Part VI: Silk Market & Hongqiao Pearl Market

After a strenuous walking along Tian’anmen Square, we took a taxi going to Silk Market. It is a newly built 6-story building that has everything. But be wary of the bargaining system here, for they mark-up the price 6X from the original price and these are cheap knock-off items.

Surprisingly, the salespersons here can speak English. Some tend to be aggressive and are eager to grab you. I remember one of our tour mates told a young saleslady not to touch him for it’s forbidden in his religion. He had spoken in jest, “We can talk but no touch, okay?” :))

The Silk market looks like stores in Divisoria but a better version. It’s bright, spacious, and clean. The mall is arranged & organized like in Basement 2: you’ll find the Food court. Basement 1: A supermarket, bags & suitcases, shoes and leather goods. F1: Men's clothing, F2: Ladies' fashion. F3: Tailor shop, bedding and carpet. F4: Jewelry and other accessories F5: Jewelries. F6 & F7: restaurants and a pharmacy.

Then we went ahead to Hongqiao Pearl Market. It’s near the Temple of Heaven and two to three blocks away from Tiantan Hotel. The market has everything that you could possibly think of. Most items are fakes but there are some great varieties for souvenirs. It’s somehow chaotic compared to Silk market. On the upper floors you will find some upmarket shops for pearls and jewelries.

This is the market that I like most in Beijing because of the nice China souvenir shirts. We came across a stall selling a shirt for RMB150 (Php 1,050.00). I was stunned. So, we bargained for the best price until they gave it to us for RMB25 (PhP 175.00). Imagine, the huge price disparity.

Then we went to another stall, selling the same t-shirts for RMB180 (more expensive than the first one). HB tried to haggle over the price. Until, he got into serious bartering but nothing happened. I tried to interrupt the negotiation since it was taking time already. I told her with a smile but with a firm voice, “This is the last price (RMB 25) that we’re asking. If you can’t give it to us, it’s ok. We'll just leave”. The saleslady didn’t concede. She kept on repeating the same words over and over and over again. She was like a huge pesky bee buzzing in my ears. With that, I turned on my heel and walked away without a single glance back. I made a power exit. HB followed. When we were 3 to 4 stalls away, the woman yelled out “HEY!!!” at the top of her voice. I looked back. She shouted again “COME BACK!” COME BACK! I was startled. Her alto voice was echoing all around the area as if there was a commotion. And then she spoke in Chinese. The rest of the people were already looking at us. I decided to completely ignore her and kept on walking as if I didn’t hear anything. I knew that “bargaining” here is a tradition and I like that, but this woman was too much. I have so much patience but from the point of view of being cheated & deceived, I’ll have to reconsider my forbearance.

On the ground floor, luckily, we found a stall selling the same shirts. To make the story short, the haggling was a whole lot easier. It took us only seconds. The saleslady gave the shirts from RMB 100 to RMB 20 only. Cool!

Adults Souvenir T-shirts were available in XL, large and medium sizes only. Medium was the smallest size (too big for me). So, I opted for the Kid's biggest size t-shirts. hehehe… Some fits me well especially the black and red colors. I really love it. But the rest of the colors were too small.

I saw a relatively large number of parked bicycles near the market, like this one...

After shopping, we walked back to the hotel and dropped off the things that we just bought. And we headed to a supermarket (3 blocks away from Tiantan Hotel). After we did our grocery shopping, we looked for a resto and found a Chinese Restaurant around the area. I observed that customers here are all locals. There are no tourists, except us. We just tried these two viands (see pics below). I don’t know the exact name because it was all written in Chinese. Foods were super delicious and relatively cheap.

Heck of a day. I collapsed into my hotel room at 9:00pm. And my legs wrenched in torturous way after a whole day of strenuous walking.

Next day itineraries… Lunch, Tour at Tian’anmen Square (went there for the second time), Forbidden City, Peking Duck Dinner at the Original Quanjude Restaurant and after dinner, watch Kung-Fu Show.

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AN ASIAN TRAVELER, Exploring Around Asia!