The Silk Market
Up until 2005, this market was called Silk Street and had the same location but was an outdoor market. Today, everything is covered by a roof and this market is probably the most visited by foreign tourists in Beijing. Just like HongQiao Pearl Market offers more than pearls, Silk Market offers a lot more than just silk. In the basement floor you'll find shoes, belts, handbags and suitcases etc. On the first and second floors there are mainly designer clothes. Be careful to try on everything you buy here, to be sure you get the right size. Many China travel agents has arranged the Silk Market to their travelers in order to enrich their itinerary, which seems workable and beneficial.
Silk products are sold on the third floor: ties, tablecloths, traditional clothes as well as dressing gowns, underwear and many other products made of silk, and children's wear. There are also tailors here, willing to make suits or dresses for tourists that often pay a little more than they should. Floors four and five have jewellery, pearls, Chinese crafts and art, watches, electronics etc. Having walked all the way up here, you'll probably be quite tired of all the yelling salespeople pulling at you. In that case, continue to one of the restaurants on floors five and six, where you can sit down and eat something.
Panjiayuan Flea Market, or Panjiayuan Market, or Panjiayuan Antique Market, or whatever names you use, is a must for those who like something really Chinese. Panjiayuan for me, it is also a place for nostalgia, finding some things reminding me of the time during 1960s. Shopping boutique in Panjiayuan market would be a great experience along your Beijing tour.
People often say the difference between the old and the young is that the old have the past before and the young have the future ahead. Maybe I'm really geting older now. Panjiayuan is one of my favorite places to digg into the past. Every year I will go there to fill my working heart with some sentiment. People need to feel, not just work and work!
Panjiayuan Market is located No.18, Huaweili Road, just 100 meters east of Panjiayuan Bridge on the east third ring road. It is its main gate - the north gate. If you take the bus or taxi here, you'd better enter the north gate. If you drive to Panjiayuan Market, you should go through the west gate. The west gate has a huge park lot while there is no parking place at the north gate. To get to the west gate, you just drive past the north gate westward and turn left at the first traffic light, for about 100 meters on your left side, you will find the west gate.
To travel China, many people may recommend the fantastic Yangtze River tour, but to explore the ancient history of China, Beijing travel is suggested, which do have much to offer for history-lovers. Along your Beijing travel, you should never miss shopping in the above two shopping areas.
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