Shenzhen isn’t a great place for buying antiques. There’s plenty around but we suspect that most Tang and Song, and a fair amount of Qing is fake. There is also a general legal ban on the export of antiques from before 1911. This may limit your enjoyment of Shenzhen Curio World to wandering round and taking in the atmosphere.

It’s a big open square surrounded by 3-storey buildings. The buildings are home to lots of antique stores and it’s fun just wandering round them. On weekends the open area is filled with hawkers from all over China selling antiques of suspect authenticity. Some of the fun is in just watching the vendors don’t worry, they find you funny too. We have seen Tibetans in traditional dress armed to literally the teeth with daggers selling sutras.

Merciless bargaining is the order of the day. Be careful how merciless you are with dagger armed Tibetans.

If you want to dabble in authentic antiques which you can take home we should tell you that we are collectors of stuff from the Republican period. Shenzhen is a good place to buy them. The whole region was under Sun Yat-sen’s Canton Government in the 20s and there’s good stuff to be bought. We bought a brass ink box with a picture of Sun Yat-sen and revolutionary slogans straight from Moscow for $20. Our proudest purchase was a set of twelve Shanghai and Hong Kong advertising posters from the 20s and 30s in excellent condition for $80.

The other great reason to visit the Curio Market is that it has Shenzhen’s largest congregation of specialist tea merchants. If tea is a closed book to you, just admire the tea sets, mainly earthenware from Yixin in Zhejiang, and the very delicate tea containers. They’re a good size to use as outdoors drink tables.

Address: Xinxiu Rd, Huangbeiling, Luohu

Buses: 10, 27, 56, 69, 85, 111, 220, 354, 364, 378 Website:


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