Silk Street in Beijing
By Zachary K., Loyola University Maryland, TBC Fall 2019 Semester Abroad Student
Being a city of vast history and culture, Beijing is home to a large number of world-famous landmarks, visited by millions of tourists and citizens every year. Luckily, our students have been able to visit a good number of these places throughout the semester, including the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, the Summer Palace, and even the Temple of Heaven – to name a few.
Last weekend, students from TBC took advantage of the beautiful fall weather and spent their Saturday venturing out into Beijing to further explore. To no surprise, our students found themselves visiting what is known around Beijing as the ‘Silk Street.’ Found relatively close to campus within the Chaoyang District, the street holds over 1,700 different retail vendors of various counterfeit brand apparel – bargaining heaven.
On top of the Silk Street, Beijing is also home to the Pearl Market as well, which students visited earlier in the semester as a group. At both of these places, you can find everything from fake Rolex watches, to Louis Vuitton bags, to jewelry, clothes, tech, and basically everything else. Additionally, the Silk Street was recently named the largest and best counterfeit market in China. Both markets though, offer a fantastic experience and are a lot of fun when you know what your shopping for and you’re ready to haggle for a cheap price.
This weekend our students went looking to buy some custom-made suits at one of the Silk Market vendors. After taking a short walk to the subway (and of course stopping along the way for pictures) we arrived at the overwhelmingly large market.
Luckily, we came knowing what we were looking for, so students Kale Kazyak and Andres Lenis, each found great deals on their custom set, and were even measured and fitted in under 45 minutes. Also, posing as a private photographer definitely made things interesting as well, as the sales assistants thought we were a famous Canadian boy band.
All in all, the day was a huge success. I never blew my cover as Jorge the photographer, my friends got custom-made suits for a really good deal, and we got out and explored somewhere new in Beijing without anyone getting lost. On a serious note though, this city has way too many fun things to do to stay inside. Whether you are a student here at TBC, someone living here, or even planning to visit, make sure you take advantage of every chance you get to explore the things Beijing has to offer.