by Arina on October 9, 2010

in Tea Ware

Panjiayuan main entrance and stalls

Next time you do not know what to do at 4:30 AM on a weekend morning in Beijing, and sleeping does not sound like an option, head to Beijing’s most famous flea market – Panjiayuan (潘家园, Pānjiāyuán). With more than 3000 stalls, it’s the biggest flea market of the capital. Here you can find anything, from (presumable or real) antiquities to Mao memorabilia, as well as paintings, furniture,  textile, porcelain, ceramics, woodwork, metalwork you name it. The market is open daily, but on weekdays it is in standby mode. It really wakes up on Saturday morning, and does it early. By9 AM, the place will be as crowded and busy as an anthill. So come here early, bring cash and bargain hard.

You can find anything at Panjiayuan

What’s in there for a tea aficionado? At the porcelain stalls at the east end of the market you can find tea cups and gaiwans, teapots and tea storage jars.

Porcelain, old and new at PanjiaYuan

A whole line has vendors selling clay teapots. Some display  them accurately, others just pile them up, sometimes bound like crabs, to keep the lid in place. Those piled up are generally VERY cheap.

Teapots at Panjiayuan

Right next to the teapot line you can find nice woodwork, including beautifully carved wooden teapot stands and displays. I have never managed to bargain really hard here, but I like the quality of the work.

I doubt the ceramics and porcelain here are of the finest possible quality, but I definitely think Panjiayuan is really an exciting place to do one-stop souvenir shopping in Beijing.

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