Archive for the ‘Beijing Tour Reviews’ Category

Top 10 Tourist Scams Beijing

Wednesday, May 9th, 2018
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Plan your Beijing tour? Most foreign travelers feel very safe when traveling in Beijing. But that doesn’t mean you should lower your vigilance on possible travel scams in Beijing.

The remark below is quoted from Percy from USA:
Thank you for having this site. As a traveler and student of human nature, I appreciate the scam warnings and the comments. I am a native New Yorker, and I feel it important to remind people that scams are not only in China.

Anywhere around the world where there are larger groups of humans, there will be more opportunities for scams. It seems the way of the Universe that these will be filled. You should always be aware, do research and remember that if it seems off, or too good, it is probably a scam. This is true in China, the U.S., or any other place where humans exist.”

Scam #1 Avoid KTV bars
Whether you enter on your own or taken by a Chinese “friend.”, in most cases you are in for a trap! It is a karaoke place. You enter the room to sing a few songs and have a few beers. Suddenly girls appear and want to drink with you. Then suddenly a cart appears with lots of snacks and beer.

The snacks are NOT free and they are expensive–but more on that later. The girl wants a brandy and you say okay. You will end up paying huge amount of money! Just avoid KTV!

Scam # 02:  Tea Scam
At some heavy tourist areas (like Tiananmen Square, Wangfujing Street…),  you will be approached by one or three  attractive females or gentlemen, who are  willing to have a natural and nice talk with you or  even give you a free tour of hutong  in a polite way.  She or he will talk about the interesting things in Beijing, or talk about the culture or history of your home country and even world affairs!

Then if everything goes smoothly, then  invite you to a traditional Chinese teashops or ceremony. The whole ceremony proceeds then at the end of the ceremony your “friends” will ask you to pick out some favorite teas. So the scam start when it comes time to pay the bill, and it can again run into the hundreds or thousands of dollars. Simply don’t go for it!

To make the tea scam more natural,  they  pretend to be very friendly. They even don’t suggest you pay the whole amount. It is to be split between you and your “friends”.  So you  will see them pay their part. It is a scam!

It happens in central part of Beijing mainly, esp. in Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and the surroundings.

Scam # 03: “Art Student” Scam
Also at some big tourist destinations,  some young people,  disguised as ” art student’”,  will approach you. They offer you a free tour of an art show. Thus begins the “Art Student” scam.

Actually they will take you to an art shop selling all kinds of “art” stuff. This is just a waste of time. You can easily find these art pieces on the market. They sell the same “art” at higher prices. Simply say bye to them.
It happens mainly in historical sites, and public transport hubs. They are good actors(actresses) indeed. To us Chinese people they say they are out job-hunting and is penniless; to overseas travelers they say they are art students. Many of them are very properly dressed.

Scam # 04: Rickshaw Scam
Some first-time oversea or even domestic travelers visiting Beijing fall into the traps of some seemingly “humble rickshaw drivers”. For example, let’s say, you and a rickshaw driver agree on a price of RMB 40 for a pedicab ride. It will turn out to be RMB400!. The trick is that your rickshaw driver will pretend to be ignorant and he will pull out a laminated price list and say it is 400 yuan instead of 40 yuan. Better take a taxi than a pedicab.

1) Rickshaw Scam at the North Gate of Forbidden City
There are two entrances to the Forbidden City – the south gate ( Meridian Gate – Wumen)  and north gate( Gate of Divine – Shenwu Men).  The south gate is linked to Tiananmen Square to the south. You have to enter Forbidden City from its south gate and exit from its northern gate, which is officially set as a one-way south to north travel route.

Make sure you are taken by your taxi to the south entrance of Forbidden City (better yet, take the subway line 1 –  its very nice and very cheap!). Don’t ever take a Rickshaw at the north gate of Forbidden City unless you feel like getting lost and extorted.

So if you visit Forbidden City by getting to a wrong gate (north gate), don’t use a local rickshaw to get back to the south gate, just walk to the right gate (south gate). For the same reason, if you exit from the north gate after visiting Forbidden City, don’t use a rickshaw for your next place.

2)  Rickshaw scams also occur at the entrance to the “Legend of Jinsha” which is performed at the Beijing Workers’ Club in Beijing.

3)  Rickshaw scams possible at any places in Beijing
Rickshaw scams could occur at any other places in Beijing. Be Vigilant!

 Scam #05: “Black” Taxis
When arriving at the airport, keep away from the taxi drivers who approach you in the terminal or outside the terminal as they will charge you much more than the actual price. Just following the sign pointing to the taxi line just outside the terminal. Taxi drivers should use their meter; make sure that the driver puts down the flag.

Taking a taxi from the airport to the downtown Beijing costs just over RMB 100 plus RMB 5 toll fee. Beijing legitimate taxi license plates will begin with the “Beijing B” otherwise it is possibly a black taxi!

After paying a legal taxi, you will get a legal computerized receipt in which you can find the taxi company’s phone number while a black driver only offers you a hand-written receipt with which you will never find him! A black driver would charge you RMB 400 – RMB 500 for the airport downtown drive! Normally a taxi ride from the airport to the downtown of Beijing costs you around RMB 120.

Black cars could be found around the subway stations, shopping malls, and also around some major tourist attractions such as Summer Palace, Forbidden City and Wangfujing Street and Beijing Railway Station as well.
By the way, your taxi driver may pull out a very official looking list of all hotels and official airport price. Never belive so-called official taxi-rate list of all hotels and official airport price. Never such a taxi-rate list!

It seems that there is a new kind of scam in Beijing when it comes down to the taxi’s.  Taxi drivers are asking their passengers to get out of the car and help to push it / close the trunk. When the passengers are outside, the drivers takes of with all their belongings.

For more information on taxi, please visit Beijing Taxi.

Scam # 6:Fake helpers/officials around Mao’s Tomb at Tiananmen Square 
When you line up for entering Mausoleum of Mao Zedong, you will probably meet some fake helpers or officials who are trying to “grab” some money from you.  To avoid being cheated, please read the following travel tips:

The admission to Mausoleum of Mao Zedong is free. No need for passport ID check and no need for buying shoes to replace your sandals (though not encouraged). As with most mausoleums, strict rules are enforced for visitors. No bags and cameras are allowed inside the hall. One locker is located 500m to the east of the mausoleum. The deposit is not free ( yes, a little strange)! The charges on deposit locker ranges from CNY 2 to 10.

Scam #07:  Scams Occurring Around Tiananmen and Forbidden City
The area around Tiananmen Square and Forbidden City is a favorite hangout for scammers.  Below is a trip by a scam victim named  Akalan:

In fact this was my 4th trip to China, but first trip to Beijing. Many a times many people, usually young ladies chatted with me and they helped me a lot. Even on the same day morning I went to the Great Wall and a young girl with good English walked with me. All those I met earlier were genuine people who just wanted to help a visitor to their country. Most of the time they did not even allow me to pay a bill, ticket price or taxi fare.

With that sort of experience, I had no suspicion on this woman. Still my priority was to get into the Forbidden city ASAP, as it was passed 3pm and I knew that the ticket sales would stop at 4 pm. This lady said that she would show me the “East gate” where I can enter without a long queue. Yes, there was a queue of people at the main entrance.

I simply followed her advice and she walked with me to “show” the entrance. On the way she said she is from Xi’An (a city I visited 1 month ago) and we had quite a good conversation on history, culture and languages. She also explained some history of the area.

She said her friends from another province are there and they will meet her in 10 min. If I can wait 10 min, they also can join me to go inside the Forbidden city. While waiting for them, she suggested me to sit some where and have a tea or fruit juice. In fact after walking and climbing whole morning in Great Wall area, I was thirsty and wanted to sit and stretch my legs. So I agreed.

I tried to sit on some chairs laid outside, but she suggested to go inside – less noisy, less dust and air-conditioned! I picked a Chinese tea and the scam began!

You know the rest. Yes, she split the bill, still I lost a few hundred! Worst thing was that she took me to a gate, assuring that I could enter from there, but obviously there were no ticket counters. I had to get to an electric car. The driver charged 20, instead of 2, as he sensed my urgency!

He actually did not take me to the ticket counters, instead, he stopped somewhere and a woman approached me. She was telling me that the ticket counters are closed and she would sell a ticket to me for 100 ! I did not want to let some one rip me off for 3rd time, within 15 min. Finally when I found the ticket counters, they were closed! So I missed the Forbidden City!

Scam #08: Avoid Itinerant Tour Companies at Street
AVOID TOURISM COMPANIES, the ones who talk to you at street, promising a great price to go meet Great Wall (for example), they will make you pay more inside the bus, will take you to the worse section of the Great Wall, and prepare yourself for a long day stopping at market places, really awful experience.

If you want sightseeing, get a legal one, from important sites.

Scam #09: Cheating Rampant at North Gate to Forbidden City 
There are two main gates to the Forbidden City – the south gate ( Meridian Gate – Wumen)  and north gate( Gate of Divine – Shenwu Men).  The south gate is linked to Tiananmen Square to the south. You have to enter Forbidden City from its south gate and exit from its north gate, which is officially set as a one-way south to north travel route.

So don’t try to go to the North Gate to Forbidden City.  The North Gate now only serves an exit gate.  If you get to a wrong gate ( the north gate ),  just walk along the streets circling Forbidden City and move on to the south gate. In this case, you are not encouraged to use a rickshaw or a 3-wheel motorcycle taxi at the north gate of Forbidden City.  Some  of the rickshaw and 3-wheel motorcycle taxi drivers are just disgusting swindlers.  Avoid Them!  Below is the account by Bill of the victim at the North Gate to Forbidden City.

I was a victim of two scams in the same day! The first was with a 3-wheel motorcycle taxi at the north gate of the forbidden city. I was offered a ride to the south gate for 3 Yuan. The taxi drove through a maze of narrow alleys and he stopped at an isolated spot. Then he demanded 300 Yuan, about $48.

The second incident was the tea shop routine. A nice couple invited me to a local place near Tiananmen square. I told them about the taxi incident and they sounded shocked and empathetic! We were given snacks (2 Yuan per bag in the store), some high quality tea, orange juice, and about 1-2 ounces of wine. The bill was 1200 Yuan plus 100 for the tip. He paid half (money probably borrowed from the owner), but I was still squeezed for over $100.

The next day, near the same square, a woman began a nice friendly conversation with me and tried to do the same thing. The good-bye was very quick.

Scam #10:  The Counterfeit Money
Hi there – another scam to add to the list is the counterfeit money. We used a standalone ATM at the silk markets and received many hundreds of RMB that was fake. We didn’t know of course – its nearly impossible to tell. Now we have some lovely souvenirs that look like 100 RMB notes 🙂
The advice would be to use a bank ATM I guess.

More Tourist Scams:

Tourist scam on Chinese Medicine ( Feedback from christian Holscher )
There is a tourist scam where people pretend to be part of the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences. They pretend to be doctors and ‘diagnose’ an illness just by taking the pulse. Then, they sell very expensive pills which are most likely just herbal remedies.

The company does not give receipts for their sale, and no address or contact number was provided. They clearly do not pay tax. All what they give to the customer is a worthless certificate with no address. The real of this company can be found on the credit card receipt.

06611Tip:  Hassle-free Beijing Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for guided tours to Beijing:

Beijing Highlight Day Tour from US$59 P/P
(Tiananmen + Forbidden City + Mutianyu Great Wall)
Beijing Classic City Tour from US$65 P/P
(Tiananmen + Forbidden City + Temple of Heaven + Summer Palace)
Beijing Excursion Tour from US$59 P/P
(Mutianyu Great Wall + Ming Tomb)
Beijing Hutong Highlight Tour from US$59 P/P
( Hutong + Rickshaw)

Mutianyu Great Wall Half Day Tour from US$55 p/p
Hike from Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall Day Tour from US$69 p/p

Mutianyu Great Wall Layover Tour from US$65 p/p
Beijing Highlight Layover Tour from US$75 p/p

Further Readings


Top 10 Attractions in Beijing
How to Visit Forbidden City
How to Visit Temple of Heaven
How to Visit Summer Palace
How to Visit Ming Tombs
How to Visit the Great Wall of China
How to Visit Tiananmen Square
How to Visit Hutongs
How to Visit Olympic Sites

Top 10 Markets in Beijing
Top 10 Shopping Malls in Beijing
Beijing Shopping

Wangfujing Night Snack Street
Qianmen Commercial Street
Beijing Huguosi Street

Any questions, just drop a line.

How to Visit Ming Tombs in Beijing

Thursday, May 3rd, 2018
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Dear Travelers

We’d like to have the following travel guide to be always updated for the benefit of new visitors coming to Ming Tombs in Beijing. If anybody having used the piece finds necessary updates, please leave a message or feedback. Thanks!
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Ming Tombs Tourist Map from www.maps-of-china.net

Before we talk about how to visit Ming Tombs, people are more interested in knowing whether Ming Tombs are worth visiting. Well, as far as I know, people are quite divided on this. Some dislike; some feel they are ok and others say they are a must see. So different people with different cultural and social backgrounds have their own different opinions on the question.

For many visitors, the visiting of Ming Tombs is not as important as that of Forbidden City, Summer Palace and the Great Wall of China. It is not worth a separate trip.

But in my opinion, generally it is quite worth having a glimpse on a combined journey to or back from the Great Wall or Summer Palace since the location of Ming Tombs is quite accessible on the way to the bits of the Great Wall of China – Juyongguan, Badaling and Mutianyu, and not far from Summer Palace.

Of course, their accessibility is not the only reason for being worth visiting. Listed as a UNESCO world cultural heritage, Ming Tombs provide people a kind of real experience. That tells why this place is a popular place for native Chinese, especially those who are attracted by its history.

If you are going to visit the Tombs, then how to visit them? What homework you should do before you come close to them? Maybe the following Ming Tombs travel tips will be useful for you:

Tip # 01: Grab some basic knowledge of the 13 Tombs in Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644)
Ming Tombs are about 13 tombs in Ming Dynasty where 13 out of 16 emperors in Ming Dynasty were buried successively there. There were totally 16 emperors in Ming Dynasty.

Why 13 emperors were buried there instead of 16?  Zhu Yuanzhang, the founder of the Ming Dynasty was buried in the Xiaoling Mausoleum in Nanjing; Zhu Yunwen, the Emperor Jianwen disappeared and Zhu Qiyu, the Emperor Jingtai was buried at Jinshan Hill in the western suburbs of Beijing. All other 13 Ming Emperors were buried in this tomb area, hence the area popularly being called the 13 Ming Tombs.

Of all the 13 Ming Tombs, at present only 3 Ming Tombs are open to the public, namely Dingling, Changling and Zhaoling ( “ling” literally means “Tomb” in Chinese). So before you are going to visit Ming Tombs, you’d better know which of the 3 tombs you should visit, which are located separately quite a distance. The three tombs are also a little different in terms of ticket prices and value.

Of the 3 Ming Tombs opened to the public, only Dingling ( often called Underground Palace) has been excavated. There is down a long staircase into a chamber with some stone thrones and a few large plain red boxes which are the burial caskets in the so called underground palace.

Tip # 02: Of the 3 tombs, which one you should visit?
Because all the 3 tombs are located separately quite a distance, usually you only have time to visit one of the three tombs. So which one? If you have no problem with your knees and feet, and are fairly good at walking, you are advised to visit Dingling – the underground Palace.

The Exhibition Building at Dingling Tomb

 

The tower at Dingling

 

The stela in the tower at Dingling.

You have a long walk from the Dingling Entrance before you get to the Tomb itself, where you walk 8 flights of stairs down. The walk to the tomb can be hard and long during high season, but normally takes about 15 minutes.

If you are wheelchair users or have some difficulty in walking, just forget Dingling, and choose Changling instead. Changling is the largest tomb of all the 13 Ming Tombs.

Changling is the tomb where buried the Third Emperor Zhu Di with his queen Nee Xu. Changling is not excavated. But its grand hall on the ground is worth visiting. The construction of the hall started in 1409 and finished in 1427. As for Zhaoling, you can simply skip it since it is almost  renovated.

Tip # 03: Sacred Way is highly recommended

For me, the best part of Ming Tombs tour is the walk down Sacred Way which is lined with large statues that are several hundred years old. These are huge statues of lions, camels, elephants, etc, and they are located on both sides of the walkway.

The Sacred Way

 

The Sacred Road and the Statue of an Elephant

 

The Sacred Way and the Statue of an Official

The Sacred Way is part of the Ming Tombs complex. Sacred Way means the road leading to heaven. The Emperor, known as the Son of the Heaven, who descended from Heaven to his country through the Sacred Road, also would return to Heaven through this way.

Tip # 04: How to get there and admission fees
Sacred and Ming Tombs are located in Changping District, about 50km north of Beijing.

Entrance Fees:
Changling Tomb: RMB 30 (November.01 – March. 31); RMB 45 (April. 01 – October. 31)  Dingling Tomb:  RMB 40 (November.01 – March. 31); RMB 60 (April. 01 – October. 31)  Zhaoling Tombe: RMB 20 (November.01 – Machr. 31); RMB 30 (April. 01 – Oct. 31)

Sacred Way: RMB 20/30)
Opening Hours:
Changling Tomb: 08:30 – 17:30  Dingling Tomb: 08:30 – 18:00  Zhaoling Tomb  8:30 – 17:30
Sacred Way: 8:30 – 18:00
Tickets stop selling about half an hour before the tombs are closed.

Tip # 05  Bus 872  Deshengmen Bus Terminal scheduled for Ming Tombs
The Bus 872 starts from Deshengmen Bus Station which is located on the north square of Deshengmen Arrow Tower (德胜们箭楼) lying on the mid-way of the northern second ring road. It is worth getting up earlier to catch an early morning Bus 872 for Ming Tombs.

How to  go to Deshengmen Bus Terminal
Several buses can bring you to the Deshengmen Bus Station. But the bus system in Beijing could be daunting even for the local Beijingers. It is advisable to take the Subway Line 2 to reach Deshengmen Bus Station. The the closest subway station to Deshengmen Bus Station is Jishuitan (积水潭) of the loop-type Subway Line 2.

You get off at the station of Jishuitan (积水潭), exit from the Exit A. Then walk along the sidewalk in the east direction for about 450 meters, soon you will see a high tower – the Deshengmen Arrow Tower. Deshengmen Bus Station is just below the northern side of the tower.

The compound of Deshengmen Arrow Tower is within a roundabout. So you have to cross a road to reach the bus station. You have to be careful crossing the road since the road has no traffic light at the time of my writing.

By the way, on your 450-meter walk from the subway station of Jishuitan to the Deshengmen Arrow Tower, you will pass alongside the Deshengmenxi Bus Station (different from Deshengmen Bus Station) and you just ignore it!

You will be also distracted by some privately owned buses or mini-buses operated in the name of official Badaling-bound buses. We strongly suggest you take the official buses within the Deshengmen Bus Station for safety and reasonable price.

Don’t be surprised if you find the queue in front of the bus 872, especially on the weekends or national public holidays.

Bus 872 is below the west side of Deshengmen Tower

Bus 872 going between Deshengmen  and  Ming Tombs ( Dingling Tomb and Changling Tomb) : 
First Bus and last bus from Deshengmen to Ming Tombs: 09:15-16:15
First Bus and last bus from  Ming Tombs to Deshengmen: 08:00-15:00
Bus Fare: 8 yuan
The Bus 872 leaves every 10  minutes
The Bus 872 has 15 bus stops,  Dingling (last but two stop) and Changling ( last stop), taking about one hour.

Bus 772 for Ming Tombs

Bus 872 for Ming Tombs

Tip # 06 How to plan your Ming Tombs Tour?
It is better to incorporate your Ming Tombs into a journey covering other tourist attractions also. How to incorporate? Usually Summer Palace can be combined with Ming Tombs trip on a one day tour in Beijing.

The most common is blended with the trip to one of the sections of Great Wall of China – Juyongguan Great Wall, Badaling Great Wall or Mutuanyu Great Wall on an a day trip in Beijing.

Tip # 06: Avoid Public Holiday and Weekend
For local Chinese, Ming Tombs are just as important as Forbidden City and Summer Palace, never missed on their trip to Beijing. On weekend, especially during the public holidays, Ming Tombs can be very crowded!

Take greater precaution when you go down the 8 staircases to the underground palace at Dingling Tomb.

Tip # 07:  Bus 879 Between Dingling (Ming Tombs) and Badaling Great Wall
If you’d like to go from Ming Tombs ( Dingling ) and Badaling or vice versa, you can take the Bus 879 listed below:

1) Dingling Tomb ( Ming Tombs) to Badaling Great Wall

Fist Bus:8:00 am
Last Bus: 4:00 pm
Bus Fare: 9 yuan
The Bus 879 leaves every half an hour
The Bus 879 has 25 bus stops from Dingling (Ming Tombs) to Badaling Great Wall ( the last but the third ) taking about one and half hours, about 40km.

1) Badaling to Dingling ( 定陵):
Fist Bus:9:30 am
Last Bus: 5:30 pm
Bus Fare: 9 yuan
The Bus 879 leaves every half an hour
The Bus 879 has 25 bus stops from Badaling to Dingling ( Ming Tombs ), taking about one and half hours from Badaling to Dingling (定陵), the last bus stop ( about 40 km ).

If you’d like to go to directly from Deshengmen to Badaling Great Wall,  take the Bus 877 ( see the link: Badaling Bus 877).

Tip # 8:  Hassle-free Beijing Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for Beijing guided tours:

Beijing Highlight Day Tourfrom US$59 P/P
(Tiananmen + Forbidden City + Mutianyu Great Wall)
Beijing Classic City Tourfrom US$65 P/P
(Tiananmen + Forbidden City + Temple of Heaven + Summer Palace)
Beijing Excursion Tourfrom US$59 P/P
(Mutianyu Great Wall + Ming Tomb)
Beijing Hutong Highlight Tourfrom US$59 P/P
( Hutong + Rickshaw)

Mutianyu Great Wall Half Day Tourfrom US$55 p/p
Hike from Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall Day Tourfrom US$69 p/p

Mutianyu Great Wall Layover Tourfrom US$65 p/p
Beijing Highlight Layover Tourfrom US$75 p/p

Any questions, just drop line.

Top 10 Beijing Markets

Monday, April 23rd, 2018
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Dear Travelers

We’d like to have the following guick guide to be always updated for the benefit of new visitors who would like to go shopping at the markets in Beijing. If anybody having used the piece finds necessary updates, please leave a message or feedback. Thanks!
______________________________________________________________________

Plan your Beijing tour? If you are not interested in shopping at high-end Beijing shopping malls, where everything seems to be overpriced at fixed prices, then why not dig into the plentiful free or flea markets where you can enjoy bargaining with the local vendors.

If you are not familiar with the markets in Beijing, you may follow me to explore the top 10 Beijing markets below. I’m sure you will get what you want to memorize your Beijing trip.

Note: We have offered subway information on how to get to the following markets. You may use the Beijing subway map to guide you to get to these markets. Happy Shopping in Beijing!

reminde11rBeijing’s overall urban blueprint has been in the process of adjusting, upgrading and standardizing.  Many busy and noisy lively markets  have been removed from the urban central areas and resettled in the relatively remote outskirts of Beijing.

Some lucky ones have been gentrified and placed indoors like Silk Market (now actually a huge 5-story mansion). Some of the vendors have been evacuating from the markets and settled elsewhere. The golden “flea market” time in Beijing has been fading, gradually diluted by gentrification and disneyfication.

Normally all the markets are open all year round except Chinese Spring Festival. Most of the markets will be closed for 5 days during China Spring Festival.

By the way, most of the department stores and shopping malls are still open during the biggest holiday in China. Most of the listed markets are mainly composed of private vendors who need to go home for family reunion for the big holiday.

Top # 01: Silk Street Market 秀水街市场
Brief introduction: The old market has been demolished. The new market is a five-storey building with an area of 30,000 square meters, known as the Silk Street Market.

There are 1,600 booths in the building. According to the developer of the building, the advantages of the old market will be available in the new one, targeting the shopping groups including foreign tourists and local white-collar workers.

Silk Street Market

Silk Street Market

Location: 8 Xiushui East Street, Jianwai Dajie, Chaoyang, Beijing北京市朝阳区建外大街秀水东街8号
Tel::(010) 51699003,  56767766,  56767768
Opening Hours: 9am-9pm
Subway: take subway line 1 and get off at the station of Yonganli (永安里), and exit from Exit A
Public Transport: Bus No.1,9,28,37,43,120,126,403,639,640,668,728,and 729, arrival at Yonganli Station

Top # 02: Panjiayuan Flea Market 潘家园旧货市场
Brief introduction: Panjiayuan Flea Market, or Panjiayuan Market, or Panjiayuan Antique Market, or whatever names you use, is a must for those who like something really Chinese. From Monday to Thursday, it is open from 8:30am to 6:00pm.

On weekend, it is open from 4:30am to 6:00pm. I suggest you go to Panjiayuan on weekends. Only on weekends, you will find some vendor coming from all parts of China to show their personal stuff or artifacts they collect and sell on the ground in a designated area in the market.

Panjiayuan Flea Market

Panjiayuan Flea Market

They just put a piece of blanket on the floor and put what they have on it.If you come here on other week days, you won’t see these free vendors.It is actually a huge market place for selling and collecting Chinese folk handcrafts, maybe the largest in Asia!

What you will see are jewelry, ceramics,calligraphy, teapots, ethnic clothing, Buddha statues, paper lanterns, Cultural Revolution memorabilia, PLA belts, Ming- and Qing-style furniture, old pipes, opium scales, and painted human skulls and many more.

Location: No.18, Huaweili Road, just 100 meters west of Panjiayuan Bridge on the southeast third ring road.
地址:北京市朝阳区潘家园桥华威里18号
Tel: 5120-4671
Opening Hours: Monday to Thursday open from 8:30am to 6:00pm; On weekend, open from 4:30am to 6:00pm
Subway: take subway line 10 and get off at the station of Panjiayuan (潘家园)
Public Transport: Take bus 28, 300, 368, 607, 730, 810 or 907 and get off at Panjiayuan Station.

Top # 03: Beijing Antique City 古玩城
Brief introduction: Beijing Antique City ( former Beijing Curio City) is a four-story building. It is located just to the west of Huawei Bridge on the southeast third ring road, about 300 meters south of Panjiayuan Flee Market.

It is the largest Chinese antique trade center in Asia.

Beijing Antique City

Beijing Antique City

Beijing antique city has a total floor space of 26400㎡. The building is elegantly decorated. At present it has antique over 600 dealers, mainly selling the classical furniture, the ancient clock and watch, the ancient rug, the ancient ceramics, the celebrity calligraphy and painting, the Baiyu ivory carving, the snuffbox.

It also offers the ancient rug, the copper ware image of Buddha, the ancient clock and watch, the ancient ceramic antique chinaware, the Tibetan cultural relic and much more.

Location: located just to the west of Huawei Bridge on the east-south third ring road, about 300 meters south of Panjiayuan Flee Market.
地址:北京市朝阳区东三环南路华威桥古玩城
Tel: 5960-9999

Opening Hours: 10am-7pm
Subway: take subway line 10 and get off at the station of Panjiayuan (潘家园). Beijing Antique City is located to the south of Panjiayuan Flea Market.
Public Transport: Take bus 28, 300, 3 52, 378, 7 57, 830 or 986 and get off at Shilihe Station.

Top # 04: Hongqiao Pearl Market 红桥市场
Brief introduction: The name of Hongqiao Pearl Market is a little bit misleading. This four-story building offers much more than just pearls. It actually provides everything from bags, shoes, clothes, silk, tea, table-cloth, toys, souvenirs, to pears and jewellery.

It is just located east of Temple of Heaven.Its main entrance – the west big gate faces the west to the road around the Temple of Heaven.If you drive to the market, you are supposed to get off at its north side gate, newly opened to ease the traffic at the main entrance.

Beijing Hongqiao Market

Beijing Hongqiao Market

The market has four stories. The first floor sells digital products, timepieces and glasses, Groceries, mobile phone parts and daily necessities; the second floor offers clothes, shoes, cases and bags; the third floor provides pearls, jades and artifacts; the forth floor sells the high-end jewellery.

Location: 9Tiantan Donglu, Dongcheng District (just opposite the east gate of Temple of Heaven)
地址:东城区天坛东路9号
Tel: 6711-8984
Opening Hours: 8:30am-7pm
Subway: take Subway Line 5 and get off at the station of Tiantandongmen ( East Gate of Temple of Heaven 天坛东门). Then walk to the north you will see the market.
Take bus 39, 43, 60, 116, 610

Tip # 05: Tianya Hongqiao Jewellery Market 天雅红桥市场
Brief introduction: On the east side of Hongqiao Pearl Market is the recently opened Tianya Hongqiao Jewllery Market, a complement to the well-known Hongqiao Pearl Market.

It is a five-story building with two underground floors selling almost the same stuff as Hongqiao Pearl Market. The newly established building is lavishly decorated.

Tianya Hongqiao Jewellery Market

Tianya Hongqiao Jewellery Market

Location: Fahuasi Jie 136, 东城区 District, BeijingTel: 010-8766 7125
地址:东城区法华寺136号红桥市场东侧
Opening Hours: 8:30am-7pm
Subway: take Subway Line 5 and get off at the station of Tiantandongmen ( East Gate of Temple of Heaven 天坛东门).Tianya Hongqiao Jewellery Market is located just to the west of Hongqiao Pearl Market.Take bus 39, 43, 60, 116, 610

Top # 06: Liulichang Antique Street 琉璃厂
Brief introduction: On both side of the street there are plenty of storefronts and vendor’s stalls selling collectibles and art supplies, including the renowned Rongbaozhai, the most prominent shop on the west section of Liulichang. It sells woodblock prints, copies of famous calligraphy, historic paintings (reproductions), and art supplies.

It is one of Beijing’s top art shops and well worth browsing. Actually Rongbaozhai is located on the west section of Liulichang Street. To get to Liulichang Xijie ( the west section of Liulichang Street) on your right side, you have to across the main street.

Liulichang Antique Street

Liulichang Antique Street

Location: Liulichang Street, Xicheng District;
地址:西城区琉璃厂
Opening Hours: 8:30am-7pm
Subway: take subway line 2 and get off at the station of Hepingmen (和平门), and exit from the Exit C2 (check old Beijing Walking Tour for more information.)
Bus No.s 6, 14, 15, 25, 50, 53, 57, 102 and 105.

Top # 07: Dahongmen Clothing Wholesale Market 大红门服装批发市场
This huge market, oft-lauded as the largest clothing market north of Yangtze River in China. It is located on Beijing’s south axis road starting from Muxiyuan (木樨园) on the south third ring road in the north to the northern bank of Liangshui River (凉水河北岸) , about 7  km south of Tiananmen Square.

The market is composed of 24 comprehensive markets covering clothing, shoes, hats as well as food, antiques and paintings jewelry, cultural and creative products. The most well-known markets include Dahongmen Clothing City (大红门服装城) and Dahongmen Shoes City  (大红门鞋城).

Dahongmen Clothing City

Dahongmen Clothing City

Address: 15 Yongnan Road (south of Dahongmen Birdge ), Fengtai District
Chinese Add: 北京市丰台区永南路15号(大红门桥南)
Contact: 67226658
Business Hours:
Dahongmen Early Morning Market (大红门早市):4:30 am – 10:00 am
Dahongmen Clothing Wholesale Market (大红门服装批发市场) : 9:00am – 5:00 pm
Tianya Clothing Plaza (天雅服装大厦) : 9:00 am – 5:00pm
Jingwen Clothing Market (京温服装市场):9:00 am – 5:00pm
Dahongmen Shoes City (大红门鞋城):7:00 am – 4:00pm

Top # 08:Shilihe House Decoration and Building Materials City 十里河家居建材城
The so-called city is an over-3-kilometer-long street lined with numerous buildings specialized in all kinds of materials for building and decorating a house: lighting, plumbing, furniture, building materials and so on.

Shilihe House Building Materials City

Location: 100 meters east of Shilihe Bridge, East Third Ring Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 北京市朝阳区东三环十里河桥东100米
Take subway line 10 and get off at the station of Shilihe ( 十里河)and exit at the east. Then walk along Dayangfang Road (大羊坊路), then you will see the buildings for all the stuff you will need.

Top # 09: Baoguosi Culture Market 报国寺文化市场
Its open-air market is closed. But it still keeps some of its delicate indoor markets. So you still can see some quiet and lively antique trade business going on inside the market ( indoor ).

Brief introduction: “Baoguosi” means Baoguo Temple ( Serving the country Temple ). It was first constructed in the Liao Dynasty (916-1125) in the southern part of downtown Beijing. Baoguo Si was a Buddhist temple.

During the Ming Dynasty, it was used to hold a member of the royal family. By the early Qing dynasty, the temple had already been turned into a popular bazaar for books and flowers.

Top # 10: Beijing Tianyi Small Commodities Wholesale Market 北京天意小商品批发市场 (permanently closed)
Beijing Tianyi Market has over 2000 suppliers from all over China with over 60,000 small products. The market has a business area of 11000 square meters with 20 business halls and 1550 booths.

Beijing Tianyi Small Commodities Wholesale Market

Beijing Tianyi Small Commodities Wholesale Market

The market can almost meet your need for  some cheap accessories. It is better to buy large quantities, let’ s say 10 pieces and it is easy to bargain in bulk-buy. The market sells everything such as hairstyles, electronics, souvenirs, toys,  Jewels, door keys, bags, tissues, clothes, cuddly toys, cosmetics, plants, shoes, phone accessories, office supplies,  bookshops, school supplies and many more!!

Business Hour: 7:30am – 5:30pm
Add: No. 259, Fuchengmen Outer Street, Xicheng District, Beijing, China, 100037
中国北京市西城区阜成门外大街259号 邮政编码: 100037
Subway line 2: Take subway line 2 and get off at the station of “Fuchengmen station”(阜成门), exit from Exit A, then walk westward along Fuchengmen Outer Street (阜成门外大街) for about 1.2 km, coming across 2 traffic lights,  you will see  the market on your right side ( No.259).

Zoo Market 动物园服装批发市场 ( Closed)
Important Notice: Zoo Market has been in the process of adjusting and upgrading.  Some of the vendors have been evacuating from the market and settled elsewhere.

Brief introduction: This is a huge wholesale market group which is composed of seven markets. Beijing Zoo Market is mainly composed of 7 sub-markets: 1) 金开利德 (Jinkaili) 2) 天乐宫 (Tianlegong) 3) 天皓城 (Tianhaocheng) 4) 东鼎 (Dongding) 5) 聚龙 (Julong) 6) 世纪天乐 (Shijitianle) 7) 众合 (Hezhong)And the most popular ones are Julong, Tianlegong and Shiji Tianle.Buy them here for half-price but be geared up for bargaining hard or buy in volume.

Everything is so cheap and so plentiful here!! Anywhere from 10-50 RMB for shirts, tops, jeans, pants, skirts, everything. Jewelry for about 10-15RMB. In some places they can be more expensive, but about 90% are the cheap prices listed above.

Zoo Market

Zoo Market

Weekday mornings are the best time to come and be prepared to spend a few hours walking around. There are also various places to eat in the area: KFC and McDonalds, Yonghe Soy Milk, Pizza Hut, Yoshinoya, Dairy Queen, A&W, Mexican Restaurant …

Location: Around Beijing Zoo, Xizhimen Waidajie, Xicheng District
Tel: 010-68312001
Opening Hours: 5:00am – 3:00pm
Subway: Take Subway Line 4, get off at Beijing Zoo Station ( 动物园)and exit from Exit D
Public Transport: Bus No.s 7, 27, 103, 105 and 111.206, 209, 319, 334, 347, 360, 362, 534, 601, 632, 634, 697, 714, 808, 814, 特4, Yuntong 104, Yuntong 105, Yuntong 106 or Yuntong 205 and get off at Beijing Zoo Station.

 

 

06611Tip: Hassle-free Beijing Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for Beijing guided tours:

Beijing Highlight Day Tour from US$59 P/P
(Tiananmen + Forbidden City + Mutianyu Great Wall)
Beijing Classic City Tour from US$65 P/P
(Tiananmen + Forbidden City + Temple of Heaven + Summer Palace)
Beijing Excursion Tour from US$59 P/P
(Mutianyu Great Wall + Ming Tomb)
Beijing Hutong Highlight Tour from US$59 P/P
( Hutong + Rickshaw)

Mutianyu Great Wall Half Day Tour from US$55 p/p
Hike from Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall Day Tour from US$69 p/p

Mutianyu Great Wall Layover Tour from US$65 p/p
Beijing Highlight Layover Tour from US$75 p/p

Further Readings


Top 10 Attractions in Beijing
How to Visit Forbidden City
How to Visit Temple of Heaven
How to Visit Summer Palace
How to Visit Ming Tombs
How to Visit the Great Wall of China
How to Visit Tiananmen Square
How to Visit Hutongs
How to Visit Olympic Sites

Top 10 Markets in Beijing
Top 10 Shopping Malls in Beijing
Beijing Shopping

Wangfujing Night Snack Street
Qianmen Commercial Street
Beijing Huguosi Street

Any questions, just drop line.