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Beijing's malls offer a firm contradiction to the country's communist leaning. Name brand stores from around the globe like Prada, Versace, Lamborghini and MiuMiu line the exterior of the malls, with advertising soaking up much of the structure's exterior. The irony is entirely lost on the locals, who dress to impress from head to toe in either real or fake Armani, Gucci and Dior. Still, if your in the market for fancy garb and accessories you've come to the right place.
Sanlitun Village is, perhaps, the most common meeting point in Beijing for expats and foreigners. You'll find a white wave at the mall, attracted by the dazzle of western cinema, restaurants that cater to the western palate and of course an active and vibrant nightlife scene. Nearby you'll find clubs, bars and entertainment of all sorts, making this one of the best places to hang out on a weekend evening.
But other malls cater to the locals, like the fancy Shin Kong Place, which boats designer gear and is the place to see and be seen for locals. You'll find men draped in cell phone cases escorting beautiful women as they spend their money. You'll find wealthy teens, trying on the latest fashions from Italy and France. And you'll find overpriced tea, furniture and clothing of all varieties.
There are also exciting fakes markets out there to browse, including the most famous called the Silk Market. You'll find knock-offs from every major brand and any popular designer and all at reasonable prices. Although you're expected to bargain hard if you want to get anywhere less than what you'd pay for the real deal.