Beijing Street Vendors after nightfall

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Like the Chinese Saying Goes: you will live up to 99 years old if you take a walk after supper, I have kept for years the habit of 40 minute-stroll after dinner. Not sure for keeping to live to that age, but it does help my digestion and keep fit as well, day on day, different seasons and all year round.
In particular, I have a passion for a after-dinner walk in summer. Many streets after dark in Beijing are alive with street vendors peddling for making a living. They set up stalls or spread blankets on the streets, under overpasses and other public places. The majority of the street vendors are illegal without permits from the local government. Many of them have little education and no skills. They have no other better options.
The street vendors sell everything from toys, clothes, trinklets to fruits and food. All are inexpensive at over more than CNY20 or 30. They just manage their existence peddling goods. For them, it is better to peddle on streets than to do nothing at home.  
The street vending is prohibited with the local regulation from the Beijing City Enviroment Health Regulation passed in 2006. All the illegal street vendors clearly know that it is unlawful to sell goods on streets, but they have no other better options. So they have to be always on alert against possible “attack” by the Chengguan (law enforcement officers from the local govenment). In most cases, at the sight of the Chengguan, the street vendor will immedialtely disappear! The slow runners very often will get a fine up to 5,000 yuan and the goods will be confiscated at the same time.
Each existence has its reason, The street vending is quite convenient for the local residents and pedestrians, especially for those who have thin income. The vendors earn money to support their family. But street vending poses some threats to the local traffic and worsens the enviroment.
So a kind of balance is needed to keep all this: the street vendors keep clean market places and don’t take up the public places for blocking the traffic. The Chengguan keep closed eyes sometime and give the street vendors a break.
A skewered Barbecued Lamb vendor is playing his iphone.

A skewered Barbecued Lamb vendor is playing his iphone.

A grilled corn vendor is grilling corns inside a burning stove.

A grilled corn vendor is wet through grilling corns inside a burning stove

A fruit vendor is using a cart for holding fruits.
A street vendor is peddling his trinkets on a blanket.

A street vendor is peddling his trinkets on a blanket.

A clothes vendor is waiting for a buyer. 

A clothes vendor is waiting for a buyer.

A cellphone screen membrane vendor is sticking a membrance

A cellphone screen membrane vendor is sticking a membrance

Play cards under a overpass

Play cards under a overpass

If you are planning Beijing tour in summer, don’t miss an evening walk to appreciate the smiling and expecting street vendors in Beijing.
Any questions, just drop a line.

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2 Responses to “Beijing Street Vendors after nightfall”

  1. phuong says:

    Hi there, Do you know if there are a lot of street eats across China (especially Beijing and Shanghai)? Thank you

  2. Daniel says:

    Hello Phuong,

    Each city in China has several clustered eating places, or street eats in particular. In Beijing, you may go to the Wangfujing snack street; in Shanghai, you may go to Yuyuan Bazaar; in Nanjing, you may go to Fuzimiao and etc.

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