I became a fan of antique and flea markets few years ago when I decided to make a special gift for PhD promotion of one of my best friends. I had this vision of a little silver mirror where I will engrave a date and a memorable quote. The only problem was that I could not find a little silver mirror in the shops so I remembered to search for it on Zagreb antique fair, with success. I loved the atmosphere of the place, I loved the items and the bargaining. It seems to be a good way of experiencing the local culture because you get to see what are people actually keeping in their homes and how precious it is.
Therefore, I was very eager to visit the Beijing antique market – Panjiayuan. Actually, half of the market are antiques, but half of the market is covered with different craft products including jewelry.
In the antique section the big part is covered with books where you can for example find different works related to Mao Tse-tung, Chinese comics and retro advertisements.
In the other section, one big part is covered with different stones and jewelry made out of it.
Very often in China, you can find wooden bracelets that are to be worn for medical purposes. In China, the medicine is based on the balance of different elements. I don´t know the whole story about it but in some cases the wood is deemed to be beneficial. Except bracelets, you could also find wooden sculptures.
Of course, metal sculptures in the form of a dragon were also available. When speaking about the dragons, I particularly liked the shadow toys made of leather. They seem like paper dolls but have lots of interesting details that create interesting shadows on the wall with the right combination of light. On the photo bellow, you will see one made in the shape of dragon, but there were others as well.
From other decorative stuff, you could also find lots of typical Chinese vases and tea cups, tea pots as well. Manually painted hand fans were also available, however they are way too expensive if you want it as a souvenir. Painting accessorize can be also found in this section.
If you are aiming to buy some traditional clothes however, you will not find such a wide choice when compared with the jewellery, still it is being sold on few corners.
We spent there full 3 hours and enjoyed every minute of it. Luckily, I bought some souvenirs to remind me of this wonderful experience.