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Beijing Major Shopping Area

Beijing Major Shopping AreaSome 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.

Wangfujing

Wangfujing--Beijing Major Shopping AreaThis 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.

The street, forever a trendsetter, has been reformed to a mostly pedestrian shopping mall, although bus services still use the street otherwise closed to vehicular traffic.

The best-known 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.

Qianmen

Dashilan street was a commercial center of Beijing more than 500 years ago. Its old shops and small stalls are preferred by Beijingers.

Xidan

Xidan--Beijing Major Shopping AreaThe 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.

Beginning this 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

Silver Street is in the Dongdan Beidajie. It is where all the franchised foreign name-brand shops are concentrated.

Jianguomenwai Dajie

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 Shopping Mall.

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.

Liulichang

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 Chinese painting.

Tourism-administration-designated stores

Tourism-administration-designated 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

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 environment.

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