My friend took me to a little unknown place really close to the Silk Market, or Xiu Shui Jie.
It's across the street from the giant superstore where you can buy fake T-shirts, shoes, handbags, as well as beads, electronics and bolts of silk.
We got there from the subway station, Yonganli and got out of exit C. We came out to the side opposite the market. And nearby is another subway entrance. That's where this underground shopping arcade is.
It's a far cry from the hordes of people crammed in the Silk Market, with sales girls grabbing your arm or chanting off names like Gucci or Prada to get your attention. There's hardly anyone in this place which is ideal for a shopper who wants to take her time. But it's also a great bargaining chip too.
The stalls have very similar merchandise to Xiu Shui Jie, and because there aren't many customers around, you can bargain the price down lower. Most of the things on sale include clothing, pashmina shawls, handbags and shoes.
We bargained the pashminas down to 28RMB (US$3.70) each.
Another bargaining tip: a bit of flattery helps with the negotiations. Each party has time to kill, so why not toss in a compliment or two? Makes for a fun conversation as well.