Giant elephant statues wearing flower garlands mark the entrance of the Womens Street Market in Beijing. A huge variety of plants, flowers (fresh cut and silk), live fish and corals, art, home decor, clothing, and jewelry can be purchased at this market and in surrounding shops. There are also numerous restaurants lining the nearby streets, featuring every cuisine imaginable, including classic Chinese Mandarin, French, Italian, Kosher, and Greek.
Other popular shopping sites in Beijing include the Silk Market, the Pearl Market, and the Russian Market. Shopping is a competitive sport in Beijing. Fierce bargaining is expected. Most of the vendors speak decent English, but Western tourists have been known to be ripped limb from limb by aggressive merchants. Only the brave should participate in this daring venture, but the bargains, variety of options, and entertainment value are well worth the experience. If you find a merchant you like in any market or street-side shop, they will gladly offer a business card, so that you can deal with them directly for future shopping.