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Beijing is a paradise for shopaholics. There is a large variety of items from elsewhere in China and abroad. Many emporiums and designated tourist shopping centers have foreign currency exchange counters and accept major credit cards.

This city has plenty of local products too. There are eight matchless local handcrafts, cloisonne (景泰蓝), ivory carvings (牙雕), carved lacquer ware (雕漆), jade carvings (玉雕), gold filigree (金漆镶嵌), filigree inlay (花丝镶嵌), palace carpet (宫毯) and imperial embroidery (宫绣). Other notable ones include inside painting snuff bottle (内画壶, 鼻烟壶), palace lanterns (宫灯), dough figurines (捏面人), silk flowers (绢花), facial masks (脸谱) and Beijing Opera instruments.

Modern Beijing offers many shopping opportunities. There are many supermarkets, shopping malls, shopping areas and distinctive markets. For day to day items, supermarkets are well stocked. Shopping malls in China, to some extent, cater for the high end of the market. Large shopping malls in clusters form shopping areas, some of which are in fact commercial streets.


Some shopping areas and distinctive markets are not only places to go shopping, but also meccas for sightseeing. Silk Street (秀水街) is extremely popular with foreign visitors where almost anything may be found. If you are not in a hurry, a visit to Wangfujing Street (王府井大街), the Qianmen-Dashilan (前门-大栅栏), and Liulichang Cultural Street (琉璃厂文化街) is a great way to learn the local culture. The distinctive markets in Beijing, such as Beijing Curio City (北京古玩城), Panjiayuan Market (潘家园旧货市场) and Hongqiao Market (红桥市场) are popular with overseas visitors.

Bargaining is a routine in China when shopping, with the exception, of course, of supermarkets, department stores and exclusive shops. In China, bargaining is neither a quarrel nor a face-losing act, but instead a friendly communication. Remember: vendors always overcharge, allowing a wide scope for you to haggle.

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