Whether you’re after an animal for the house (or the dinner table), Beijing’s pet markets have everything imaginable, from crickets to chinchillas, insects to iguanas. Even if you’re not looking for a new furry (or scaly) addition to the family, the markets can be fun to look around and a great way to spend a morning with the kids.
Be warned, the creatures are not always kept in the roomiest environments but if this won’t upset you or your child then it’s certainly a more lively experience than the zoo!
Here’s our rundown of some of Beijing’s best:
Aisida Dog Market
A relatively new addition to the scene, Aisida is the city’s largest market for puppy peddlers. The animals are kept in relatively spacious cages and there’s a veterinary clinic onsite if you need to get your dog seen to. However, be aware that it’s likely these puppies were separated from their mothers too soon; if you’re thinking of adding a pet to the family, adopt instead.
Daily 8am-10pm. 8A Fatou, Wangsiying Town, Chaoyang District (6736 6155) 朝阳区王四营乡垡头甲8号
New Guanyuan Bird and Fish Market
Although home to some unusual pet choices (think spiders, snakes and turtles), there are also more friendly-looking animals for the squeamish, including rabbits, kittens and talking parrots.
Daily 9am-5.30pm. Guangyuan Dasha, northeastcorner of Zizhu Qiao, Xisanhuan Lu, Haidian District 新官园花鸟鱼虫市场，海淀区西三环路紫竹桥广源大厦 (近紫竹桥东北角)
Huasheng Tianqiao Market
Although not exclusively for pets, there’s a wide range of animals on sale including birds and even tiny pigs. There’s much more to see and buy here, with souvenirs, crafts and performers also available.
Daily 8am – 6pm. East of Shilihe Qiao, Southeast Third Ring Road, Chaoyang District
Dasenlin Flower Market
If you’re on the hunt for pets of the aquatic variety, then head to Dasenlin in Haidian for fish, turtles and more. Plants, bonsai trees and, unsurprisingly, flowers are all available at the market too.
Daily 8.30am – 6pm. 5 Zaojunmiao, Haidian District (6211 9255) 海淀区皂君庙5号大森林花卉市场
Photo by ivanwalsh (Flickr)