Last night, one of the news commentators during the men’s gymnastics All-Around competition mentioned going to the Silk Market in Beijing and seeing watches with Yang Wei’s face on them. Yang Wei is the men’s gold medal winner for the All-Around and the Chinese gymnastic darling.
The commentator (I forgot which one) mentioned that the Silk Market, now referred to as Silk Street, is his favorite place in Beijing, I have to say he has good taste. If you’re in Beijing, it’s a place not to miss. Stalls upon stalls of wonderful items.
When we were there several years ago, instead of Yang Wei’s face, alarm clocks and watches with Mao’s face were part of the offerings. We loaded up on handmade quilts instead, even though they are a lot more cumbersome than watches and alarm clocks to pack. I think we bought five in all, plus a large duffel bag with wheels in which to carry them.
Since I was there, the Silk Market’s venue has changed from an alley to a regular five-story shopping mall. Not as funky, for sure, but from what I’ve read, there is A LOT more to buy and the shopping is more organized.
If you can’t find Yang Wei’s face on a watch, which I think would be a pretty fun and funky souvenir, and if quilts are too big for you to handle, look for items that are Chinese zodiac related. I also bought these for friends of mine whose birth year I could remember.