What to Buy
During your tour in Beijing, what should you buy as a gift, a souvenir or a collection? Beijing has enormous handcrafts and goods from all over the world, but we recommend you to buy local, traditional handcrafts and goods, which have memory value and collection value.
First, handiwork or handcrafts, and the list of the highly recommended includes cloisonné, jade ware, snuff bottle, fresh water pearls. Beijing eight marvelous handicrafts are traditional handicrafts with big fame made by superior skills, and regarded as the quintessence of Beijing handicrafts, adopted skills and goods of nation-wide folkloric handicrafts. They are cloisonné, jade ware, ivory carving, lacquer ware, Palace carpet, gold inlaid lacquer, filigree mosaic and Beijing embroidery.
Second, traditional clothes. Cheongsam(Qi pao), cloth shoes, and Tang suit. Cheongsam is female dress of ancient style, Beijing cloth shoes is one of the things with local feature, and Tang suit is the suit of dressing style in the Tang Dynasty.
Third, for small handicrafts, following things are recommended to you: Chinese knot, hairy monkey, rabbit statue( Tu Ye er), paper cuttings, and clay figure.
Where to Buy
First, Wangfujing da jie. Located in Dongcheng district, it is one of the most famous commercial streets in Beijing, and in here, you can see so many stores along the street, and can buy various handcrafts. You may go to Artistic Mansion where has many stores selling Chinese special goods and handcrafts, like jade ware, porcelain, silk, sculpture, etc.
Second, Qianmen dajie or Qianmen street, located in Xicheng district, is a street of local style, and has many old stores. In here, you may buy Beijing cloth shoes in Neiliansheng shoe store, which is a well-known brand of making cloth shoes, and you may buy silk of Ruifuxiang and Qianyixiang.
Third, Dashilan business street, close to Qianmen dajie, is an old business street with over one hundred years. In here, there are several old stores, like Neiliansheng, and Ruifuxiang.
Fourth, Xiushui street or silk street, located in Chanyang district, is a specialized commercial place for cloth and silk.
Fifth, Nanluo guxiang or South Luogu Lane is one of the oldest blocks in Beijing, and it is also a hutong area. In here, you can see many special stores, and buy small but traditional handcrafts like clay figure, pottery, silk, and Chi-pao.
For cloisonné, you may go to a factory, like Beijing Enamel Factory, which is a specialized company making cloisonné of superior quality, located in No 10, Lelin road, Dongcheng district, Beijing. If you want to buy cheap cloisonné, you may go to Beijing cloisonné store located in No 35, Qianmen dajie street, Dongcheng district, Beijing and cloisonné discount store located in No 4, Zhubaoshi street, Dongcheng district, Beijing. Still you may go shopping malls to buy cloisonné products, and some shopping malls have sale stores for cloisonné.
For silk, you may buy silk of high quality from old and prestigious brands, Ruifuxiang, Qianyixiang and Xiangyihao. Ruifuxiang has several stores in Beijing, and one is located in No 5, Dashilan business street. Xiangyihao has also one store in Dashilan business street. For cheap and beautiful silk, you may go to Xiushui street.
For small handcrafts, like rabbit statue( Tu Ye er), hairy monkey, paper cuttings, and clay figure, you may go to Shengtangxuan located in No 38, Guozijian street, Dongcheng district, and you may go to Liulichang dongjie, in Xicheng district. Liulichang dajie, a cultural street, consists of Liulichang dongjie and Liulichang xijie. In here, you can see and buy the most traditional things, goods. Those small handcrafts may be sold in stalls along tour streets, and in stores in shopping malls like Blue Island Tower. Panjiayuan flea market or Panjiayuan antique market is also a good place to searching for traditional things and handcrafts, and it is one of the top ten antique markets. Tianyi wholesale market is also recommended to you, and in here you may buy cheap and good goods like Chinese knot.
Why to Buy
The eight marvelous handcrafts are worthy of your buying, in aesthetics and collection value. Cloisonné, ivory carving, lacquerware, jare ware, ect., are not only the pride of Beijing, but also the pride of the whole nation. Cloisonné, as one of the eight marvelous handcrafts, is very popular and loved by Chinese people and foreign tourists. It is made from metal, goes thorough several making procedures, and decorated with beautiful ornaments. In the ancient, it is made only for the use of the royal family, and becomes the main display and decoration in the royal palaces. For its historic meaning and making craft and skill, it is included in the first batch of national intangible cultural heritage. Cloisonné has a series of products, like vase, and bracelet.
Beijing cloth shoes is made from cloth, and has features like comfortable and light. It is the shoes of old style, and usually loved by elder people, suitable for walking. Chipao, is the traditional dress for female, and regarded as national formal dress. It evolves from other female dresses in the earlier time, and is most popular in the 1920s. Chinese knot is a traditional handcraft, wove by red lines, and it is a lucky thing to Chinese people, representing union and safety. People like to hang it in their home, and car.
Hairy monkey, rabbit statue or Tu er ye, and clay figure are three traditional small handcrafts about animals and people. Tu er ye is the toy of children in the beginning, and it is also regard as a mascot and has a symbolic meaning of safety. Imitated from rabbit, it has two long ears, , covered with bright colors. Tu er ye has several patterns, some with a lion, and some with flags in its back.