Panjiayuan Market
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An Antique Market's Calm in the Chaos
There is a local weekend market not known by many foreigners called the Panjiayuan Weekend Market, which offers a giant assortment of Chinese antiques and other oddities through colorful, never-ending aisles. You can find jewelry, furniture, artwork, sculptures, and even have your own Chinese name-stamps custom made made here. I prefer this market over others in Beijing because the majority of its buyers and visitors are the locals themselves. It is these locals that make the scene all the more special...

Within the bustling movement, the haggling conversations, the motorbike noises at the entrance of buyers coming and going and the clinks and clanks of various antiques being wrapped and shuffled into bags, I found two locals napping in their quiet bubble. It was in the middle of the busy market yet somehow, there was silence in the orchestral scene; there was calm in the salient clamor.

This market is only open on Saturdays and Sundays and is slightly out of the city center so if you are in Beijing during a weekend, plan accordingly. It is well worth the trip.
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Find Chinese-style Trinkets
While Panjiayuan is often dubbed an “antique” market, it should be more properly thought of as a flea market. While wares are often divided (more or less) by type, it's up to you to dig through heaping piles of junk to find treasure. You'll find everything from Chinese-style propaganda posters, calligraphy scrolls, ethnic handicrafts and ceramics to costly jades and ornate furniture. While some vendors operate seven days a week, the majority of sellers only arrive on weekends. Like any other Chinese market, bargain hard, because prices will be massively inflated.
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