Hongqiao Market is located at #46 Tiantan Donglu, Chongwen District, Beijing, only three minutes away on foot from the eastern gate of the Temple of Heaven. The market is famous for pearls, attracting many foreign customers every day.
Hanging on the main entrance of the market, there is a plaque inscribed with ¡°The First Pearl Market in Beijing¡± (in Chinese). Business hours are from 8:30 am to 7:00 pm every day. Aquatic products, grain & oil, vegetables & meats are on sale at the basement; digital products, articles of everyday use, clocks & watches, small electrical appliances, cosmetics, table covers, bed covers and scarves are on the first floor. Silk, clothes, shoes and hats, suitcases and wallets are displayed on the second floor. Pearls, jades, jewels and craftworks are on display on the third, fourth and sixth floor.
At the market, most shop assistants greet customers and promote articles actively and enthusiastically -- especially to foreign customers. They speak fluent English to catch the latter¡¯s attention. It is apparent that they have many opportunities to communicate with foreign customers, and have a good command of promotional English. Most consumers are indeed from overseas, they are very interested in pearls.
Prices for pearl necklaces range from several hundred yuans to over two hundred thousand yuans. Be patient when you bargain with a shop clerk. Generally speaking, they will go down to the lowest price they can offer, and give you an even lower price after consulting with their manager.
First, if you¡¯re going to Hongqiao for purchasing, go with a Chinese friend who will help you get discounts.
Second, in this noisy and crowded place, take care of your personal belongings.
Third, to make a good purchase, you must be familiar with the articles you intend to buy, and be able to distinguish whether it is genuine or not.
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