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Beijing Shopping: Sanlitun

Sanlitun is a popular with tourists because English is more widely spoken than anywhere else. Sanlitun is also Beijing’s bar and diplomatic district, a lot of foreigners in Beijing never go anywhere else. There’s quite a contrast between the swish, upmarket Lufthansa Centre and the Sanlitun Yashou Market, wall to wall with fake brands and cheap clothes.

The air-conditioned Lufthansa Centre (50 Liangmaqiao Lu, Sanlitun) is six floors of the best Beijing has to offer, for well heeled Beijing residents and expat families – with sky high prices to match. A good place to pick up your cosmetics without any hassle, not a great place to hunt for bargains. There are also a handful of nice restaurants including German and Italian.

The Sanlitun Yashou Market is five floors of cheap clothes, crammed all day long with shoppers from the four corners of the globe. Almost all of the vendors speak enough English to get by. Prices start a little higher than they could be and you need to bargain hard. Chinese generally avoid the place, saying it’s mostly there to ‘cheat foreigners’, but you might decide that the convenience is worth the small inflation in price.

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