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Fountain Pens In Beijing


rbeef
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Are there any Beijing fountain pen lovers on this forum? I will travel there in a few weeks (for the first time) and i couldn't think at a better gift for myself than a nice Chinese fountain pen. I know the city is huge, but I wonder if someone can guide me to some places where I can buy some really nice, local fountain pen(s). My budget is limited, however, I'm sure I can find something nice, but I have no idea where to start looking.

The most important thing in life is to be yourself. Unless you can be Batman. Always be Batman.

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  • mbankirer

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I am not sure if there are any local brand in Beijing, but I do know that winsung and hero are form shanghai. Winsung manufactured wonderful pens, my first be-loved fountain pen is a vintage one from win sung, looks like a 51 demi, writes smoothly with proper feedback like a dream, highly recommended.

 

PS:I searched for you on internet, jingxing(金星) is manufactured in beijing and win sung has been bought by hero. I guess you may try vintage pens.

 

I asked my friends from beijing where to buy fountain pens in beijing, they gave me a adress: 永外沙子口,文化批发市场.

 

I have no idea where it is, you may note down the address (in kanji) and show your taxi drivers. It should be quite famous.

 

good luck! Have a nice trip in beijing, it may not a favorable city to live in, but surely a place deserve to visit.

 

With Best Regards.

Ghee.

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Thank you for the wishes and for the info!

The most important thing in life is to be yourself. Unless you can be Batman. Always be Batman.

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Azura,

 

Being one who can read Chinese, that phrase was for a stationary wholesale market, worth a shot.

 

Golden Star Pens, also known as Jinxing, is most probably in a state of limbo now, it might also be worth asking to see if the factory shop is still open. Mention "Jinxing Gangbi" most locals should understand it. (Note that the "a" in "gangbi" should be pronounced like in "bar", but not in "ban")

 

There's also the famous repair shop ran by a master pen repairer who is nearly 90 now, he was a respected nibmeister before his eyesight declined so he does not do much nib work; a lot of people like to visit the shop as a pilgrimage and also buy a pen or two from him.

No, I am not going to list my pens here.

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When I was in Beijing in the summer of 2012, one of the real highlights of my trip was visiting the shop of Zhang Guangyi. Here are a couple of articles about him:

 

http://english.cri.cn/4406/2009/11/25/1141s531691.htm

 

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/video/2009-10/26/content_8842100.htm

 

I bought some ink there (Dux, I think) and about 9 or 10 pens, none of them really expensive. He didn't have a lot of stock; in fact, he ended up bringing me some NOS pens from the back that looked like they'd not seen light of day for a while. I had a guide so it wasn't difficult to find his shop, which is tiny (probably can't fit more than 4-5 folks in there at one time). However, no way I could've gotten there on my own even once I began to figure out the subways. Maybe a taxi would be the best option if you're by yourself. I should add that he doesn't speak English, but my student was able to translate and it was a treat to talk a bit with him.

 

Re: other pen sources in Beijing:

 

Shops in the larger seemed to have mostly non-Chinese brands at non-bargain prices. I had better luck at the department stores where the customers seemed to be average folks. At one, I found some inexpensive Picasso ink that comes in a beautiful bottle--sort of an oval version of the Lamy bottle with the well but not the blotter base. It was pricier than Hero ink there but still cheap by US standards. I found fountain pens in a few stationary stores, in college souvenir/gift shops, and in small notions stores. One striking thing I noticed was that I didn't see cartridges on sale in any of the places that I checked. In the college class that I taught, there were only 2 students out of about 40 who used fountain pens to take notes or to write their exams that I could see. One of them graciously agreed to be my guide to the shop I mentioned above and she noted that for her and the few friends she knew who still used fountain pens, cartridges were expensive in comparison to bottled ink.

 

I should add that Beijing is such a monstrously large city that my shopping experiences might well have been different had I visited other stores.

 

Enjoy your time there.

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This topic has been discussed a number of times already - search around and you'll find lots of suggestions.

 

As pointed out, the handful of specialised pen shops sell famous imported brands at inflated prices. Your best bet would be to visit one of the large bookstores, for example those on Wangfujing or at Xidan Book City, east and west of the Forbidden City respectively.

 

The small stationery shops are well worth a visit too as you never know what kind of treasures you'll find hidden away.

 

The wholesale market sounds like a great idea, pity I never got round to going during my time there.

 

Have a great trip!

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