Silk Street is one of the most well-known shopping centres among foreigners in Beijing.
After more than 20 years development, the two characters ”Xiu Shui” have become a famous brand among the sphere of commodity circulation in Beijing. The Silk Street High-rise is tightly near CBD, the total floorage amount to 28,000 square meters, and there are 1,500 stalls in the market. Commodities mainly sold in Silk Street are shoes, bags and cases, leather, famous brand, casual wear, fashion clothing, cowboy series, sports leisure attire, knitted dress, kid’s clothing, tie, silk handkerchief, silk wax printing, craft table cloth, handicraft, jewelry, antique, calligraphy and painting, Beijing roast duck and characteristic snack, etc.
Despite its name, the Silk Market has much more than just silk. The silk products here are cheap, and therefore popular, but there are also a lot of cashmere garments, down jackets, leather goods, shoes, hats, watches and some handicrafts and trinkets. One of the main things about the Silk Market is the fact that none of the prices are set. This can work for or against you. It all depends on your bargaining skills. If you on your bargaining skills. If you are a proficient (i.e.stubborn) bargainer, then you can get great deals on all kinds of clothing, but if you are soft -hearted and don’t like confrontation, then you may get taken for a ride. It is ofen helpful to bring along a Chinese friend who can help you bargain. The way to do it is, look around at all of the stuff and point out to your friend which item you like, without letting the seller know. Then let the Chinese person go back and bargain for you. Of cours not all Chinese people are good bargainers, but at least if they go, the starting price is the same, but the lowest the seller will go will be lower for the Chinese person.
If you are a tall person (6′ and up ) the Silk Market is the best place for you to buy clothes and shoes. Usually the shopping plazas and super-stores do not have really large sizes. If you are size 12 shoe size or larger, then the only place to really go is to the Silk Market.
You will notice quite a few famous name-brand items there, and you may wonder how a Timberland down jacket can be sold for US$20 or $30. The answer is not clear. Sometimes the goods are counterfeit, but more often the merchant has a relative in a clothing factory who can get excess products or slightly imperfect products for super cheap prices. At least that is one theory. No matter what the case may be, it is a place for bargain shopping.
The silk and cashmere goods are also much cheaper than they would be in other stores or in other countries. These items make great gifts for friends back home, especially the silk Mickey Mouse boxer shorts which you can’t get away from. Most of the sellers speak a little English, at least they know how to say “you say how much!”, “I give you good price.” And of course numbers are their specialty. There is also a large selection of fake Rolex, Omega and other wristwatches, rivaled only by the street hawkers of New York City.
Note :it is very crowded in the alleyway, and people will be constantly brushing up against you. It is a good idea to keep a close eye on your bag or wallet while you are in there. If you are wearing a backpack, put it on backwards so the pack is in front of you. If you don’t, you may find that there is a slit in the bottom of your pack and all the good stuff is gone!