In Beijing, the cultural center of China, the most popular place for you to go and see is the Antique Market. A visit to the Antique Market is as important a part of a foreigner’s tour in Beijing as the Great Wall, the Peking duck and the Forbidden City.
Panjiayuan Antique Market (潘家园旧货市场)
Panjiayuan Antique Market is Beijing’s biggest and best-known arts, crafts, and antiques market.
It is located in southwest Beijing, near the Panjiayuan Bridge, East 3rd Ring Road South, Chaoyang District. It covers an area of 48,500 square meters, of which 26,000 square meters area is for business. There are over 4,000 shops in the market, with nearly 10,000 dealers, 70% of whom come from other parts of China.
The market is divided into five parts:
1. Buddhism Statues Area: It is in the western part of the market, it is an open-air area where large stone sculptures are sold out of trucks.
2. Antique Furniture Area: It is besides Buddhism Statues Area, two-storied building that houses traditional furniture and Cultural Revolution articles.
3. High-rank Antique Store Area: There more exquisite and more expensive handicrafts were sold in the small indoor stores.
4. Books and Scrolls Area: It is a narrow lane in the south where secondhand books and ancient scrolls are sold.
5. Middle Area: a semi-covered area that forms the main part of the market. This is open only at the weekends. Ii can be divided into four zones:
Zone One: a dizzying array of Chinese paintings, calligraphic works as well as beads and jade.
Zone Two: beads, bronze vessels, ceramic vases and small wooden furniture.
Zone Three: Chinese ethnic minority arts and crafts, trinkets, antiques and apparel. Many of these traders are from Tibet.
Zone Four: Chinese ceramics
Location: No.200, west of Panjiayuan Qiao, Chaoyang District Bus Route: take No. 63, 802, 300 and get off at Panjiayuan Stop Opening hours: 8:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. from Monday to Friday 4:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
The Liulichang (琉璃厂)
The Liulichang is a famous district in down-town Beijing that is known for a series of traditional Chinese stone dwellings housing that sells various craftwork, artistry, and antiques. The street is a mixture of state-run and privately owned shops. Customers are recommended by shop owners to bargain before making purchases. There are also traditional teahouses and wineshops, as well as many restaurants.
According to local legend, during then Ming and Qing dynasties, Liulichang was a favorite haunt for scholars, painters and calligraphers gathered to write, compile and purchase books, as well as to paint and compose poetry, and by the Kangxi period (1661-1722), Liulichang had become one of the most flourishing cultural centers in all of Beijing. Large scale renovation in modern time have transformed this place into an antique market that resembles a Chinese village. The many shops that located on the street are filled with a variety of Chinese folk arts such paintings, calligraphy, pottery, carpets, vases, books, scrolls and chops. It is a popular destination for tourists (mainly foreign tourists) to Beijing who wish to experience the commercial aspect of popular Chinese folk artwork in Beijing without the bustling traffic. Bus route: Take subway line 2 and get off at Hepingmen station
Beijing Curio City (北京古玩城)
Beijing Curio City is the largest curio distribution center in Asia. The curio city covers an area of about 23,400 square meters (5.8 acres). There are about 500 stores dealing with ancient porcelain, paintings, calligraphy, jade, carving, bronze ware, antique furniture, carpet, clocks and jewelry. The curio city is like a big museum, and you can just wander around to get more knowledge about Chinese culture. Your eyes will be dazzled by these ancient art treasures.
Every year the curio city holds several regular exhibitions to show the curios and art treasures. There are also many exhibition fairs, auctions, as well as lectures on curio knowledge. The Folk Culture Festival in January, Auction Week in May and Exhibition Fair in October are the most popular activities amongst them. They attract thousands of visitors coming here to choose their favorite curios.
The Beijing Curio City is well organized with a series of supporting facilities. There are some experts in the market, offering professional services and giving special instructions to the curio lovers. Location: No.21, South 3rd East Ring Road, Chaoyang District Bus Route: take No. 300, 28, 368, 607, 907 and get off at Panjiayuan Stop or Shilihe Stop
Hongqiao Curio Market (红桥古玩市场)
Hongqiao Curio Market is located on the third floor of Hongqiao Emporium. Most of the curios sold here are cheap imitations. Location: Hongqiao Emporium, Tiantan Gongyuan Donglu, Chongwen District Bus Route: take bus No. 6, 35, 108 and get off at Chongwenmen Stop, about 2,000 meters south Tel: 010-67133354
Liangma Collection Market (亮马收藏品市场)
Liangma Collection Market was opened in 1992, occupying an area of 5,000 square meters (1.2 acres). There are about 200 stores engaged in selling porcelain, jade, ancient clocks, cameras, paintings, carpets and antique furniture. Location: No. 59, Liangma Lu, Chaoyang District Tel: 010-64621625 Transpotation: NO. 418 bus, subway line10 arrive at Liangmaqiao station
Before you go antiquing, learn more about the antiques is a better way. You'll find plenty of information to learn how to research your antiques and collectibles and to help you identify, value, insure and price your items to sell. Use the library to do research and check out references. Online guides can be helpful as well. Become friends with the owner of a local antiques shop. They are often a wealth of information and happy to help.