China has a wonderful variety of raw materials due to its vast territory
and various climates. The tumultuous history of Chinese civilization has
left behind a rich cultural heritage, which can be found in traditional
arts and crafts. Shopping is a major activity for tourists who come to
China. Shopping for yourself or for your friends will add luster to your
trip to China.
High up on their shopping lists are silk products, embroidery, Chinese
calligraphy and paintings, Chinese medicine, cloisonne enamel, ceramics,
carvings, woven arts and crafts, lacquer ware, Chinese fans, the four
treasures of the study (writing brush, ink stick, ink slab and paper),
tea, liquor and wine, folk arts and crafts, and other local products.
1. Silk. China is known as the Home of Silk. Silkworms are raised in
many places, such as Jiangsu, Guangdong, Hunan, and Sichuan. Hangzhou
is the most famous city in China for silk products in great variety, including
silk, satin, damask, and brocades.
2. Embroidery. The developed silk production has promoted the production
of embroidery. The four most famous types of embroidery in China are embroideries
from Jiangsu, Hunan, Guangdong, and Sichuan provinces. The most famous
styles of brocade are yunjin from Nanjing, songjin from Suzhou, and shujin
from Sichuan. There are other well-known styles of brocade made by minority
peoples,such as Zhuang, Dai, Li, Dong, and Tujia.
3. Chinese calligraphy and paintings. Chinese calligraphy and paintings
form a cross-section of the
traditional Chinese culture. High-grade calligraphy and paintings are
the best souvenirs for foreign travelers. Most works are done on a kind
of paper known as xuan. There are also other forms of art, such as shell
paintings from Dalian, Qingdao, Beihai, Gaungdong, and Fujian; bark paste-ups
from Jilin; soft-wood paintings from Fuzhou; paintings on bamboo curtains
from Sichuan; straw patchwork from Guangdong and Heilongjiang, and feather
paste-ups from Shenyang and
4. Ceramics. Ceramics is one of the many traditional Chinese handicrafts.
The best pottery-making sites in China are Yixing in Jiangsu Province,
Shiwan in Guangdong Province, and Luoyang in Henan Province, Luoyang's
tri-colored glazed pottery is world famous. It uses red, green and white
colors to imitate the tri-colored glazed pottery popular in the Tang Dynasty.
Yixing mainly produces pottery for daily use. Pottery from Shiwan is simple
and unsophisticated, often used to make containers in the shape of human
Other famous products include porcelain from Jingdezhen in Jiangxi Province,
Longquan porcelain from Zhejiang Province, jun and ru porcelain from Henan,
and porcelain from Tangshan and Xuanhua in Hebei Province. Jingdezhen
is known as the Capital of Ceramics.
5. Traditional Chinese medicine. Traditional Chinese medicine is famous
for its large variety and amazing effectiveness. The most popular Chinese
medicinal herbs are ginseng, saussurea involucrata, Chinese cater pillar
fungus, matrimony vine, licorice, root of hairy asiabell, and fritillary
6. Carvings. Many materials are used for carvings, such as jade, stone,
wood, bamboo, ink slab, coal, crystal, willow branches, roots, and shells.
7. Cloisonne enamel. Beijing is the main producer of cloisonne enamel.
Popular during the reign of Emperor Jing Tai (1450-1457) of the Ming Dynasty,
cloisonne enamelware includes vases, bowls, plates, desk lamps, and cups.
8. Four treasures of the study. The four treasures of the study are
the writing brush, ink stick, ink slab and paper. Jingxian County in Anhui
Province is famous for xuan paper, Shexian County in Anhui Province for
ink sticks, Huzhou in Zhejiang Province for writing brushes, Zhaoqing
Guangdong Province, Shexian County in Anhui Province and Wuyuan in Jiangxi
Province for ink slabs. The slabs from Shandong, Taohe and Dengni and
the Helan stone slabs are very famous too. The four treasures of the study
make up one of the best souvenirs of traditional Chinese culture.
9. Lacquer ware. Lacquer ware is a traditional Chinese handicraft. The
regions best known for producing lacquer ware in China are Beijing, Fuzhou,
Yangzhou in Jiangsu Province, and various regions in Sichuan Province.
10. Woven articles. Bamboo, rattan, palm fiber, and wheat straw are
used as raw materials for woven articles. The most famous woven ar-ticles
are woven bamboo ware from Nanjing, summer sleeping mats from Anhui and
Hunan provinces, articles made of wheat stalks and plaited corn
husks from Shandong and Henan, and articles of woven rattan, hemp and
straw from Guangdong and Zhejiang provinces.
11. Chinese fans. Chinese fans are popular tourist souvenirs for foreign
friends. They come in a large variety and are of good quality. The most
famous are folded fans from Hangzhou, sandalwood fans from Suzhou, feather
fans from Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces, palm fans from Guangdong Province,
woven bamboo fans from Sichuan Province, straw fans from Zhejiang Province.
All these fans are of good workmanship and convenient for carrying.
12. Tea. China was one of the first countries to grow and process tea,
and Chinese tea is famous around the world. Chinese tea can be divided
into black tea, green tea, scented tea, and Oolong tea. The famous brands
are Longjing from Hangzhou, Qihong from Anhui, Maofeng from Mt.
Huangshan, Yihong from Hubei, Jasmine from Beijing, and Tieguanyin from
13. Liquor and wine. China was one of the first countries to brew liquor
and wine and today has many kinds of liquor and wine, such as white spirits,
yellow-rice wine, red wine, fruit wine, and beer. The most famous types
of Chinese liquors are Maotai, Fenjiu, Wuliangye, Gujinggongjiu,
Yanghedaqu, Jiannanchun, China Red Wine, Qingdao White Wine, GoldenPrize
Brandy, Dongjiu, specially made Beijing Brandy, Laojiao Tequ from Luzhou,
Shaoxing Jiafan Wine,
Zhuyeqing Lique, Qingdao Beer, Yantai Red Wine, and Chengang Lique.
Other choices for souvenirs are carpets, tapestries, silk umbrellas
from Hangzhou, New Year's paintings, papercuts, kites, traditional and
ethnic clothes, and traditional toys. Famous local products include candied
fruits from Beijing, dried Hami melon and raisins from Xinjiang, cashmere
and camel hair products from Inner Mongolia, caracul from Qinghai, sheepskin
from Ningxia, and fur from Jilin.
To help tourists buy what they want, many local travel agencies have
accredited high-quality shopping centers or stores as "fixed"
or "reliable." All shopping centers and department
stores recommended in this brochure have been approved by the appropriate
government agencies. The tourist can also change money in large and medium-sized
stores, which also offer
other services such as mail order, consignment, and customs declaration
for customers. These centers will offer the best services and sell goods
at fair prices.