China is a very popular place for tourists, and its unique culture and numerous natural and historical attractions are a great attraction. If you like to shop, China is also the right place for you. From roadside stalls to large modern shopping centres, from public shops to popular supermarkets, China has many perfect shopping places. This page is a guide for shopping in China, we will provide you the information on what and where to buy in China.
What to Buy in China
You can buy almost anything you want in China (because most of it is made in China), but in general, there are some souvenirs you can find in Chinese shops.
Silk is one of the best commodities in China so far. Silk products make an excellent souvenir for yourselves or friends. Since the development of the ancient Silk Road, silk has been brought to Europe. Since then, silk has become a symbol of Oriental civilization. Silk can be processed into clothes, handkerchiefs, scarves, pajamas, decorations, etc. The four major embroideries in China are Suzhou embroidery, Guangdong embroidery, Sichuan embroidery and Hunan embroidery.
China is the homeland of tea and and tea has become the national drink. Southwest China is the origin of tea tree, and Yunnan is the most famous province producing tea, such as Puer. Jiangnan tea area has the most famous tea in China, such as Bi Luo Chun tea. South China is the main producing area of Olong tea. There are many tea shops in every city and you can find tea in tea shops, markets and shopping centers all over China.
See Chinese Tea Drinking.
Porcelain is called “China” in the West. It is a gem in the Chinese cultural treasure house and the most national-featured daily handcrafts, as well as a business card of China’s exchange in politics, economy, diplomacy and culture with other countries. The blue and white porcelain produced in Yuan dynasty in porcelain capital of Jingdezhen has become the representative of the porcelain. So if you travel to Jingdezhen, porcelain in a must-buy for you. Porcelain is also available at boutique stores and shopping malls in many cities. Be careful when packing your porcelain because it’s very fragile.
China has a rich variety of jade all over the country, of which Hetian jade from Xinjiang is the most famous. There are many jade shops, markets and shopping centers all over China. Be cautious when buying jade. Unless you are an expert, you’d better not believe in expensive jade.
Roadside stalls across the country display a wide range of clothing, from designer knockoffs to funny t-shirts. Here you can find “name brand” clothes at a fraction of the price in western countries. However, pay attention to quality, especially when buying shoes and outdoor clothing. Bespoke clothes are another cost-effective option in China, as long as you are clear about the material, size and style. China’s 55 ethnic minorities clothing, due to the difference of geographical environment, has distinctive national features. When you travel to the places where many ethnic groups lives, you can have a try.
See Chinese Clothes.
Chinese liquor is one of the six world-famous varieties of spirits. It is a kind of Chinese liquor made from grain, which literally means “white (clear) alcohol” or liquor. The famous brands of Chinese alcohol are Wuliangye, Moutai, Jian Lan Chun, Gujinggongjiu, Yanghe, etc. It could be found at boutique stores and shopping malls in many cities, as well as at China’s airport duty-free stores.
See Chinese Alcohol.
Accessories and Jewellery
China is the perfect place to pick out accessories and jewelry, and there’s no shortage of them. Most markets and tourist attractions have shops selling everything from bracelets and necklaces to rings, jade ornaments and jewelry. If you visit the places where ethnic groups lives, you’ll have a great chance to see their accessories and jewellery. With special design and featured ethnic flavor, most ethnic jewelry are made of silver and colorful marbles.
Where to Buy in China
In China, where you choose shopping depends on what you want to buy and what style of shopping you like.Especially in big cities, there are more and more luxury department stores and shopping centers. If haggling and getting good deals are more to your liking, head to flea markets, street markets and night markets.
On the busy streets in the city center, there are usually large upscale shopping malls, which not only have domestic brands, but also many well-known international brands. Daily necessities, cosmetics, household appliances, bedding, clothes, and all the high-end items you want can easily meet each of your needs. Bargaining is rarely accepted, but there are usually special promotions or end-of-season sales at attractive prices.
Various department stores are common in the streets. The level and size of these stores vary from city to region. Various daily necessities, much cheaper, are often sold in smaller and more common roadside stores or boutiques. When you need some daily necessities, snacks, or even clothes, you can go there right away to buy your favorite things. Don’t forget to try bargaining and you may get a special price.
Big cities in China have distinctive commercial streets where local products can be bought. The same kind of goods are usually sold on the same street, which makes shopping easier and saves you time. You may find four valuable learning tools (ink and ink inkstone paper), paintings, handicraft, silk embroidery, jades, pottery, furniture, musical instruments, boutiques, even flowers, as well as grocery stores or food streets. Some commercial streets are pedestrian streets where tourists can relax and shop.
Many world-famous supermarket chains, such as Wal-Mart, Carrefour and Metro, have entered the Chinese market by opening dozens of branches in most major cities. Domestic brands such as Home World, Trust-Mart and Renrenle are also popular among Chinese. You have to pay at the price on the sign because bargaining is unacceptable. Many large supermarkets sell local specialties, which is a good place to shop when you want to bring some local specialties for your friends or relatives.
Shopping Guide in Big Cities
- Shopping in Beijing
- Shopping in Shanghai
- Shopping in Hangzhou
- Shopping in Xian
- Shopping in Chengdu
- Shopping in Kunming
- Shopping in Guangzhou
- Shopping in Hong Kong