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14/46.- Beijing, Qianmen

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On the southern side of Tiananmen square is Qianmen (Front Gate), which used to guard the wall that once divided the ancient Inner City from the rest of the world.

If you keep walking south once you reach Qianmen, you will get to some small alleys which I recommend you to visit if you want to get off the beaten track. In the streets in this area you will find plenty of shops that sell fake bags, clothes and shoes. As always in small shops, remember the first price offered can be lowered a lot. Do some comparison shopping before trying to get a good price.

In Qianmen area you will also find a couple of Youth hostels and some low budget travel agencies. If some local wants to accompany you to this area, get rid of him, he or she may be one of the Chinese who "only want to practice my English", and end up taking you to a bar or restaurant with inflated prices.

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