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Panjiayuan Antique Market (潘家园)
14:52, July 16, 2008

Panjiayuan Antique Market 潘家园旧货市场

The market lies to the southwest of Panjiayuan Bridge, East 3rd Ring Road South, Chaoyang District. It covers an area of 48,500 square meters, of which 26,000 square meters are for business. It mainly deals in antiques and old articles, handiwork, collections, and decorative articles, with an annual business volume of RMB several hundred million. There are over 4,000 shops in the market, with nearly 10,000 dealers, 60% of whom come from 28 provinces, cities, and autonomous regions outside Beijing and over a dozen nationalities such as Han, Hui, Manchu, Miao, Dong, Uigur, Mongolian, and Korean.

This spontaneous market came into being in 1992 as a roadside market. As trade in folk antiques and handiwork grew, it had become a large antique and handiwork market spreading folk culture in 2002. Many Chinese antique collectors believe that they started their career in Panjiayuan. A visit to the market has become as important a part of a foreigner’s tour in Beijing as the Great Wall, the roast duck, and the Palace Museum.

The shops in the market are open every day, while the stalls operate on weekends. This is the most  attractive antique market in the country. On weekends the number of customers reaches 60,000~70,000 a day, including over 10,000 foreigners. Here tourists with different skin colors, speaking different languages, from different classes, and having different beliefs are intermingled. Dozens of important foreign politicians, such as Hilary Clinton, Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives Dennis Hastert, Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis, Romanian Prime Minister Nastase, Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga, and Thai Princess Sirindhorn have visited the market and bought things here.

Some of them spend a very long time here, stopping before every stall. The market has the greatest variety of collected articles in the country. Common kinds for sale are: ancient-style furniture, traditional stationery, ancient books, paintings, calligraphic works, old books, agate, jade, porcelain, Chinese and foreign coins, bamboo, wood, or bone carvings, shadow play masks, Buddhist articles, ethnic costumes, and relics of the Cultural Revolution.

The market is the largest distributing center of folk handicrafts, including snuff bottles made in Hengshui, Yangliuqing New Year paintings, embroidery made in Jiangsu, wood carvings from Dongyang, stone carvings from Quyang, shadow play paraphernalia from Shandong, porcelain and crystal ornaments from Jiangxi, boccaro wares from Yixing, bronze wares from Shaanxi, costumes from Yunnan, Tibetan Buddhist articles, white jade from Xinjiang, and Jiaozhi pottery from Taiwan. These folk andicrafts are gathered in the market before being distributed all over the world.

In 2004, at the prize-awarding ceremony of the first Annual Top Ten Lists of Collection in China, the market was elected one of the top ten antique markets in China.

Address: No. 18 Huaweili, Chaoyang District, Beijing

Source: CCTV/www.ebeijing.gov.cn

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