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Beijing has about 15 million residents and as the seat of the Chinese government, it has a strong political charge as well as cultural charge. Beijing does not offer the same type of concentrated shopping as Shanghai--the city does not have a downtown shopping area per se, but rather many different shopping areas. In The China World Shopping Mall, there is every western designer know to mankind. If you cannot find something from one of the top designers of the world here, you will not find it anywhere!

I spent a lot of my shopping time in Beijing in the pearl market; many Chinese friends have told me that Beijing has the best quality pearls. If you invest the time and put your marketing skills into high gear you will leave Beijing with beautiful pearls for a fraction of what you would pay anywhere else in the world! My personal favorite pearl dealers were, Funghua and Sharon’s Pearls. Funghua has over 2000 designs of freshwater and seawater pearls. I made friends with Jane, and purchased a pair of black Tahitian pearls. At Sharon’s Pearls I liked the selection of freshwater pearls in an array of colors in 10 to 15 millimeter size and a good selection of diamond clasps.

For clothing there is a shop in The China World Hotel, where the prices are higher than any other shop I visited, but the quality and the designs are beautiful. All clothes are made to order and delivered to your room the same day.

Beijing is where you will spend your time understanding the history and the culture of China. A visit to Beijing means focusing on the culture. I had the experience of dinner at The Great Wall, dinner at the Forbidden City, dinner at the Great Hall of the People.

A visit to the Hutong, the old neighborhoods around the Forbidden City is full of fascinating views of Chinese society.

There are many restaurants, my personal favorite is The China Club, which was once a private home and looks like a miniature Forbidden City, the food is Chinese and delicious!

The contemporary art scene in Beijing is abundant with new artist and some not so new artist; the prices are matching the demand.

Beijing is transforming everyday, and so like Shanghai requires many visits to take in all there is to do and see!

China World Hotel
at China World Trade Center
No. 1 Jianguomenwai Avenue, Beijing
Tel: 6505 2266

Sharon's Store
No. 4201 4305 4th floor HongQiao Market Chongwen Beijing
Tel: (86-10) 6717 1888

Fanghua Pearls
No. 4318, 4th floor
Hongqiao Market, Chongwen District
Tel: 86-10-67187888



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