46 Tiantan Lu
HOURS: Daily 8:30 a.m.-7 p.m.
METRO: Tiantandongmen (Line 5)
This vibrant and often chaotic market is a fish bazaar on its three basement levels and a pearl retailer and wholesaler on the 3rd to the 5th floors. The stories in between are home to silk and clothes vendors; the 1st floor sells fake bags, digital goods, and tacky chinoiserie gifts.
If you have the patience to make it up to the 5th floor balcony, you will be rewarded with a beautiful view of the Temple of Heaven. When it comes to buying pearls, the best are to be found on the 5th floor.
All types are on offer, from freshwater and seawater to the very obviously fake. Hongqiao is the largest pearl distribution center in China, so you’re very likely to find something you like.