Shopping in China

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With a host of markets, shopping centres, shopping districts and endless things to buy, it’s not possible to leave China without a suitcase overflowing with trinkets, souvenirs, silk, brocade, cloisonné, artwork and so much more.

Chinese cities are teeming with markets ranging from stalls selling household appliances and kitchen utensils to stands offering beautiful reproductions of imperial artifacts and cheap clothes. And with whole department stores and shopping malls dedicated to high-end designer items, you will not be lacking in choice. No matter what your taste is, chances are you will come away laden with bursting shopping bags.

While visiting Suzhou and Hangzhou, you will undoubtedly visit the many silk markets and shops in these major silk production cities. Exquisite hand-woven and embroidered silk can be bought in most markets and shops here, but ask your guide for the best place to go.

Shopping in Shanghai and Beijing can be quite an overwhelming affair but if know beforehand what you’d like to buy, such as fabric, electronics or clothes, ask your guide for assistance. There are plenty of markets for picking up souvenirs and other exciting items to bring home.

One of the most enjoyable ways of spending some free time is wandering around the Muslim quarter in Xi’an. Here you will be able to find small terracotta figures, reproductions of imperial artifacts and artwork and items you didn’t know you had to own! And as in most markets, it’s a good idea to haggle a little although bear in mind that some pieces are handmade and therefore command higher prices.

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