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Beijing has a good reputation for shopping, with the widest choice of anywhere in China. Clothes are particularly inexpensive, and are one reason for the city’s high number of Russians, as smuggling them across the northern border is a lucrative trade. There’s also a wide choice of antiques and handicrafts, but don’t expect to find any bargains or particularly unusual items as the markets are well picked over. Be aware that just about everything that is passed off as antique is fake. Good souvenir buys include: art materials, particularly brushes and blocks of ink; signature chops carved with a name; small jade items; and handicraft items such as kites and painted snuff bottles.

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