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46 Tian Tan Dong Lu (Chongwen)
(86) 010-6713-3354 | www.hongqiao-pearl-market.com
MERCHANDISEPearls and other beads; toys; electronics; clothing; handbags
PRICE (STRING OF PEARLS)RMB 20-1000
METROTiantan Dongmen (Temple of Heaven East Gate)
Though it’s a bit more down-at-the-heel than other Beijing markets, the Pearl Market is worth a visit for a browse through the literal gems on offer in its jewelry section on the top floor. Semi-precious gemstones, gold chains, and other jewelry basics are available throughout the building, though the main focus is (unsurprisingly) the pearls, which range from shoddy plastic imitations to the finest freshwater baubles in town. The Fanghua boutique on the top floor and at its stall (no. 4318) offers the best quality, though if you know your stuff, you might find some treasures among other vendors’ wares. The lower floors of the market are dedicated to clothing, handbags, electronics, and toys.
USE A PURCHASE FROM HERE FOR
A gift; an elegant accessory
WHY WE LIKE IT
If you know your plastic beads from your freshwater beauties and come prepared to haggle your hardest, you can score some great pieces. (We love the Fanghua multi-strand pearl necklace we designed.)
GOOD TO KNOW
The vendors here (especially in the non-pearl sections) can be really aggressive–be prepared to say “Hands off!” like you mean it. In fact, we’d recommend skipping the lower floors entirely and just shooting straight for the pearls on the top floor. Fanghua is a much-celebrated pearl boutique with international personalities (e.g. Mrs. Putin, Mrs. Kissinger, et al.) on their client list. The Pearl Market is just across the street from the east gate of the Temple of Heaven, and since there’s not much else in this part of town, it’s worth doing both back-to-back.
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