What To Buy in Guilin?
Shopping is always an exciting part of a Guilin tour. Shopping in Guilin is a little different compared to big Chinese cities. There is something unique in this beautiful region and worthwhile to bring home as souvenirs.
South Sea Pearls
The South Sea Pearls in China have been well known all around the world for their fine quality and long-lasting luster. Hepu in Guangxi province produces the finest South Sea Pearls in China. Located in the North Guangxi province close to Hepu, Guilin is an ideal place to buy South Sea Pearls if you are not visiting Hepu.
Chinese Landscape Ink Paintings
Famed as the "most scenic place under Heaven", Guilin's landscape has been the subject of Chinese artists for thousands of years. In order to capture inspiration and get close to the natural beauty, many ink painting artists and institutions have settled down in Guilin. This makes Guilin an excellent place to buy fine ink painting works at inexpensive prices.
Guilin is rich in minority cultures with 28 ethnic groups living in the area. These ethnic people are still producing their traditional costumes and handicrafts in the old fashion way. Among them, costumes and headdresses of Zhuang and Yao ethnic groups are most attractive. Real handmade minority handicrafts are expensive however they are truly valuable souvenirs to bring home.
Guilin Local Specialties
The most famous local specialties in Guilin include Dry Sweet Osmanthus Flowers, Sugar Sweet Osmanthus, Dried Longan, and Luo Han Guo Fruit. They are nutritious and healthy. Locals often use them as a sweetener in cooking, or to make healthy drinks or desserts.
The most famous local fruit is Sha-Tian Grapefruit. It is a kind of big fruit with soft, thick, and rough yellow skin that matured during autumn. Its meat tastes sweet with a special fragrance.
Where to Go Shopping in Guilin?
Shoppers in Guilin can purchase anything from tea and clothing. There are three major shopping districts in Guilin City: Zhong Shan Road and Zheng Yang Pedestrian Street (Walking Street) located in the city's center, and Wa Yao Wholesale Shopping District in south Guilin. West Street in Yangshuo County offers some unique items that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.
Zhong Shan Road
Zhong Shan Road is the longest commercial street in Guilin City with many big department stores on the street, as well as many boutique stores including some famous brands.
- Wei Xiao Tang Plaza (微笑堂)
Address: 37 Zhongshan Middle Road
Business Hours: 9:00 am – 10:00 pm, Monday – Sunday
Price Negotiable: No
Niko-Niko-Do Plaza is one of the best shopping malls and may be the most popular one in Guilin. If you are looking for quality clothing, shoes, electronics, and cosmetics, it is the right place to go. There are some fine restaurants on the top floor and a KFC outlet on the ground floor facing the main street. Niko-Niko-Do Plaza has an under-group food supermarket, where you can purchase local specialties.
- Dream Island Department Store (梦之岛百货)
Address: 20 Zhongshan Middle Road
Business Hours: 9:00 am - 10:00 pm, Monday - Sunday
Price Negotiable: No
Similar to Niko-Niko-Do Plaza, Dream Island Department Store is another place to go for quality brand goods. There is also a KFC outlet on the ground floor facing the main street.
- Bā Guì Dà Shà (Osmanthus Shopping Plaza 八桂大厦)
Address: 47 Zhongshan Middle Road
Business Hours: 9:00 am - 9:30 pm, Monday - Sunday
Price Negotiable: Yes
There are many clothing and shoe stores in this shopping plaza, where you can bargain the prices. The prices in most stores are inexpensive, and the quality is reasonable. You could either get deals or be ripped off when shopping here, so also ways remember to bargain.
- Guilin Tourism and Entertainment Area (the former Guilin Night Market 桂林夜市)
Address: a special tourist section bordered by Wumei Road in the north, Nanhuan Road in the south, Zhongshan Road in the east and Zhongshan Road in the west.
Business Hours: after 7:00 pm, Monday - Sunday
Price Negotiable: Yes
Each evening from 7:00 pm until midnight in a vast area specially arranged for tourists and entertainment founders. It is a bustling night market. Stalls here mostly sell souvenirs and knick-knacks from all parts of China and they sell mostly the same kind of goods too. Shopping at the street-side stalls is fun, but be sure to bargain.
Zheng Yang Pedestrian Street (Walking Street)
Zhang Yang Pedestrian Street locates in downtown Guilin paralleled Zhong Shan Road. The main entrance to Zheng Yang Pedestrian Street is opposite the entrance of the ancient Ming Dynasty princes' palace.
This walking street is Guilin's most hip and popular shopping district that consists of many fashion boutiques, bars, nightclubs, high-end hair salons, and restaurants. No vehicles are allowed to enter the streets. It is the best place in Guilin to find fashionable clothing and places to hang out. It is where to see and be seen in Guilin.
Wa Yao Tour Products Wholesale Market - bargainer's paradise
The Wa Yao Wholesale Market is made up of several 6 story buildings. Wa Yao is where individual shoppers and buyers from other shops go for their needs. This market sells everything from clothing and housewares, to antiques and art. The Wa Yao Tour Products Shopping District is organized into categorized sections, so finding things is fairly easy. As it is mainly a wholesale market, you can get lower prices here than the normal retailing prices. Be aware that if you are looking for high-quality brands, this is not the right place to go. But this is an excellent place to collect local crafts.
Shopping at West Street in Yangshuo
West Street in Yangshuo is well-known for its unique cultural ambiance. It is also a nice shopping location for unique cultural stuff. Big fans, really big to catch your eyes, Yangshuo Big Fans are great for decorations. The painted fan undergoes a series of processes including dyeing, mounting and painting with lacquer or watercolor paint before it is ready for retail. You can always find the backdrops of the fans depicting birds, bamboo, flowers, insects and traditional, beautiful Chinese girls. West Street is also a place to find quality minority costumes and handicrafts. These are great souvenirs to bring home. Items sold on the west street are negotiable, be sure to bargain.
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