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The Panjiayuan Antique Market is Beijing’s largest antiques market. Every day, hundreds of sellers offer their fascinating collections of curios, art, antiques and collectibles to around 50,000 visitors. Even if you don’t plan on spending, consider going to simply browse and to observe the action.
The market is a hive of activity at any time of the day, with sellers hawking their wares and regaling stories of their precious items’ pasts. If you are searching for something specific, it’s best to head down early; this is when shoppers have the best chance of finding a precious treasure.
Practice your bargaining techniques and don’t pay the first price offered. Haggling is common practice in Chinese markets and Panjiayuan is no exception. It is done with good nature and enthusiasm so get stuck in and give it a try. Walk around the market before buying anything and compare prices on similar items to get a better idea of what price to push for.
The market covers 520,000 square feet (48,500 square meters) and is packed with all kinds of varied goods. Discover everything from Chinese paintings to calligraphy equipment, traditional Chinese musical instruments to antique furniture. Crafts from ethnic minorities such as Hui, Miao, Korean and Manchu can often be seen here, and the market contains small shops selling jewels and jades. Buy yourself some old People’s Republic of China propaganda to take home, or treat yourself to a piece of beautifully adorned porcelain. For something easy to pop in your suitcase, opt for delicate papercut crafts, textiles or a small piece of silver.
The Panjiayuan Antiques Market is located just west of Panjiyuan Bridge in the Chaoyang District. The easiest way to get there is by subway and the Panjiayuan subway station is a short walk from the market. The market is open daily, but it’s at its biggest and busiest at the weekends. Get there early to see the best selection of goods before they are snapped up.
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