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Have you ever heard of iron painting? It¡¯s handmade with iron and a hammer instead of paint and a brush. The art originated more than 300 years ago with a blacksmith in central China. This unique artwork is a good option for ornaments and presents.


There is an iron painting shop in southeast Beijing. I visited them recently.


As soon as I entered the shop, I was fascinated by their work. Most are vivid patterns outlined by black iron stripes. Some of them even have colors, like red plum blossoms.


The shopkeeper Mr. Lu introduced to me a work called ¡°The Guest-greeting Pine.¡± This old tree is a symbol of Mt. Huang, the most beautiful mountain in China. The lifelike pattern is a miniature reproduction. The original artwork is huge and was created by a famous artist. It is now in the Great Hall of the People at Tiananmen Square.


They also sell small framed iron paintings such as pandas, landscapes, birds, and flowers, which are easily carried anywhere.


What I appreciated

Unique iron painting, outstanding workmanship


What customers appreciate

Authentic Chinese handicrafts, good for decorations and gifts


Failed in your effort to get into a naturally healthy lifestyle? Quit midway throughout your 101th diet due to lack of effectiveness? Tired of wasting your hard-earned dollars on health products that refuse to work?


All this can and will be changed if you come and visit GuiShi Tea Shop in Beijing.


With one of the best green tea selections in China, this shop is popular with dieters. The teas, grown and baked in GuiShi¡¯s own plantation high in the mountains, are rich in polyphenols and are proven effective in losing weight.


Also, their teas are original, organic, and free from pollution, thus healthy and safe for dieters.


Some customers drink their teas as a quick way to shoot up their energy level.


The shop owner says that their tea helps get rid of harmful wastes in the body and enhances metabolism.


Aside from these scientific benefits, their teas also taste quite good. After sampling one tea,  Sara E., a patron from the U.K., says she will serve it during a theme party she is planning to throw.


This shop has spent a lot of time finding the best way to brew their tea, and they will demonstrate this method to you for free!


Great tea, great benefits. Ready for a much better life?


As you make your trip to Beijing, you¡¯re sure to find a veritable treasure trove of antiques and curios. For a sample of some of the finest of these items, come visit Ju Ya Zhai in west Beijing.


This shop offers authentic antiques and vintage collectibles. They have everything from old jades, clocks and Peking opera masks to antique vases, jars and Buddhist figurines.


The choices are immeasurable: from the unusual to the downright bizarre, there¡¯s bound to be something that takes your fancy!


I was certainly pleased! There was an old miniature chariot with a soldier who had his arms raised to shoulder level. No matter which direction you turn the chariot, the soldier always points south. It is a reproduction of China¡¯s first "South-Pointing Chariot."


Over 3000 years ago, devices like this were already being used in wartime to tell directions. Wow!


Also amusing was a graceful bronze sculpture of ¡®Mulan,¡¯ the legendary heroine featured in Disney¡¯s 1998 animated film. Women could also be heroes in ancient China.


Mr. Xu, the shop owner, is a serious antique collector and connoisseur. He loves sharing his knowledge with patrons who don¡¯t know much about Chinese antiques.


Add Ju Ya Zhai to your next Beijing tour!


(Note: Under Chinese law, some antiques cannot be taken out of the country.)


Year after year we look for a way to make our home a nicer place to live. Are you thinking of bringing a slice of old world charm to the walls? Then there is a shop in Beijing just for you.


With its unique stone paintings, this shop is among a few of its kind in Beijing.


The subjects of these paintings include Zen, calligraphy, Sun Tzu¡¯s Art of War, the Buddha, and Chinese chess. These are all good themes to show at home, because they reflect harmony in nature and society. This harmony can lift your spirits.


Foreign customers who don¡¯t know much about asian cultures find these paintings particularly interesting. On the back of each painting there is an English description of the scene the painting depicts. Thus, each works becomes meaningful, and you can be better informed about the work.


Instead of heavy stone, these paintings are done on specially-treated charcoal. This charcoal feels like actual stone, but it is much lighter and easier to ship overseas.  


Besides, charcoal is known for its air filtering capability. So it pleases your eyes while benefiting your lungs!


Does it sound like the goody your home is missing?



Chinese brush pens are an easy, fun tool for all kinds of paintings. One shop in Beijing is very convenient for painters and art students alike.


Here you can find a complete line of brush pens, with different textures and sizes for different purposes.


For instance, the large soft hair brushes made of weasel hair are great for applying color, say, to water lily or lotus leaves. Medium-sized hard hair brushes made of goat or sheep hair are easy to control while doing outlines. The small outline brushes are best for very fine work. For other effects, there are horse, squirrel, rabbit, and chicken hair brushes available.


It¡¯s the genuine one-stop shop for brush pens!


The owner, Mr. Zhang, guarantees the quality. He has over 50 years of experience making brush pens. You can be completely worry-free!


For beginning art students in particular, the brush pens make great aids and can improve your strokes. In time, this will lead to masterful painting.


In some cases, Mr. Zhang engraves meaningful messages on the brush handle. These brushes are a lovely gift for anyone interested in Chinese art.


Does it sound like an interesting gift idea for you?


At the northeast of the Temple of Heaven lies a well-known pearl market. Every day it attracts a great many people from home and abroad. Recently I paid a visit there, and was greatly impressed with Fanghua Pearl and Jewel, the largest shop in the market. If you want to find a beautiful natural pearl necklace, and give yourself a more elegant and nobler look, don't miss this shop.


As soon as I entered the well-decorated shop, I felt myself dropped into a sea of pearls. Numerous pearl necklaces were neatly displayed in showcases. The colors mainly included milk white, golden yellow, pink and black. Some overseas customers were sitting at tables, talking to the shop assistants.


A shop assistant named Ms. Carrie greeted me politely. She told me her company is the No.1 retailer of high-quality pearls, which had been in the business for twenty years. According to her, the pearls here were in three categories: fresh water pearls, sea water pearls, and South Sea pearls.


A common fear of people is buying fake pearls. But Ms. Carries explained to me how to distinguish real pearls from fake ones: First, scratch two pearls, real ones sound and feel smooth. Second, scratch a real pearl with a scissors, a bit of white powder will drop. Also there's a rule to judge fine pearls: the rounder and shinier, the better.


I also noticed the photos on the wall showing foreign dignitaries visiting the shop. There were Margaret Thatcher, the former Prime Minister of UK, Putin¡¯s wife, the Queen of Spain, and the Queen of Belgium. The photos are proof of the charm of the Oriental pearls.


In this shop, you can ask the shop assistants any questions about pearls. They speak fluent English.


What I appreciated

Precious and elegant pearls, famous pearl dealer


What customers appreciate

Natural pearls, much inexpensive than in Western


Noting a fusion of old and new within a d¨¦cor can be refreshing, an increasing number of people are buying antique furniture for their apartment. 


A shop named ¡°West Mountain Village¡± in Beijing offers a nice collection of Chinese antique furniture: chairs, armoires, tables, dressers, cabinets, bookcases¡­ allowing for a large choice to give your home a distinctive feel.


The ancient beauty of each piece is impressive. Carvings of dragons mounting a screen, flowers decorating a dresser, latticework in a panel, openwork around a table¡­ each one looks delicate and gorgeous.


However, whether it is a walnut screen, or a sandalwood desk, the items here are in good condition, and of practical use. A 17-century mahogany cabinet with delicate flower carving, for example, actually offers larger storage space than a lot of modern ones. These were indeed originally made for daily use.


Antique here were all collected from deep China. They are authentic. Each piece is the only one the shop could find, so everything is rare. ¡°Originality and rarity mean that the value tends to hold and increase¡± says one customer.


Knowing that many of the clients don¡¯t know much about the time periods or history of Chinese furniture, the owner, a senior antique furniture collector, is eager to share his knowledge.


(Note: according to Chinese law, Chinese antiques cannot be exported.)


What I appreciate

Rare antique furniture, welcoming atmosphere


What customers appreciate

Originality and rarity of the products, friendly atmosphere


Recently I paid a visit to a painting market at the southeast of Beijing. On the first floor, I was deeply impressed by a gallery that showed the grand sceneries in China.


The shop owner is Mr. Chen Chaoyang. He named this gallery with his name: Chaoyang Art Gallery. He painted for more than twenty years, and had won many awards since 1994. His works were popular even among oversea painting collectors.


As a nature lover, he had visited some of the famous mountains and rivers in China, which gave him a lot of inspiration. Most of the paintings here were created by him.


He especially showed me a large painting called ¡®The Yellow River¡¯. On it, the river ran like ten thousand galloping horses. He visited this great river three months ago, and was profoundly awed by the spectacle. In great excitement, as soon as he came back to Beijing, he started painting it. What a magnificent painting!


I also saw a large painting named ¡®The Great Wall in Autumn¡¯. On it, the Great Wall looked like a gigantic dragon lying on steep mountain ridges, which was surrounded by a sea of golden yellow leaves.


The painter also painted village scenes, landscapes, animals, and still life.


What I appreciated

Paintings, grand sceneries of china


What customers appreciate

Paintings, grand sceneries of china


Last week I visited Chengtian Antique City in the southeast of Beijing. On the 3rd floor, I found a shop that carried antiques, jade jewelry and other kinds of Chinese artworks. They were perfect for decoration.


In the shop, the first thing I saw was a collection of antique porcelain wares, including vases, bowls and plates. Some of them were made in the Qing Dynasty.


The shop owner Mr. Tang greeted me, and showed me a porcelain statue, Empress Dowager Cixi (1835 - 1908), a female ruler of the Qing Dynasty. She sat on a stone bench with a big spot dog. Her lips and nails were painted in red. She was wearing a big black hat and a button-down robe in yellow, red and blue. On the robe were embroidered peonies and butterflies. On the hat were two butterflies surrounding a big peony. In China, peony represents wealth and status.


Mr. Tang also showed me their popular jade jewelry items, including pendants and bracelets. They were white, and looked glossy. Jade symbolizes virtue, and brings good health.


I also found Chinese paintings, calligraphy works, and wood carvings. They are all traditional Chinese artworks.


What I appreciated

Chinese antiques and works of art


What customers appreciate

Chinese antiques and works of art


One of a handful of Tibetan stores in Beijing, Jin Hua Tang offers customers a rare opportunity to shop for exotic gifts from deep Tibet, a place full of mysteries and legends.

Products here make for cute presents for nolvelty-seeking people. Inspired by nice Tibetan music, customers dive in a sea of Tibetan items. There¡¯re thangkas for protection, yak-bone necklaces for good luck, and agate bracelets for good fortune.  Girls in particular love the ethnic-touch bracelets, earrings, and hair accessories.

Even curio-seekers are attracted to the shop. Some of the products are used items purchased from Tibetan families, and are highly collectible. There I saw an exquisitely embroidered thangka. Thanka  is often painted, and seldom embroidered. So a fine thangka embroidery is very hard to find anywhere in the world, even in Beijing. The shop owner wouldn't let go of it without a handsome price.

The shop owner is a Tibetan, and shares his knowledge of his home province generously. He speaks a little English, and will ship his products to every corner of the world.


What I appreciate

Large selection of items, friendly atmosphere


What customers appreciate

Reasonable prices, friendly atmosphere

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Beijing Shopping: Have you ever heard of iron painting? It's handmade with iron and a hammer instead of paint and a brush. The art originated more than 300 years ago with a blacksmith in central China. This unique artw...