Some people say the Silk Market (Xiu Shui) is for
foreigners and Xidan is for Beijingers. But whatever you are looking for, shopping is good
sport and a pleasure for those who like to search for bargains. Big shopping centers in
Beijing contain just about everything anyone could imagine. Many offer free concerts,
fashion shows or other entertainment. Lufthansa, SOGO and Chung-yo are favorites, but so
are the renovated Wangfujing and Xidan areas, Beijing's most modern shopping malls. For
more down-to-earth shopping, why don? you try Beijing's open-air markets? In these places,
successful shopping requires patience, time, a good eye for a bargain and bargaining skills.
This street is named for the 10 princes
mansion and their sweet-water well that was built during the Ming Dynasty. It was
forbidden in those days to dig wells at random near the Imperial Palace. According to the
principles of Chinese geomancy, the position of a building or tomb in relation to its
natural landscape affects the fortune of its occupants. Drilling into the earth near the
emperor's home without allowances for fengshui (wind and water) might have brought ruin to
the royal family. As the only well in this neighborhood, and because it was prized as a
scarce commodity, the well was closely monitored by the resident aristocracy.
forever a trendsetter, has been reformed to a mostly pedestrian shopping mall, although
bus services still use the street otherwise closed to vehicular traffic.
shop is the Beijing Department Store. To the north of the department Store is the One
World Department Store, which features a collection of Chinese and foreign name brands and
fine quality products. Sun Dong An Market is the largest market in Beijing with 100,000
square meters of floor area housing more than 200,000 kinds of goods.
was a commercial center of Beijing more than 500 years ago. Its old shops and small stalls
are preferred by Beijingers.
The Chung-Yo Department Store and the Xidan Market provide an
ideal shopping, dining and entertainment environment. Chung-Yo's business is usually
brisk. It offers monthly promotions, such as its Teacher's Day promotion on September 10,
a "Clone Competition" (Chung-Yo takes photos of families and selects those that
resemble each other the most). Discounted prices cause even the thriftiest of consumers to
open their wallets without a thought. All the world's name-brand products are abundant
here, which reflects Beijing's growing cosmopolitan presence. Rock'n'roll, shouting
assistants, fashions make Xidan a paradise for shoppers.
month, shoppers can enjoy "Open-air shopping", two corridors will link the four
shopping centers. One is between Chung-Yo Department Store and the Pacific Department
Store; the other lies between Huawei Mansion and its opposite building. Shopping
promotions are being featured.
Silver Street is in the Dongdan
Beidajie. It is where all the franchised foreign name-brand shops are concentrated.
Jianguomenwai Dajie is famous
for its colorful metropolitan scenes. The street is lined with star-rated hotels, office
buildings, fancy restaurants, beauty salons and shopping centers. The well-known shopping
centers are Friendship Store, SCITECH Plaza, Guiyou Department Store and the China World
The Silk Market
Despite its name, the Silk
Market has much more than just silk. The silk products here are cheap, and therefore
popular, but there are also a lot of cashmere garments, down jackets, leather goods,
shoes, hats, watches and some handicrafts and trinkets. The Silk Market basically consists
of a long, narrow street (XiushuiJie) lined with dozens of stalls. One of the main things
about the Silk Market is the fact that none of the prices are set. It is often helpful to
bring along a Chinese friend who can help you bargain.
The famous Liulichang street
lies in Hepingmen since the Qing Dynasty for 200 years. There, those who failed in the
imperial examination usually sold their books and inkslabs, and the declined families'
heritages exchanged money with their antique collections. It became gradually a market
consisted of about 100 shops dealing in traditional works and articles.
Works of Chinese calligraphy
and traditional Chinese paintings, old wood block-print books, Chinese ink brushes,
inkslabs and paper for calligraphy known as the for treasures of the study and other
scholars traditional tools can be found in Liulichang.
Rongbaozhai, being the most
important shop there, has more than 300 years' history and a fine copy technique for old
stores are specially open for overseas guests but an increasing number of local residents
also shop here because of the stores unique stock and good service. They are ideal places
to buy arts and crafts, antiques and other Beijing specialties. Money changing, postal and
consigning services are often offered.
Century-old stores, like those
in Beijing's hutongs (alleys) and siheyuan (courtyards), have become part of the city's
history. Their fame and location in some of the most bustling downtown areas keep them
busy but, at the same time, the stores are small and offer a relatively poor shopping