Shopping in Beijing to find bargains and haggle for the best prices is an essential part of the experience of visiting the city.
Walking and bargaining in the countless markets in Xiu Shui Jie Shopping Mall or the Xiu Shui Market will no doubt build up an appetite, but luckily there is plenty of food at these stalls for shoppers to refuel. Popular buys include fake designer labels, clothing, and bags. Bargaining is an essential skill and an expected part of the transaction, but remember to keep a smile.
The main shopping area is around Wangfujing Dajie, where a number of department stores can be found, including the Beijing Department Store. The Xidan area offers wonderful big department stores selling fixed-price goods including electronic equipment. The Hong Qiao Market is a popular indoor market in the south central area of Beijing, where bargaining is expected. Here buyers can haggle for goods such as cheap no-name or fake brand electronics, sunglasses, batteries, watches, and jewellery.
Panjiayuan Collectors Market is an outdoor market with a good array of arts and crafts from all over China, including popular Beijing souvenirs like jade bracelets, cloisonné and lacquerware, silk, calligraphy, porcelain, and vintage Cultural Revolution books and posters. The Maliandao Tea Street is the best place to find anything associated with tea, including tables, tea sets, and a wide variety of teas; it can be found in the southwestern Xuanwu District, near the Beijing West Railway Station.
Liulichang, in south Beijing, is a great place for Chinese antiques. Buyers should be aware that authentic antiques over 100 years old display a red wax seal. An export licence must be issued before these can be taken out of the country.
Travellers are advised to avoid shopping trips on evenings and weekends, as the crowds can be overwhelming. Shops in Beijing are generally open daily 9am-8pm and there is no sales tax.
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