Monday, February 16, 2009

Panjiayuan Market

Above is just a taste of what's available to you at the Panjiayuan Market in southeast Beijing off the third ring road, where thousands of merchants hawk their wares every weekend. That being said, the atmosphere is quite laid-back, with pressure only being applied once you pick up an item to examine it more closely.

A few rows are devoted to Chinese art from ancient to postmodern, though caveat emptor applies to this as much as antiques, curios or carvings. Still, the final question is, Do I like it?

Price is not as simple a question, as the 1/2 rule may not apply--sometimes, foreigners pay five times the going rate. On the other hand, from an asking price of 120, I bought a trilobite fossil (2 pieces, split) for 50 yuan. As we walk away, Tanner tells me the vendor said, "You got a better price than Chinese people!"

Here are a few more shots to give you an idea of the range and atmosphere. The incredibly handsome man at bottom right is not for sale. The one at left is free, but there were still no takers.

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