Nestled below an elevated passage called Jianguo Overpass (建國高架道路) in the central part of Taipei City, the Taipei Jianguo Holiday Jade Market (臺北建國玉市) boats one of the biggest outdoor jade bazaars in Asia. Housing about 1,000 vendors set up along aisles of tables, the windowless weekend jade bazaar is seemingly a cave.
Please watch the following video clip of the Taipei Jianguo Holiday Jade Market:
The Taipei Jianguo Holiday Jade Market was established in 1987 by the Taipei City government, with the aim of promoting traditional Chinese culture by preserving traditional artifacts and providing local jade, precious stones, and curios operators with a venue to sell their goods.
Open only on holidays, the jade bazaar is in fact an outdoor parking lot run by the Taipei City government during the weekdays. There is a wide variety of items sold in this unique market, including jade bangles, beads, bracelets, earrings, pendants, trinkets, Buddhist and god statues, silvers, crystal, coral, teapots, stones, and combs.
It is a swap meet, flea market, jewelry show, antique fair, and gemstone museum all in one. Some items are expensive, while others are standard quality, but everything is touchable and negotiable. Many of the items sold at the market are quite colorful, and visitors often find themselves enchanted by the many hues of jade.
To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the market, the Chinese Jade Art Culture Exchange Association (中華玉器藝術文化交流協會) held a series of exhibitions featuring jade, crystal, coral, and colored gemstones every week during the month of August. The event was designed to help to make the public aware of the various kinds of stones, and to develop the skills and knowledge necessary for gemstone identification.
According to the Chinese Jade Art Culture Exchange Association, vendors at the market are strictly prohibited from deceiving customers. If they do, they are subject to severe punishment. Over the past decade, the Association has never received any complaints from consumers regarding trading disputes.
Since the jade items, jewelry, curios, and other similar articles have no fixed prices, haggling over the price is actually one of the unique features of Taipei Jianguo Holiday Jade Market. Since its inception, the market has been widely praised by visitors, and has become one of the icons of Taipei City.