap between stalls so you can compare and bargain but the range of goods is excellent. Stall owners come from twenty-four provinces around China to sell their wares.
Panjiayuan Market is at its best on weekends. The Antique Zone is open every day and the Arts and Crafts Warehouse Zone is open on Saturday and Sunday only.
8:30 – 18:30 from Monday to Friday
4:30 – 18:30 Saturday and Sunday
Beijing is famous for its wonderful ancient alleys (hutongs) and streets, many dating back to the Ming Dynasty and retaining their traditional architecture. However, over the years a number of historically rich hutongs have succumbed to the bulldozer – a painful sacrifice many streets and buildings have had to and continue to endure as part of Beijing’s sprint toward “modernization”. On the other end of the spectrum, some streets have become the target of gentrification, and are now home to a bustling number of shops, cafes, restaurants and bars – a development that has created mixed feelings among Beijingers. These gentrified alleyways, from Nanluoguxiang and Wudaoying Hutong to Dashilan’r and Qianmen, have become a staple on every guidebook. But Beijing is also home to a number of ancient, culturally significant streets and alleys that have largely gone unnoticed by foreigners. Below we introduce four traditional and popular culture streets in Beijing of which you may not have heard.
1) Maliandao Tea Street
This 1,500 meter long stretch of road is known as “the number one tea street in Beijing”, and for good reason. Lined with over 3000 tea stalls and ten large wholesale markets, this is the place to go for the most comprehensive selection of tea from across China. Maliandao is both a tourist attraction and a serious tea-trading center, with annual sales reaching 2.5 billion RMB and accounting for 10% of China’s total annual tea sales. While quality and prices here can vary, overall Maliandao’s teas are reasonably priced and many bargains can be had with a bit of know-how and tact. Besides famous Chinese teas like Longjing, Dahongpao and Tieguanyin, one can also purchase imported teas from India, Argentina and Korea. If the experience is too overwhelming, go to any shop and fuel up on free tea samples while practicing your Mandarin with the tea dealers.
Add: Maliandao Lu, south of Guanganmen Wai Dajie, West Second Ring Road, Xicheng District, Beijing
Getting there: take bus no. 46, 89, 414 or专27 to Maliandao Hutong stop (马连道胡同)
2) Longfusi Culture Street
This 600 meter stretch boasts 550 years of commercial history. Since the Ming Dynasty, Longfusi’s temple fair has been one of the city’s most famous and popular commercial events, attracting a diverse range of people from royal elites to foreign diplomats to peasants. However, the street’s popularity dwindled over the years, and now Longfusi is best known for its selection of snacks and folk arts. Come here to savor traditional Beijing eats or to buy souvenirs.
Add: Dongsi Beidajie to National Museum of Art, Dongcheng District, Beijing
Getting there: take Line 5 to Dongsi station
3) Shilihe Tianjiao Culture City
One of Beijing’s oldest markets, Shilihe Tianjiao Culture City is also known as the “Shilihe Bird, Flower, Fish and Insect Market”. As the name suggests, this is a great place to pick up pets and creepy crawlies. It’s also a good spot for buying calligraphy paintings and antiques. Easy to navigate, the market is divided into sections, which means all birds and insects are in one area, calligraphy in another etc. The most interesting time to visit is on a Saturday morning, when a lively market takes over the area with the front part of the market dedicated entirely to fish of all colors, shapes and sizes. Make sure to bargain hard however, as tourists frequently get ripped off here.
Add: south of Shilihe Bridge, Dongnan Sanhuan, Chaoyang District, Beijing
地址：北京市朝阳区东南三环十里河桥南侧 (近云龙金阁饭店), 十里河天娇文化城
Getting there: take bus no. 25, 53, 573, 626, 680, 723, 750, 821, 988, 特8, 运通107 to Shilihe Qiaonan bus stop (十里河桥南)
4) Liulichang Culture Street
Liulichang, which translates as “Color Glaze Factory”, dates back to Yuan and Ming Dynasty when a color glaze factory operated in the area. In 1982 the entire street got a make-over creating a 750 meter long street with a façade echoing its rich history. Close to a hundred shops line Liulichang Culture Street, selling everything from traditional artwork and ceramics to old books and replica antiques.
Add: Liulichang Dongxi Jie, Hepingmen Wai, Xuanwu District, Beijing
Getting there: take subway Line 2 to Hepingmen station
(Blog posted by eChinacities.com on Jan 7, 2013. You can see the original article by following this link to eChinacities.com)
All luxury brands decided to open a shop (or several) in this street which became, as Sanlitun Village, a reference for luxury shoppers.
The street also contains the biggest foreign bookstore (most of the books are in english but it is at least better than Chinese bookstores…) and one of the biggest church in town, St Joseph’s Church.
Wangfujing is also well known by tourists for its street food market, Dong’anmen Night Market. It is possible to find stick of any kind of food: snake, octopus, worms, starfish…
All sticks, dumplings or noodles only cost couple of yuans so adventurer should not avoid this experience.
Scorpions are still alive on their sticks and they move their tails and pliers before the shop owner put them on the oil to be fried. It is part of the spectacle and all tourists (either chinese or foreigners) come to take pictures and move back as soon as the owner suggest them to eat one.
It is a tourist place and local taxi drivers well understand this. They wait at the end of the street and ask for incredible price to drive you home. They refuse to use the meter. I recommend to go East with the subway to avoid this trap or walk West to Tiananmen and the Forbidden City. The walk inside small hutongs is really nice.
(Blog posted by Julian. You can see the original article by following this link to Julian, A French Man in Asia)
Beijing is a colorful, multilingual city. I’ve heard Korean, Russian and Glaswegian. Likewise, everyone speaks the language of shopping.
As Olivia, my friend on vacation from Scotland, and I pushed through the crowded market, vendors from stalls left and right pitched sales at us.
“You like North Face? How about Polo?”
“Hey, you’re so beautiful! You want a purse?”
“Come here, lady!”
We were probing around the first floor of the famous Silk Street Market. Upon entering the large complex we passed a large red banner stating: “Do not buy any unauthorized, buy original.”
Tourists from around the world come to this market to bargain down prices for fake designer goods. Some bags are gaudy, others are horrendous, but some items, tucked away in the backroom and listed only in an in-store catalog, take some digging to locate, but are worth the entire treasure hunt.
Our first haggle was over a pair of “Armani” khaki pants. A vendor in his late 20s – his name was Rick – asked me what I was looking for.
After I tried on a pair of pants in a makeshift changing room – a chest-high curtain which the sellers held up – in the center of the busy market, we started to bargain. I punched a number in his jumbo-sized calculator: 200 yuan ($31). He laughed as if I had asked him to give the pants away for free.
He tried to prove the pair was worth 900 yuan.
First, Rick took out a lighter and put the flame to the pants. “See! Look at the quality.”
I told him I admired how they were flame-resistant. Apparently this fabric was similar to the real Armani, though I cannot imagine going into an Armani store and demanding the same flame test.
Then he started spinning the pants in the air and twisting them as if wringing them of water. He whipped it around like a lasso, nearly smacking Olivia.
“Very good quality,” said the vendor. I nodded.
I ended up settling for 350 yuan, probably more than I should have paid. The problem was at the time, I was emotionally invested in these pants. I knew it made sense to explore other stores, but the vendor kept lowering the price and lighting the pants on fire to lure me back.
Olivia and I made a pit stop at McDonalds to count our loot and our dwindling cash. We mapped out a strategy; the crux of the game was for the buyer and the seller to zero in on each other’s true price. Whoever could do this more effectively without losing ground would haggle the best deal.
We went back and located a purse stand.
Saleswoman: “We are good friends! How much do you want for this Gucci bag?”
I punched in 200 yuan.
“You must be joking! I will make no money.”
“Impossible! Look, I give you this price.”
We went back and forth for about five minutes. Every time she went down by a hundred or two, she grew more flustered and indignant – or at least she acted that way.
“Why are you so stingy?!”
We decided to use the walking-away method. When we were just out of sight she called back to us and grabbed Olivia by the arm: “Three hundred, last price.”
“A little more, give me a little more”
We started to turn away.
“OK, OK. Give money.”
You have to stand ground.
Just remember, the vendors may be cleverer than you – selling overpriced fake goods is their profession – but you ultimately have the upper hand. You can always walk away and try a different starting price with a different vendor, but if they lose a customer they lose a sale.
So play hard when you visit the landmark, six-story jungle on Silk Street and teach your friends the ropes. All foreigners in Beijing need to visit the Great Wall during their stay, but it is the Silk Street Market they will visit more than once. For me – and dare I implicate Olivia? – a bargain is something you don’t need, at a price you can’t resist.
(Blog posted by Kevin Tan on August 31, 2011. You can see the original article by following this link to ChinaDaily)