Kind of like a bootleg Antiques Road Show, Dongtai Lu is packed with good old dusty Mao memorabilia, vintage curios and trinkets; even if you have to navigate through the riffraff to find the gems. Look out for small revolution-era porcelain statues and old cameras (buy at your own risk). There’s some treasures in the rough; use patience and diligence to find them. You might want to leave the watches alone all together. Even if you don’t buy, the sheer experience of walking down this alley is something to behold.
Unless you’re an antiques expert, don’t get your hopes up too high for finding a genuine antique at a bargain. Most stalls sell similar wares, so be sure not to buy anything from the first seller on impulse without haggling. Walk on and compare prices, as shopkeepers in China typically raise prices to exorbitant levels when selling to tourists. Being firm helps.