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Beijing Shopping: Jianguomen

Jianguomen has shopping for all tastes and budgets – from the ultra-classy China World Shopping Mall to the ultra-cheap Xiushui Silk Market just a stone’s throw away. The district creaks with 5 star hotels, cool cafés and the odd trendy bar. ‘Jianguomen’ means something like ‘Founding-the-Nation Gate’.

Xiushui Silk Market on Jianguomen Waidajie is one of the busiest clothes and accessory markets in Beijing. Doom was forecast in 2005 when it was decreed that the whole shebang would move inside, but after re-opening with great fanfare it’s still going strong. Bargaining is de-rigeur or else you’ll pay about ten times more than you ought to. To be found nearby the Jianguo Hotel.

Jianguomen is home to the Friendship Store. Friendship Stores are a relic from the days when free trade was severely restricted and imported or luxury goods were for the consumption of a privileged few. In that respect, it’s surprising Friendship Stores can still compete at all, maybe you should get here before they’re another endangered Chinese species. The Friendship Store on Jianguomen Waidajie is one of the best places in Beijing to pick up magazines, travel guides and books, and also has a fair sized choice of touristy knick knacks and art.

The immodestly named China World Shopping Mall is just by the China World Hotel and has everything from beauty salons to banks, all rather posh. But there’s an ice rink.

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