Pearl Market Bejing, ChinaIt may be a traditional-looking building, but the bargaining is hard so come prepared!
Pearl Market Snapshot
The Pearl (or Hongqiao) Market is in a traditional-looking building across from Tiantan Park (where the famous Temple of Heaven is located) at no. 9 Tiantan Rd in the Dongcheng district of Beijing.
The hours of operation of the Pearl Market are roughly 9:30 am – 7:00 pm. As with many markets around here, you may get different answers depending on who you ask. And some vendors may open later or close earlier if they want.
What You'll Find
Electronics, accessories and clothing are the name of the game in this market. The stores tend to be more random which means there’s a larger variety of the kinds of products you can expect.
W are out here on Canal Street, New York City bargaining with the best of them! We shop for the best items in town so come along and enjoy the ride!
Everything to Know About the Pearl Market
How to Get to the Pearl Market
Transportation in Beijing
As with most cities in China, the best (and cleanest) way to get around in Beijing is via subway. Super cheap and can get you just about anywhere you need to be. If you decided to use the taxi, make sure the taxi is running the meter, otherwise they will charge you more than they should.
Shopping at the Pearl Market
What Can I find in the Pearl Market?
As the name would imply, this market is famous for its pearls. But there’s a whole lot more than pearls here!
Built over 4500 square meters, the Pearl Market Beijing has eight floors, and each of the floors have different types of products for sale.
Seafood (3 Basement Floors)
The three basement floors are mostly dedicated to food courts where seafood dominates the scene. There is a wide variety of seafood sold here. You can find the common varieties such as shrimp, crab, and fish as well as rare and exotic varieties like abalone, shark fin, and sea pumpkin. This market acts as a major supplier of seafood to big restaurants and hotels in Beijing.
Digital Products, Watches (1st Floor)
The first-floor houses businesses related to digital products, it’s a very large assortment rivaling other major electronic markets in Beijing. It also has a large section for watches, which are popular with many shoppers from overseas.
Silk & Clothes (2nd Floor)
The second floor is completely dedicated to silk products, which are priced slightly higher, but the quality also tends to be better. Silk is intrinsically linked to China’s culture and identity.
Pearls (3 to 5 floors)
The Beijing Pearl market is the largest marketing and distribution center in China for pearls. It offers pearls of different colors, sizes, and smoothness and their prices also vary dramatically. You can find a freshwater pearl, seawater pearl, but also emeralds and many other special gems. Visitors to this market are easily dazzled by the fascinating range of pearl necklaces, rings, and pendants.
Where to Stay in Bejing
Beijing Turret International Hostel
The Tian’anmen Branch of Beijing Turret International Hostel offers guest room accommodations with cable TV, air-condition, 24-hour hot water, and heating. Bathrooms are equipped with hairdryers, free toiletries, and slippers. It’s a 1- minute drive from Tiananmen Square.
Peking Station Hostel
Peking Station Hostel is a quiet home in an old-styled Hutong courtyard. It has a well-preserved green roof, quadrangle yard, and ancient wall that date back to the Ming Dynasty. The hostel exudes old-world charm with modern guestrooms. It’s a 15-minute drive from Peking station.
PUREMIND Loft Hotel
The rooms at PUREMIND Loft Hotel have air conditioning, TV, teapot, shower with a hairdryer. Each room has a private bathroom and some rooms even have a balcony. It also has a bar, shared garden and lounge. It’s about 10 minutes drive from Tiananmen Square.
Neighborhoods in Beijing
Beijing is a big city with all kinds of neighborhoods – busy, noisy, quiet, apartment hubs and hutongs. My favorite areas in Beijing revolve around the hutongs which are a series of narrow lanes separating traditional courtyard residences, some dating back as far as the 13th Century.
There are some neighborhoods that are particularly hot favorites with the expats such as:
Dongcheng District: Dongcheng is a sprawling and prestigious residential area in the eastern part of the city. It’s home to some of Beijing’s most popular tourist attractions. Both local and expat lives in many of its smaller neighborhoods.
Yonghegong: Here, you find some of the city’s best housing and tourist attractions in the Yonghegong Lama Temple area. Both modern apartments and hutong coexist in a traditional-modern balance.
Other neighborhoods popular among foreigners are Dongzhimen, Beixinqiao, Chaoyang, Sanlitun, Haidian, and Wudaokou.
Food in Beijing & at the Pearl Market
What to Eat in Beijing
Rice, noodles, tofu, and tea are some Chinese food staples. The protein, vegetables, cooking, and seasoning techniques vary depending on the province that they come from. Beijing’s most famous dish is Peking duck (roasted duck), which can be found in restaurants and is even exported.
Other popular Beijing dishes include Chinese Dumplings Jiaozi, Jing Jiang Rousi, Noodles in Soybean Paste (Zhejiang Mian).
Street Food Near the Pearl Market
There isn’t much to eat, however, on the top floor you can buy some beer and then go enjoy the sights of the city on the rooftop (highly recommended) before heading back into round 2 of your bargaining adventure!
About the Pearl Market
History of Pearl Market
The Pearl Market Beijing occupies a purpose-built mall next to the east gate of the Temple of Heaven. Though it sells pretty much everything as the more popular Silk Alley, it’s a bit nicer and less crowded. This market originally started as an agricultural market in the early 1980s. However, the trade soon became dominated by pearls produced by pearl farmers from Zhenjiang. Industry sources claim that China accounts for 95% of the total pearl production and at least 10% of it is traded at this, market which is also known as the Hongqiao Market.
History of China
Evidence of Chinese history dates back to 1250 BC. The Shang dynasty was in power, mainly ruling the Yellow River Valley, which is the epicenter of the Chinese civilization. Over thousands of years, the civilization thrived, yet also had a number of internal conflicts between other regions and settlers who were attracted to the Yangtze River area. The Qing dynasty was one of the last, and ruled from 1644 to 1912, when it was replaced by the Republic of China. Then in 1949 it became the People’s Republic of China.
History of Beijing
Beijing has a long history spanning over 3,000 years. It served as a capital for the Ji and Yan states; however, for a long time it was only considered a provincial city. Between the 10th and 13th centuries, the Liao and Jin dynasties designated Beijing as their capital, and that’s when it became a powerful city for all of China.
History of producing and selling goods in China
The Chinese people are known for their business and negotiation skills, and they have always been good at producing and selling goods within the country and beyond. Silk and porcelain products have always been big business for China, especially for international trade.
Trade is important to all economies, especially in China over the years. In 2013 China became the largest trading nation in the world. Other goods that are popularly traded from China include tea, silk, cotton, cassia, floor-matting, lacquerware, rhubarb, fans, furniture and more.