The Pearl Market Beijing.

On October 18, 2010, in Beijing, China Travel Gossip, Shopping, by Jack Li

Hongqiao Market  or Beijing Pearl Market as it is better known is one of the best markets in Beijing it is shopping heaven, they sell literally everything Coats,bags,jewlery,acessories,shoes,electrical good, food, and tea the list could go on you will not be disappointed. As a self confessed shoperholic I was in my element, like a kid in a sweet shop! When I arrived I wasn’t to sure what to think because from the outside it is a very plain old looking building however when you enter, golly gosh, you just know you’re not going to be able to leave for another 5 hours at least! In fact I stayed for 6 hrs and have been back a further 3 times to visit I would defiantly put a whole day aside to do the market there is so much to see.

New Bag!!

The best way to get there is to take subway line 5 to Tiantan Dongmen Station and take exit A. I would suggest going in the week because on the weekend it becomes very touristy and busy with coach trips and it’s a bit more difficult to barter. If you would like to take a tour round to the market I would recommend taking it with China Tours as they are the best value for money and most flexible.

Once in the market you do have to barter and when I say barter I don’t just mean down a few Yuan its more like 10% of the first price they orginally ask for! It is very hard work and can get a bit fraught in the end, especially in the handbag section but just keep at it as long as your offereing a resnable price they will usually go for it. A great tip is to walk away ,the vendor will almost certainly grab you back and give you the price you want because they know and you know the stall next door sells exactly the same thing! Don’t be surprised if the vendor is a bot forward, the vendor wont think twice about touching grabbing or in some cases giving you a little hit the first time this happens it can be a bit of a shock however don’t be scared this is very normal behaviour. During bargaining  I have been hit on numerous occasion its not vicious its just the way things are done in the market! When walking around the market the vendors will literally grab you  and try to take you into there shop  this being the case its very easy to lose fellow shoppers I would suggest to visit the market in small groups as it easier to keep together.

There are 3 magical floors to the market with its a great place to get Christmas and birthday presents for as it’s very cheap and something for everyone. If you feel a bit peckish there is also a food section where small meals can be purchased. I would defiantly sat wear very light clothes as the market sometimes gets very hot and stuffy due to the volume of people in the market, and ensure you have a bottle of water.

Now my favourite floor of all is the bag floor which has the amazing but very fake designer bags, they have a variety of colours sizes shapes with makes from Gucci to Prada and Fendi also great Louis Vuitton they are all of great quality and usually leather its best to shop  around to ensure the best fake. A little tip is to always look on the inside of the bag to make sure its the same quality inside and out. They also have an array of shoes however this was not so much of a good experience for me because being a very tall girl I have rather large feet sadly china is not ready for my shoes size as I was hard pushed to find a single pair that even came close to fitting!! I felt a bit like a big footed giant ……… i’m only a size 7!!

The top floor is pearl heaven as soon as you walk in you will see rows upon rows of beautiful pearls they have thousands of necklaces,earrings and rings of all different varieties and quality items can also be made up on the spot. But again remember to do some hard bargaining. The chinese vendors will also try and prove how real the pearls are this is done with a process of burning the pearl and showing it doesn’t melt and also scratching it with scissors and showing it doesn’t mark its fascinating to see I would suggest to ask to see this done if your going to buy any pearls.

A successful day was had by all!

Jack Li
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