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October 17, 2011

Beijing's Weekend Market Offers Genuine Local Treasures

Panjiayuan weekend market is one of the best places to shop in China. Its history goes back to when traders from remote provinces brought goods old and new from all over China each weekend to sell and trade.
It became famous for its antiques, as people would bring in old pieces of ceramics, furniture, jewelry and other goods.

While its still a great place to shop, the antiques tend to be fake. Its also forbidden to export real antiques so you could get them taken off you at the airport.

Best to stick to newer and inexpensive goods. We find it’s a wonderful place to buy gifts and souvenirs for our friends at home. For $10 or $20 you can buy something quite unique (at least from an overseas perspective).

Most tour companies in China will take their clients to commission shopping markets where prices are fixed and they receive a big share of the price.

Things you find in the weekend market will be perhaps ten percent of the cost of buying the exact same thing in a commission tourist market with a bit of bargaining. If you are learning Chinese it’s a great place to get some practice, but if you don’t the vendors still know how to communicate using basic Engish.

The China Guide (www.TheChinaGuide.com) does not do any commission shopping, we just want you to have an honest and genuine shopping experience.

Thus the Panjiayuan weekend market is fit onto our itineraries as often as possible.
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