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Beijing Shopping Guide

Located in the Central Business District (CBD) and the embassy area, the store attracts a lot of foreigners, who make up about 40 per cent of customers, according to Han Yongsheng, Guiyou's general manager. "Many foreigners are tired of the fake goods in Xiushui and the bargaining experience, so they come here to find authentic products of high quality."

The store's bilingual notes, English shopping guide, and ordering shopping service cater well to foreign customers, with the MacDonald's and Starbucks inside the store as ideal, relaxing places after shopping. Xiushui

Unlike other stores providing goods across the range, the middle-sized store focuses on cashmere, china, Chinese paintings, traditional Chinese clothes and Chinese handicrafts. Cashmere may be the most competitive product here. Occupying almost a whole floor, the cashmere zone, one of the biggest in Beijing, gathers collections from dozens of domestic brands like Erdos, Kingdeer and Snow Lotus. Designs with flower patterns on cashmere are quite popular of late among foreigners.

On the third floor the Eastern Art Museum provides traditional Chinese ink paintings by contemporary artists, with prices ranging from a few hundred to 50,000 yuan (US$6,237). Though many of the artists are still not very famous, foreigners still love to buy them as souvenirs. Through the computer, customers can choose paintings with different themes and the store also provides a commissioning service for customers.

Coloured glaze artworks, at reasonable prices, are another highlight with some small statues at around 900 yuan (US$108). Propitious Buddha images, peonies, dragons, and Chinese cabbages are the main themes of these artworks. Other attractions include chinaware, Olympic franchised products and modernized Chinese traditional costumes, most of which are made of cotton and linen. There are also quite a few foreign luxury brands here, like Valentino and Dior, whose buyers are mostly Chinese.

Location: A5, Jianwai Dajie, Chaoyang District
Opening time: Daily from 9:30 am-9 pm

XiushuiTo most Beijingers, Xinjiekou is a haven for music lovers, students, and victims of Japanese and Korean fashion. The long street runs north from Pinganli Dajie up to the Second Ring Road. It is home to numerous independent shops and dozens of cheap local chain clothing stores like Apple and Robin Hood.

Xinjiekou is an ideal place to spend an afternoon wandering and searching for something unique yet cheap. The shops seem to have been divided into zones, with the northern part of the street focusing on casual wear, accessories, ornaments and toys, while the southern part is filled with numerous musical instrument and video shops.

Three hundred metres from the Xinjiekou bus station, stands a unique hobby model shop. There are hundreds of models crowded into the tiny, ordinary-looking shop.

Focusing on military models, the shop has the latest model versions of planes, tanks and battleships from all countries. There is also a glass cabinet displaying all kinds of tools for making and repairing the models, many of which are imported from Japan and Germany.

An A You Chinese-style clothing shop is another highlight of the north street.

Featuring long skirts, brightly coloured shirts made of flax and cotton, all the clothes here carry a strong ethnic and romantic touch. Handmade necklaces and earrings here are also outstanding with original designs.

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The Cathay Bookshop in Xinjiekou is great for bookworms, keeping many out of print books and rare issues.

Beside the Cathay Bookshop is a CD shop hidden at the end of a narrow lane, in a quiet two-story building. The store provides many classic CDs and foreign CDs hardly available in other places.

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