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Panjiayuan Market, Beijing

Panjiayuan Qiao
Tel: 86 10 6775 2405's insider take:

If you only go shopping once in Beijing, take a trip to this colorful outdoor bazaar. Also known as the "Dirt Market," (the name comes from the long-ago days when vendors spread their wares on the ground), it's best on the weekends, when densely packed rows of stalls stock all kinds of antique (and antique-looking) curios. There's everything from Communist-kitsch items (Little Red Books, propaganda posters, and pastel-colored statues of Mao), to faded silk qipao dresses, to heavily embroidered "minority textiles"—fabrics made by minority tribal women from China's southern provinces of Guizhou and Yunnan. Savvy bargain hunters know to come on weekends, when there are the most vendors, and to arrive at the crack of dawn for the best prices.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.