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Panjiayuan (Dirt Market)
Southeast Third Ring Rd. (Chongwen)
(86) 010-6775-2405 | www.panjiayuan.com
MERCHANDISEAntiques; curios; artwork
PRICE (ARTWORK; CERAMICS; HANDWOVEN RUGS)RMB 30-200; RMB 50-200; RMB 500-1000
Vendors from all over the city (and even the surrounding provinces) arrive before dawn for this wonderfully eclectic weekend-only flea market to hawk treasures as diverse as Mao memorabilia, vintage photographs, hand-woven rungs, antique furniture, chopsticks, wind-up toys, and traditional ceramics. Most of Beijing’s antique dealers claim to have made their fortunes on gems unearthed during early morning hunts through the scruffy stacks of curios–though many now grumpily complain that these days they encounter more cheap copies than genuine articles. Nonetheless, whether or not the items are really as “authentic” as their hard-nosed sellers claim, there are plenty of funky one-of-a-kind finds to be had.
USE A PURCHASE FROM HERE FOR
A funky gift; home décor
WHY WE LIKE IT
Digging around Panjiayuan is a magical experience. Sure, there’s lots of tourist tat, but there are also so many cool, quirky items that surface–Purple Passport scouts have gone home with everything from hand-woven carpets and Tibetan jewelry to a ceremonial tea set and vintage photographs of machine-gun-toting revolutionary ballerinas. Many of Beijing’s contemporary artists also come here to flog their latest works, making it a good spot for talent-spotting.
GOOD TO KNOW
Get here by 6:00am if you want to snag the best items. Be careful of ripoffs–a lot of the items touted as genuine antiques definitely aren’t. Prices should generally be about one-third to one-half of the originally quoted figure, so don’t be shy about bargaining hard–this is a must-do in all Beijing markets. Furniture vendors often offer international shipping services. To get the best deal, be sure to ask about this before you bargain, or you could get stuck with inflated postage costs. Most stalls are cash only. If you have any trouble finding the market, just head west of the Pan Jia Yuan Bridge.
Spitalfields Market (London)
Read more about the Dirt Market in The Diary
All information within this website was checked for accuracy at the time of publication. But since the world moves quickly, things may have changed. Pardon us for any errors as we strive to give you the most up-to-the-minute details!