Hongqiao Pearl Market, Beijing 449
Originally uploaded by JoeDuck
The Hongqiao Market building was under repair during my April 14 visit, but I think will be beautiful when finished before the Olympic Games. It is located across the street from the metro stop for the Temple of Heaven, a Beijing Attraction you’ll want to visit. A day in Biejing would be a shame but if that is all you have and you have great stamina you could visit Tianenmen Square, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, and Wanfujing Street for shopping, food stalls, and souvenir vendors. All these places are along the excellent Biejing Metro which is very crowded but clean, cheap, and efficient. Taxis are also cheap and easy to find if you prefer that approach. For taxis try to have a written description of where you are going to show the driver. The subways announce the stops in English.
Hongqiao Pearl Market is one of several huge market buildings in Beijing where there are hundreds of vendors in small stalls hawking their wares. I didn’t see any Pearls here but bought a suitcase to carry home all the stuff I bought at … other markets!
Note that the vendors in China often practice a kind of cutthroat capitalism that is not common in the USA. Initially the price they quote you will be far above reasonable and the game is to get them to come down a huge amount while they make you feel guilty for doing that. I enjoyed the little jousting with the vendors, especially because they tended to have good English and I’d bring up other topics to discuss.
However I think the aggressive style common in the markets might upset or intimidate people who were simply looking for a good deal and in that case you should learn to say (phoentic spelling here) “Byao Byao” which means “no!”.