Up until 2005, this market was called Silk Street and had the same location but was an outdoor market. Today, everything is covered by a roof and this market is probably the most visited by foreign tourists in Beijing. There are over 1700 vendors and between 20,000 and 50,000 people visit the market daily.
In the basement floor you’ll find shoes, belts, handbags and suitcases etc. On the first and second floors there are mainly designer clothes. Silk products are sold on the third floor: ties, tablecloths, traditional clothes as well as dressing gowns, underwear and many other products made of silk, and children’s wear. There are also tailors here, willing to make suits or dresses for tourists that often pay a little more than they should. Floors four and five have jewellery, pearls, Chinese crafts and art, watches, electronics etc.
Since there are a great number of foreign tourists on this market, salespeople here are pretty good at speaking English. The salespeople are extremely pushy and the prices they suggest are high, so bargain a lot and make sure to ask for the best quality!
This experience is very overwhelming and it took me going back 3 times to make any purchases. Bargain hard and be aware of exactly what you are getting.
- The market has been at the center of disputes between international luxury brand retailers and vendors selling counterfeit designer goods, some of which are so good that the designer companies themselves have difficulty identifying the difference. Crack downs have occurred in recent years and now it is said that 80 percent of the vendors have trademark authorization.