PanJiaYuan Beijings Antiques Market

Beijing PanJiaYuan Antiques Market

 

PanJiaYuan Antiques Market Beijing China

PanJiaYuan Antiques Market Beijing China

Not too far to the south of the China International Trade Center, off of the line 10, lies a stop PanJiaYuan, or Pan Jia Yuarrr as the locals call it.  This is one of the more curious local spots in Beijing, the Antiques market.

 

As you walk off the subway and close in on the market street traders selling furs are rampant.  “Leopard Fur!” screams the first and the second “Tiger fur from the north” Holding up what appears to be a tiger fur.  “Panda fur” screams the next, seriously, Panda?  Isn’t kind of out of control I ask my friend.  “It’s all fake, maybe fox fur, maybe not even fur, who knows!”

 

Fur Sellers outside PanJiaYuan Beijing China

Fur Sellers outside PanJiaYuan Beijing China

One a trip there recently with an old friend who has been antique shopping there for nearly 2 decades he shared some interesting thoughts.  “20 years ago, everything here was real, authentic, brough in by farmers and picked up for peanuts.  10 years ago maybe 50% was real, now fakes are so good not even experts can tell” He said with a smile “everything is fake, maybe one or two percent might be real, but I doubt it.”

 

The largest and most popular antiques, I guess antiques knockoff, market in Beijing is PanJiaYuan.  Here you will find all ancient and historical.  But if your looking to buy be skeptical and don’t, whatever you do, pay top dollar, it’s probably a good fake.
But in any case PanJiaYuan is an adventure, an exploration and a step into the locals lives.  Not many of the tourist to Beijing step off the tour bus route that is only a few stops away from the major stops, so get off the tour bus and catch the subway south.

 

Local sellers at PanJiaYuan

Local sellers at PanJiaYuan

What to see or buy in PanJiaYuan?  Offered are antique knockoffs of choice, perfect and indistinguishable from the real thing at a small fraction of the price.  Pearls?  No problem!  Paintings?  Of course!  Woodwork?  Chinese statues in all sizes and shapes?  Oh Yeah! What do you think?  Antique furniture?  GREAT PRICES FOR THE BEST KNOCKOFFS THAT COST THOUSANDS IN THE WEST?  THATS WHAT THIS PLACE IS FOR!  Only the best, with some really cool pieces I would love to bring back at fractions of the prices available in the west.  Mao’s Red book?  Got it, and in multiple languages.

 

Guan Yu Statue from Three Kingdoms in PanJiaYuan

Guan Yu Statue from Three Kingdoms in PanJiaYuan

Paper Cutouts in PanJiaYuan Beijing China

Paper Cutouts in PanJiaYuan Beijing China

Horse Statues in Panjiayuan Beijing China Antiques Market

Horse Statues in Panjiayuan Beijing China Antiques Market
Mao Statues in Panjiayuan Beijing China Antiques Market

Mao Statues in Panjiayuan Beijing China Antiques Market

The best time to visit is early, it opens at 4:30am, and if you are serious about looking for anything potentially real this is when you have to go.  Farmers from around the country still do come here to sell off their real antiques that they found on the farm.  But be sure these are all scooped up before 5am, or earlier.  The local dealers swoop in quick, so get there early.  After 5am you are looking at around 99.99% knockoffs.  Good knockoffs, and great items to take back home, but knockoffs at that.

 

Statues in PanJiaYuan Beijing China

Statues in PanJiaYuan Beijing China

How good are the fakes?  On the last visit I was told a story a seller leaving China and stopped at Customs with an antique.  The officer said “This is not allowed, it’s illegal to take Chinese antiquities out of China, come with me.”  To that the man said “Antiquity, we made that last month.  You don’t believe me, look.”  He proceeded to open another bag holding 3 of the same exact ‘Antiquity” and said “I can give you a hundred if you like?” At that my friend smiled and laughed “we can copy anything very well”

 

My first trip to PanJiaYuan was way back in 2004.  Walking around I saw a really cool wind up Mao clock, looked like something from the 60s, all rusted out, antique looking, and a real steal.  The seller had it on a blanket on the ground, and old man with a long grey beard barely speaking mandarin let alone English, oh yeah I struck gold.  After 20 minutes of negotiating I got him down to 50RMB, a steal!  I wound it up and used it for about a week.  Then that next weekend I hit up the Silk Market to buy clothes.  It was there that I saw the same clock looking all new in the same exact style for 30RMB without any negotiating.  Smart old man selling off a rusted version he probably left outside a week for more as an antique.  Unless you are an expert, and even if you are, expect it all to be fake and cheap.

Seller in PanJiaYuan in Winter

Seller in PanJiaYuan in Winter

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