Top 10 Things to Buy in China: What & Where

When you travel to China, you may want to go back home with some meaningful souvenirs with Chinese features as a reminder of the unforgettable trip or a special present for important ones.

As there are so many unique items in China that you might be confused about what to buy. Here we've listed the 10 best things to buy in China with where to get them.

With a history spanning over 4,000 years, Chinese porcelain stands as a testament to China's arts. If you want to buy something representative of China, Chinese porcelain is probably one of the best choices.

From bowls and plates to cups and vases, it can be used to store food, be used to decorate the home, and also be given as a precious gift. You can choose which type of porcelain to buy in China depending on your personal preferences, budget, and intended use.

Where to Buy Chinese Porcelain?

Jingdezhen: Known as the "Porcelain Capital" of China, Jingdezhen in Jiangxi Province has been producing porcelain for over a thousand years. It's a must-visit destination for porcelain enthusiasts, with numerous workshops, studios, and markets offering an extensive selection of porcelain wares.

Beijing: As the capital city, Beijing boasts a rich cultural heritage and is home to several antique markets where you can find both contemporary and antique Chinese porcelain. Panjiayuan Antique Market is one of the largest and most popular markets in Beijing for porcelain shopping.

Hangzhou: Renowned for its picturesque West Lake and traditional craftsmanship, Hangzhou is famous for its celadon porcelain, particularly Longquan celadon. Visitors can explore local markets and specialty stores to find exquisite celadon pieces.

Beautiful Chinese Ceramic VasesBeautiful Chinese Ceramic Vases

Tea is not merely a beverage in China but a ritual, an integral part of daily life. While some may compare it with coffee, it offers a distinctly different flavor profile. Bringing some Chinese tea back to your country is a great choice if you enjoy it, as you can savor it during leisurely moments or share it among friends and family.

Where to Buy Tea in China?

Hangzhou: Hangzhou is famous for producing Longjing tea, also known as Dragon Well tea. Here, you can explore tea plantations, experience the tea production process, and purchase high-quality Longjing tea from local producers.

Suzhou: A hub for Biluochun tea, a delicate green tea renowned for its floral aroma and sweet taste. You can easily find tea shops and markets in the city to sample and purchase Biluochun tea.

Fujian Province: Fujian Province is celebrated for its oolong tea production. This type of tea boasts a complex flavor profile and floral fragrance. Visitors can explore tea estates here and purchase tea directly from local producers.

Yunnan Province: Yunnan is famous for its Pu-er Tea, a fermented tea with a rich history dating back centuries. Here, you can explore tea plantations and purchase high-quality Pu-er Tea directly from local producers.

Chinese silk is woven from mulberry silk or fiber. It is a hallmark of ancient Chinese culture, enjoying a reputation for its gorgeous and quaint design. As silk is light, smooth, and very soft, it is appealing to people worldwide.

The common silk items include scarves, fans, gowns, and qipao (traditional women's clothing), of which qipao is the most popular with most women. If you also want to buy a qipao, you'd better go to silk shops or markets in person, where you can select the right one for your size or customize one.

You can contact us if you have any questions. Our experienced experts will help you get silk products with higher quality and a lower price.

Where to Buy Silk in China?

Shanghai: As a bustling metropolis with a rich cultural heritage, Shanghai boasts numerous silk shops and markets where you can find a wide selection of silk garments, accessories, and fabrics. Besides, you can also visit the Shanghai Silk Museum for an immersive journey into the history and artistry of Chinese silk.

Hangzhou: Renowned for its silk production, Hangzhou is home to the China National Silk Museum, the largest silk museum in the world. You may explore local markets such as Hefang Street or Wushan Square to discover exquisite silk products, including silk scarves, clothing, and bedding.

Suzhou: Known as the "City of Silk," you can buy beautiful silk embroidery with craftsmanship in Suzhou. Suzhou Silk Factory is worth a visit if you want to see the intricate process of silk production.

Chinese SilkChinese Silk

Chinese painting and calligraphy represent centuries of artistic tradition and cultural heritage.

From majestic landscape paintings to delicate floral compositions, Chinese painting offers a diverse range of themes and styles to suit every taste. Similarly, calligraphy encompasses various scripts, each stroke tells a story, conveying the emotions and philosophy of the artist.

They can be framed and hung on the wall, they imbue a sense of elegance and tranquility, adding a touch of sophistication to your surroundings.

Where to Buy Painting and Calligraphy in China?

Beijing: Explore art markets such as the 798 Art District, where you'll find a wide selection of paintings and calligraphy from various dynasties. Additionally, venture into Beijing's historic hutongs, such as Nanluoguxiang or Wudaoying, where hidden boutiques and art studios offer a treasure trove of unique artworks.

Shanghai: Visit galleries along the Bund or browse the eclectic collections at Tianzifang, a maze of narrow alleyways filled with boutiques and art studios.

Suzhou: Explore Shantang Street or Pingjiang Road, where you'll discover charming boutiques and workshops showcasing exquisite paintings and calligraphy by local artists.

Xi'an: As one of China's ancient capitals, Xi'an boasts a rich artistic legacy and is home to markets such as the Muslim Quarter and the Tang West Market, where you can find a variety of paintings and calligraphy reflecting the city's historical significance.

Calligraphy in Chengdu MuseumCalligraphy in Chengdu Museum

When it comes to things to buy in China, one cannot be overlooked - jade. Revered for its beauty and symbolic significance, jade holds a special place in Chinese culture, believed to bring good luck and virtue to those who wear it.

A myriad of jade items awaits your selection, including pendants, bracelets, bangles, earrings, and more. Each piece may feature intricate engravings of Chinese-style images such as Buddhas, plants, animals, or landscapes, adding to its aesthetic charm and cultural appeal.

Chinese Jade ItemsChinese Jade Items

Where to Buy Chinese Jade?

Beijing: Explore markets such as the Hongqiao Pearl Market or the Liulichang Antique Street, where you'll find a variety of jade items ranging from traditional to contemporary designs.

Xi'an: As one of China's ancient capitals, Xi'an boasts a rich history of jade craftsmanship. You can visit the Muslim Quarter or the Tang West Market to browse jade items reflecting the city's cultural heritage.

Xinjiang: Xinjiang is the best place to buy Hetian jade. Visit markets such as the Grand Bazaar in Urumqi or local artisan workshops, you can find a wide range of jade items, from intricately carved ornaments to bold statement pieces.

Tips for Buying Jade in China

  • When buying jade in China, prioritize reputable sellers and ask for certification.
  • Inspect the jade for flaws and compare prices from different sources. Bargain respectfully, but be cautious of significantly low prices.
  • Know the types of jade and their qualities.
  • Trust your instincts and seek expert advice when unsure.

Buying jewelry in China offers several advantages. Chinese jewelry is renowned for its exquisite style, often incorporating traditional motifs and craftsmanship techniques that showcase the country's rich cultural heritage.

Besides, Chinese jewelers are known for their attention to detail and craftsmanship, ensuring that each piece of jewelry is of high quality and durability.

From affordable costume jewelry to luxurious pieces crafted from precious metals and gemstones, the price of Chinese jewelry varies greatly, ranging from a few hundred yuan to tens of thousands of yuan. You can choose what kind of jewelry to buy according to your budget.

Chinese JewelryChinese Jewelry: Pearl Necklace & Traditional Gold Bracelet

Where to Buy Jewelry in China?

Specialty Jewelry Stores: Look for reputable jewelry stores, like Chow Tai Fook and Chow Sang Sang, that specialize in selling a wide range of jewelry, from traditional to contemporary designs.

Street Markets: Explore local street markets such as Yuyuan Market in Shanghai, where you can find unique and affordable jewelry pieces.

Chopsticks are quintessential to Chinese dining culture, offering a unique and traditional way to enjoy meals. While mastering their use may pose a challenge for newcomers, adding these unique Chinese tablewares to your kitchen, you not only enhance your dining experience but also carry a piece of Chinese culture home with you.

Beyond their utility, chopsticks hold symbolic significance in Chinese culture and make meaningful gifts. From expressing wishes for health and prosperity to celebrating special occasions, the act of gifting chopsticks carries deep cultural meanings.

Chopsticks come in various lengths and materials, with wooden chopsticks being the most common and affordable option. However, you'll also find it can be crafted from bamboo, silver, stainless steel, and ceramics.

Where to Buy Chopsticks?

If you're in search of practical chopsticks, head to supermarkets or specialty shops, offering a diverse array to suit your needs. For those seeking decorative pieces, explore silver or gold stores, where you'll discover exquisite options to adorn your house in style.

ChopsticksChopsticks

If you visit China during the Spring Festival, you can see many Chinese knots hanging up in houses, shopping malls, and streets. Chinese knots are one of the best things to buy in China.

The knots are woven from one single thread, but they have a wide range of appealing colors and designs, ranging from butterflies, flowers, birds, dragons, fish, and even shoes.

This gift is portable, so you can buy some to hang in your home, car, or bags, or gift them to friends and colleagues as tokens of well wishes and good fortune.

Where to Buy Chinese Knots?

It can be found in every city you travel through, in some local markets or tourist attractions' stores. If you're interested in learning the art of knotting head-on, we can take you to a skilled craftsman who can guide you through the process, ensuring you create a beautiful piece worth cherishing for years to come.

Chinese KnotsChinese Knots

Chinese masks are a prominent form of manifestation of Chinese folk art, which is diverse and primarily derived from Chinese folk dramas and traditional festivals throughout the country, and can be used for performance, sacrifice, and blessing.

If you ask what's the most recommended gift to buy for kids when traveling in China, the answer is Chinese masks, especially Beijing Opera masks. Beijing Opera masks, with their vivid colors, are made entirely on the basis of the facial makeup of opera characters. Different mask images represent different characters and figure settings.

You can wear masks and play different roles with your children so that they can experience the unique charm of Chinese drama. You can also hang the whole set of masks on the wall for decoration.

Facial Mask of Beijing OperaFacial Mask of Beijing Opera

Where to Buy Chinese Masks?

Beijing: Explore traditional Hutongs for a variety of masks, including Peking Opera masks and folk art masks.

Xi'an: Discover masks depicting historical figures and cultural symbols at markets like the Muslim Quarter or specialty shops in the city.

Chengdu: Explore Jinli Ancient Street for Sichuan Opera masks and unique folk art masks representing local traditions.

If you're a wine lover, you can't let Chinese wine and spirits slip. It can be enjoyed with friends and family or sent as a gift.

China boasts a diverse array of liquors with unique tastes and histories. Baijiu, exemplified by the renowned Maotai, offers a distinctive flavor profile cherished worldwide. Huangjiu, with its medicinal properties, adds warmth to winter nights. Some fruit wines, like bayberry wine and mulberry wine, are fragrant and quite sweet, you can take them as a common drink.

Spirit with Beautiful DecorationSpirit with Beautiful Decoration

Where to Buy Wine and Spirits in China?

Chinese wine and spirits can be found in every city's supermarket liquor store. When you visit some ethnic villages, such as Zhuang Village in Longji Terrace and Dong Villages in Zhaoxing, you can find different flavors of liquor with unique cultures.

Just something to note: moderate drinking has a protective effect on the body; however, don't overdo it.

Is Shopping Cheap in China?

Generally, China is known for offering competitive prices on many consumer goods, especially locally produced items. However, prices can vary from factors such as the location of the store, the quality of the product, and the reputation of the brand. It's always a good idea to compare prices and shop around to find the best deals.

Additionally, bargaining is common in many markets and smaller shops, so there may be opportunities to negotiate prices and get the things you want at a reasonable price.

How Much Does It Cost to Mail a Package From China?

The cost of mailing a package from China can vary depending on several factors, including the weight, dimensions, shipping method, and destination of the package.

Generally, international shipping rates from China to countries like US, CA, UK, AU, etc., can range from around $20 to $100 or more for standard delivery services. It's recommended to check with shipping carriers or postal services for specific pricing based on your package's details and delivery preferences.

If you travel with us and want to ship the things you buy in China to your home, just contact your travel expert.

After reading the 10 items above, are you full of passion to see China in person and buy up all the items? Apart from the 10 things we strongly recommend, in China, there are a lot of exquisite but useful items, various snack foods, and packaged foods that may catch your eye. If you want to know more and plan a perfect trip to China, please contact us whenever you want.

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