Sunday, April 08, 2007

Antiques and Furniture Shopping in Beijing

Shopping
Antiques City (Guwancheng), also known as Beijing Curio City
21 Dongsanhuan Nan Lu, Chao Yang District
Telephone: 67747711
Open 9.30am – 6.30pm daily
For those people interested in collecting antiques, you may wish to pay a visit to Guwancheng. The prices are higher than average market prices and the vendors are more serious with the goods more likely to be genuine than ‘antiques’ in many markets. However, remember you are in China and there is always the possibility of a copy being sold.

Panjiayuan Antiques Market
West of Panjiayuan Qiao, Dongsanhuan Nan Lu, Chao Yang District
Telephone: 67752405
Nearby to Guwancheng is Panjiayuan, a famous antique market in Beijing, also known as the dirt market. You will find many lively and interesting characters here. Be sure to bring your camera, but watch your valuables with a keen eye!
This market has developed from one of vendors spreading a cloth on the ground to sell their wares to one of reproduction shop houses and huge metal roofed shed structures covering row upon row of individual stalls. If you move the peripheries of the market you will still find some vendors selling their wares on the ground, where there is a wide range of paraphernalia for sale.
There are over 3000 vendors who sell goods from around China. You will find clothing, jewellery, furniture, porcelain, statues, calligraphy, cultural revolution memorabilia, ceramics, Tibetan carpets and countless other bits and pieces ranging in age from the ancient to modern. However a real antique would be extremely rare!
This market is often crowded with hard bargaining required. Be sure to come with some idea of price before you start bargaining.
The best time to find the bargains is from 6.30 to 8.30am on weekends, but a great range of goods are for sale until 4pm on weekends. A more limited range of goods is available through the week.
Panjianyuan is well worth a visit just to look and enjoy the atmosphere.
See: http://www.panjiayuan.com.cn for more information.

Zhaojia Chaowai Furnitiure Market
43 Huawei Beili, Chao Yang District
Telephone: 67706402
This market offers a large range of old and new Chinese designed furniture, along with a few carpet stalls and small home decoration items scattered throughout many stalls. The carpet stall on the left as you walk in the main entrance offers some excellent examples of woolen carpets from Xinjiang Province in far northwest China. This market is a good place to start if you are interested in buying traditional Chinese furniture.
Be warned that when buying furniture you may experience movement or cracking in some products according to your humidity conditions and the timber used in making the furniture.

Gaobeidian Classic Furniture Market
Gaobeidian Village, Chao Yang District
If you are seriously buying furniture to ship home, this village is well worth a visit. It sells a large range of older style furniture or new styles influenced by old designs.

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