As the capital city of China, Beijing is not only known for its numerous tourist attractions, such as the Temple of Heaven, the Forbidden City and the Great Wall of China, but also for its touristy shopping markets which showcase both the modernity and tradition of this time-honored city. Different from the commonly seen hustle and bustle of large commercial areas like Wangfujing Street and Xidan Commercial Street, two not-to-miss shopping markets in Beijing have something special to offer: the eye-dazzling variety of pearls in Hongqiao Pearl Market and the exquisite silk products in Sanlitun Yashow Clothing Market.
If you happen to be in Beijing, China, and you are a big fan of pearl products, Hongqiao Pearl Market (红桥珍珠市场 in Chinese) is the best place for you to go. Hongqiao Peal Market is regarded as the largest pearl distribution center in China where you can find a wide range of pearls such as seawater pearls, freshwater pearls, as well as coral, emerald, gems and other precious stones. Moreover, the sizes, colors and smoothness of the pearls are also widely varied to suit the needs and tastes of different customers. Prices range from a few Yuan to 10,000 Yuan; the owners often ask for a high price, but if you are good at haggling, you can usually get a good price for what you want to take home. You will surely be impressed by the fascinating pearl necklaces, pearl pendants and so on. Think about it: three whole floors of pearls and jewelry for you to choose from! What a treasure gallery!
Apart from the beautiful pearls and jewelry, Hongqiao Pearl Market also provides a wide selection of seafood products, ranging from common fish, shrimp and crab to rarer selections, like shark fin, sea pumpkin and abalone - most of which are mainly supplied to big hotels and restaurants in and around Beijing. Also digital products, watches, silk products of different brands and quality are on sale in Hongqiao Pearl Market, a veritable smorgasbord of selections.
Oh, I almost forget to tell you the location of this wonderful market: It's situated at Tiantan Donglu, Chongwen District, in Beijing and the opening hours are from 9:30am - 7:00pm. You can easily get there by taking a number of public buses, including bus 35, 36, 39, 41, 43, 60, 106, 116 and get off at Fahuasi Stop (法华寺站 in Chinese).
Sanlitun Yashow Clothing Market (三里屯雅秀服装市场 in Chinese) is located at No. 58 north road, Worker Stadium Zhaoyang district (朝阳区 in Chinese) in the east of Beijing. It's a cool experience just to pop into those clothing shops to have a look at these delicate silk clothes, or to enjoy watching foreign buyers bargaining enthusiastically with the shop owners, most of who speak simple, broken English. What's also attractive about Yashow Clothing Market is that you can easily have your store bought clothes tailor-made, making our Beijing tour (12 Day Tibet Train Tour from Beijing to Kathmandu Via Tibet E.B.C) even more memorable with a symbolic Chinese silk garment of your very own.
Despite its name - Sanlitun Yashow Clothing Market - this unique and varied market has more than just clothes to offer. If you have ever been there, you'll definitely recognize a wide range of handbags, suitcases, carpets, jade, pearls and other interesting items. You may also check their official website: Yashow Market.
All in all, if you want to find something special to commemorate your trip in Beijing and would like to avoid the flashy modern shopping malls, Hongqiao Pearl Market and Sanlitun Yashow Clothing Market are two not-to-miss places to find something really Chinese!