Known as “the Land of Abundance”, Chengdu boasts plenty of products famous both at home and abroad. Being one of Four Great Brocade Schools and one of the four famous embroidery styles in China, Shu brocade and Shu embroidery will present you the elegant appearance and local flavor of traditional arts and crafts of Chengdu. Besides, eye-opening Porcelain-Bodied Bamboowares, beautiful Silver Crafts and exquisite Qingcheng Silk Carpets are good souvenirs for your family and friends, as well as the tea of Mount Qingcheng.
What to Buy in Chengdu
Sichuan, called “Shu” for short in ancient, is the cradle of Chinese silk. As one of the most important intangible cultural heritages in China, Shu brocade is the leading one amongst Four Great Brocade Schools. It is endowed with classic elegance in colors and concinnity in quality. As early as the Tang Dynasty, Shu brocade was exported overseas to Japan.
A wide range of designs and exquisite texture are used in the Shu Brocade works, including garments, quilts, pillowcases, ladies' shoes, etc. Also there are many interesting related products such as small change purse and handkerchief suitable for relatives and friends as a gift.
Being one of the four great Chinese embroidery styles in China, Shu embroidery is a general name for silk needlework produced in Chengdu and around the city of Chengdu in Sichuan.
With many natural subjects such as panda bear, birds and fish, Shu embroidery mainly shows the auspicious happiness of life and has been used in many different applications, both ornamental and practical. It is often made into quilts, sheets, slippers, or clothes with elaborate designs and subtle visual effects lending color and beauty to the wearer.
Well-known as one of the city’s intangible cultural heritage items, the porcelain-bodied bambooware feathers different colors and ornate designs with delicate fibre and distinctive technique. Bamboo-woven articles nowadays are not only household necessaries like a teapot, or bowl, but also high-grade handicrafts.
Renowned for its silver inlaid technology, the famous silver crafts enjoy a sound reputation and Chengdu silver inlaid products is made with silver threads no thicker than 3mm. Chengdu is the producing area of traditional thread-silver crafts with a history of over 2000 years. The silver threads can be found on screens, tea wares and vases.
As one of the major producers of lacquer ware, Chengdu lacquer is renowned for its characteristics of corrosion resistance, aging resistance, and unique gloss. There are 72 procedures to be followed from start to finish, which lead to Chengdu lacquer a bright and pretty surface. Many different types of lacquer ware could be found, including wall decorations and screens.
Other local product:
Besides fore-mentioned souvenirs, there are also plenty of famous local products popular among tourists, such as Chinese alcohol, tea and local food. Wuliangye, Luzhou Lao Jiao, and Jiannanchun are famous alcohol brands and Maofeng tea, Jasmine tea, Lao Cheng Du (Old Chengdu), dried beef can also be good gifts for families and friends.
Where to Buy in Chengdu
As the paradise for shopaholics, Chengdu has some large shopping districts or streets selling both domestic and international brands. There are five featured shopping areas in Chengdu which will make you Chengdu travel more unforgettable and memorable, namely Chengdu Chunxi Road - Yanshi Kou - Luoma Shi(leading the fashion), Qintai Road(a gathering place of jewelry), Wuhouci Cross Street(a street for Tibetan arts & crafts), Jinli Old Street(A place with atmosphere of folk-Custom) and Songxianqiao Art City( expansive collection of art & antiques).
Chengdu Chunxi Road - Yanshi Kou - Luoma Shi:
There are three traditional business districts in Chengdu, namely Chunxi Road, Yanshikou and Luomashi.
Being the most famous and busiest shopping and walking street in Chengdu, Chunxi Road ranks third of the ten most charming commercial streets in China, which reposes in the city center with a long history of more than 80 years. There are a huge range of large shopping malls, department stores, book stores, restaurants, cinemas, etc. It is the must-see shopping area in Chengdu. Next to Chunxi Road is Yanshikou commercial circle, which is the actual shopping center for locals, especially for young girls. Here you can also find Shu brocade, bamboo-woven crafts and other local specialties at Hongqi Department Store.
The Luomashi area situated at the crossroads for Chunxi Road and Zongfu Road, where most souvenirs and small handicrafts could be found. Also there are many quaint bookstores, architecture in both Chinese and European styles and specialty Restaurant.
Qintai Road is a famous jewelry street and has become the pronoun of jewelry in Chengdu. This luxurious street are full of pearls, jewelry and antique stores or shops, as well as many large jewelry companies. Here you can find your perfect jewelry and appreciate the old-styled buildings lined alongside the street.
Wuhouci Cross Street:
This authentic Tibetan district is opposite the famous attraction of Chengdu - Wu Hou Shrine, which is also the location of Representative Office of Government of Tibet Autonomous Region. Along this street are stores and shops of Tibetan crafts such as prayer wheels and Thangka, and Buddhist religious articles, figures, clothing, jewelry, hats, etc. Some shopkeepers of this street are doing wholesale business, so you can get a low price for your favorite things.
Also you can taste the real yak milk and Tibetan food in a Tibetan restaurant here.
Jinli Old Street:
Jinli is the most famous one in the three "ancient" streets in Chengdu next to Wu Hou Shrine. There are numerous stores selling charming small articles such as Shu Embroidery, Sichuan opera puppets, Shu tapestries, lacquer products, straw handicrafts, porcelains. It is a gathering of tea houses, inns, restaurants, bars and shops. On the street, you could walk and look and eat and also play around to experience the real Chengdu local life and authentic culture.
Songxianqiao Art City:
Located in the famous Huanhua culture and scenic area, Chengdu’s largest art market, Songxianqiao Art City trading artistic works and antiques can provide foreigners and travelers house adornment, folk handicrafts, calligraphy and paintings, stamps, jade, jewelry, embroidery, bone carvings, rare stone, gold and silverwares, antique and rare curiosa, chinaware, ancient furniture, Chinese pottery, ancient books and literature, archaized fitment. Be patient and persistent, anybody could be able to find their satisfactory deal.