Shop Till You Drop in Antique Haven Beijing

As a newly emerging global superpower the Chinese capital is flexing its muscles when it comes to offering both locals and visitors a world class shopping experience. Contending with other Asian shopping Meccas such as Singapore, Tokyo and Hong Kong, Beijing is rolling out the red carpet for all shopaholics with designated shopping districts and mega malls selling everything from Chinese antiques to designer brands.

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As the most popular commercial district of Beijing, Wangfujing Street enjoys an unparalleled reputation for its 1km stretch of historic shop fronts. Often compared to France’s Champs Elysees this bustling shopper’s market attracts nearly 500,000 visitors daily 廚房設計. Home to the Wangfujing Department Store, Sun Dong An Plaza, the Oriental Plaza and countless other shops selling everything under the sun, enchanting souvenirs are also available here. Those in search of an authentic Chinese shopping experience should head down to Qianmen Street just south of Tiananmen Square where traditional Chinese wares are sold in renowned stores such as the Pianyi Workshop, Quanjude and Douyichu.

For those priceless Chinese silks however there’s no finer alternative to Silk Street which is a seven storey paradise for all silk lovers. Offering visitors a myriad of multihued scarves, robes and shirts made from the finest silk this one stop silk shop also offers cashmere scarves and other exquisite silk items in addition to traditional Chinese antiques and handicrafts. Stunning carpets, bed linen, jewellery, calligraphy and paintings are also sold here at bargain prices found nowhere else in Beijing. Dubbed as the biggest antique market of its kind in the continent, Panjiayuan Market is a treasure trove for all antique lovers. With more than 3000 shops spread out across nearly 49,000m2 , this preferred haunt of Hilary Clinton is a sight that has to be seen to be believed. Buddhist relics and ethnic apparel are also available here alongside ancient coins and artwork.

Reputed to be one of Asia’s most expansive curio distribution centres, the 23,400 square metre Beijing Curio City houses nearly 500 shops selling jade, ancient porcelain, jewellery, carpets, antique furnishings and wood carvings. Other points of interest for antique collectors include Liangma Collection Market, Liulichang Antique Street and Gaobeidian Antique Furniture Street which is a hotspot for Chinese classical furniture.

The Yaxiu Market is a well-known bargain clothing bazaar that sells clothes, accessories and your own tailor made Chinese Qipao dress for a fraction of the cost elsewhere in no more than 24 hours. Brand conscious shoppers on the other hand should venture down Jianguomenwai Street which is crowded with chic department stores and malls. Highlights include Guiyou Department Store, the China World Shopping Mall, Friendship Store and Scitech Plaza while the fashionable Xidan shopping district also offers global brands in an exclusive setting. Home to theChung-Yo Department Store, Xidan Shopping Center, Huanan Mansion, Xidan Bazaar and Weiwei Bride Wedding Dress Photo Studio, the famed Capital Bookstore is also located here.

If you were a panda or a mountain gorilla you would eat it, but for what is after all a mere form of grass bamboo has a surprisingly diverse range of practical uses.

In areas of East Asia and the South Pacific it is heavily used in construction. In China it has been used to sustain suspension bridges and has been found to be surprisingly resilient if properly maintained. In Hong Kong, and still to some degree in China, it is used for scaffolding. Bamboo dwellings are not unusual in the Philippines and in Japan the plant is used as a decorative or supplemental element in domestic construction.

As a good source of potassium and protein with few calories bamboo can readily be consumed by humans, as has been used by the Chinese as a medicine for treating and healing infections. The shoots also have a surprising range of uses in more general cuisine, and are to be found in many South and East Asian broths and dishes. The saps of immature stalks can be fermented into wine or made into a refreshing soft drink.

The physical structure of bamboo lends it to natural use as a musical appliance, most commonly as a kind of flute or other wind instrument. Perhaps less conventionally it has sometimes been used in preference to eucalyptus in the construction of the Australian didgeridoo.

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