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If you sre interested in Chinese culture, if you keep an eye with Chinese antique, if you want to buy an antique in Beijing, don’t miss the following famous antique streets.
Once upon a time when a family fell on hard times here in Beijing, the shame of being forced to hock the family furniture meant that the sellers were keen not to be recognized in the act, with the inevitable loss of face involved. The solution for many was to do the selling very early in the morning, when darkness would shroud the dishonorable deed. And so the tradition of taking a torch with you to Panjiayuan, and arriving as early as 4:30am to snatch up the good stuff was born. These days the market is neither open that early nor is it only a weekend affair.
Even with the new extended hours, the best time to go is before noon on a Saturdays or Sunday. The 3,000-stall market is absolutely overflowing with curios, ceramics, antiques and reproductions, carpets, scrolls, and furniture from all over China. Spend a little extra time on the carvings - the range is extensive and if you are looking for a centrepiece it is hard to pass up a classic Buddha.
This crowded Hutong has a history that stretches back to the Yuan and Ming Dynasties, and is a great place to go for the traditional "four treasures of the study": calligraphy brushes, inks, ink stones and paper. The renovated streetscape, rebuilt in the 1980s in Qing style, is part of the pleasure of browsing here. Recently blocked off to cars, these days the whole experience is much more pleasant, as one can freely stroll the narrow lane. Many artisans man their own shops, so it is not unusual to hear expert sounds from an erhu coming from a music store, or to see Chinese watercolours in the process of being created.
The biggest centre for curio trade in Asia, the charm of Curio City is that many of the stalls are run by people who have a real collector's love of what they do, rather than being just shop assistants.
Specializing in antique pottery, original paintings, jade ware and raw jade, bone carvings, antique furniture, pearls, antique carpets and antique time pieces, Curio City has something for people of all ages.