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Ladies Street, leading to LaiTai Flower Market – Beijing, China

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Ladies-Street

Nuren Jie, or Lady’s Street, is a much-maligned shopping area up near the Lufthansa Centre and embassy district.

Down this dusty street most of the stalls sell fashion clothing, home wares and crafts, leading it to become known as the shopping area aimed primarily at women. If you survive the women’s clothing floor with all the spangly Juicy Couture and fake Hello Kitty jeans you’ll make it through to the LaiTai Beijing Flower Market which specialises in plants both fake and fresh.

Amongst all the orchids and bonsai there are some new and interesting plants which I couldn’t recognise – see the orange knobbly lemon shaped thing in the pictures…

Attached to the flower market are a number of aquarium shops. These sell some new species to me including the Lionhead Goldfish and multi-coloured salamanders, along with tanks full of live coral, which is presumably not illegal to sell here.

The area is surrounded by restaurants covering all the Asian cuisines, as well as small cafés and teahouses. Further in there’s an upmarket area with fashion imported from Korea and Japan, along with jewellery and electronics shops and a good selection of manicure and pedicure places. Most importantly, being predominantly home wares and Chinese fashion it’s not really geared towards tourists and the substantially cheaper prices reflect this.

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Since leaving London in 2006 I’ve travelled, worked, volunteered and lived in over 90 countries. Highlights so far would be driving along the Silk Road from Beijing to Istanbul, a complete circuit of South America and volunteering with Habitat for Humanity in Costa Rica. I’m currently back in Beijing, as a base to visit more of Asia and attempt to learn Mandarin.

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