Souvenirs, souvenirs…

On July 19, 2012, in China Travel Gossip, Shopping, Tips & Ideas, Travel Info, by Jack Li

You can travel anywhere in the world, there will be always something that you must do; buying some souvenirs for relatives, friends and of course for yourself too. Your China tours will offer you a large selection of souvenirs, if something strikes your eyes you will buy it, or on the contrary maybe you won’t […]

You can travel anywhere in the world, there will be always something that you must do; buying some souvenirs for relatives, friends and of course for yourself too. Your China tours will offer you a large selection of souvenirs, if something strikes your eyes you will buy it, or on the contrary maybe you won’t buy anything since you always see same stuff on every sight-seeing place. This article will be for the travelers who don’t know what to bring back at home and could help the shopping addicts to pack their suitcase at their China hotel  and not to overweight it by giving you the 10 top souvenirs you should buy from your trip.

1. Tea set and tea leaves
As everyone knows, China is worldwide known for its tea. There’s a whole ceremony and tradition to prepare and drink it. Chinese natural reliefs can provide a great quality and numerous varieties of tea leaves. The most famous tea is from the Yunnan Province, it is called the Pu’er Tea, and it is the highest quality tea leaves that you can find in China. It is generally sold in tea cakes form, which roughly equals to 500g and the price is generally high (from 200RMB to thousands of yuan). But of course you can also find good cheaper tea as jasmine tea, green tea and black tea. Don’t forget to buy a traditional tea set to fully enjoy all the flavors of your tea. Before buying the tea set just ask to the salesperson to show you how to us it!

2. Chinese paintings and drawings
Offering a rice paper Indian ink painting and inscriptions is always well appreciated by Chinese people, if you’re lucky enough maybe you’ll get one from a nice Chinese local. But you can also buy some or having it painted by some artists in streets or parks. They can draw landscapes, characters, portraits and caricatures.

3. Qipao (Chinese traditional dress)
If you have seen Wong Kar Wai’s “In the mood for love” you must be dying to buy one of Maggie’s dresses (the actress). She is certainly the best ambassador to promote Chinese elegance all around the world since the dresses fit her perfectly and show eastern beauty. You can buy tailor-made dresses or buy a cheaper one on a random Qipao’s shop. Sirs, I can assure you that women would love it!

4. Chinese fan
Chinese fan is the perfect souvenir: this object won’t take a lot of space in your suitcase so you can buy one for each of you friends, it’s a Chinese traditional item, you have a large choice of colors, textures and shapes, and most of all, you know that everyone (except in cold countries) would use it when the temperature is rising up.

5. Chinese food
It’s a great occasion for you to share your culinary experience with your relatives by bringing back some snacks, cookies or candies. Indeed, I think that in western countries you won’t find little packets of dried squid, dried meat, dragon fruit/ginger/durian… flavored candy, or egg tarts.

6. Funny t-shirts
I’ve been in China for few months already and I can say that I’ve never seen as many funny t-shirts of my life. In general you can find them in souvenir shops and they sell it at a good price. I think that seeing an American man wearing a t-shirt “ObaMao” in the United States would be fun.

7. Jade jewelry
Jade is the favorite stone of Chinese people it symbolizes honesty, justice and kindness. Formerly, Chinese people use to think that this stone has the power of preserving dead corpse, so they use to put some in the pockets of dead people before burying them. Now it is considered as a lucky charm.

8. Funny gadgets
Markets, streets, shops, you can find some funny items almost everywhere. It can be pens, phone wire elastic clasp for hair, keyboard key ring, crazy sunglasses and so on. The list is too long, but it is very easy to find funny gadgets and quite cheap.

9. Postcards
It goes without saying that you can’t leave without having bought some postcards. It’s the classical souvenir. Even if you don’t send them, it will be nice to stick it your office desk, in your room, or just share your memories with you friends.

10. Funny hats
Since Chinese people love to wear hats in summertime to protect them again the sun. You have the choice in touristic places between the communist hat with a red star, the traditional Chinese opera hat, the emperor’s hat, or the traditional triangle Chinese hat.

I promise that your family and friends won’t be upset if you offer them one of these items above coming back from your China travel.

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Shopping at the zoo

On July 10, 2012, in Beijing, China Travel Gossip, Must-sees, Shopping, Tips & Ideas, by Jack Li

The first time I traveled to China, I didn’t put a lot of stuff in my suitcase because I thought I would buy a lot of cheap things to bring back home, especially clothes. I thought that in during my Beijing Tour I could easily find good looking clothes at a cheap price. It was […]

The first time I traveled to China, I didn’t put a lot of stuff in my suitcase because I thought I would buy a lot of cheap things to bring back home, especially clothes. I thought that in during my Beijing Tour I could easily find good looking clothes at a cheap price. It was a long way to go before I actually found my match. I first went to big shopping malls with all western shops and brands, the prices were the same than in Europe, except it was in RMB (20€ = 200¥). Therefore, it means that it was even more expensive since Euro currency’s rate is lower than Chinese Yuan’s. That wasn’t what I was looking for, so I went to some fake markets. There are 2 big fake markets in Beijing : the Silk market at Yonganli station and the Yashow market in Sanlitun. I’ve never seen such markets : five-floor buildings only dedicated to counterfeit goods and one of the rare places where salesmen speaks English and a bit of many other languages. You have to bargain for each article in order to not to be fooled, and get very low prices. But the good thing is that except buying clothes, you can also find bags, accessories, jewelry, watches, sun glasses and some electronic devices (especially epilation machines which are the hardest thing to find at a good price in China).

Fortunately, thanks to a Chinese friend of mine I finally found a place that met my shopping expectations, the wholesale market. This market is actually divided into 7 markets, all located near the Beijing Zoo. The most popular ones are Julong, Tuanlegong and Shiji Tianle. I usually go to the Julong market which is an underground shopping center, the entrance is besides McDonals and Ito Yokado supermarket. At wholesale stores, they don’t sell branded goods, but all the things they sell is bound for exportation, so the clothes are quite fashionable. I can spend hours and hours looking for the perfect gem, actually sometimes I just don’t know what to choose since the choice seems unlimited among those mountains of clothes. If you are ready for this type of expedition, the better is to arrive around midday since the market closes his doors at 4:30pm. What I like there is that you don’t need to bargain, prices are already quite low and most of them are written on signs. For example I bought a pair of ballerinas for only 29RMB and cool T-shirts for 10RMB. Other thing, you won’t probably see a lot of foreigners there, only few salespersons can speak English, but they know basic sentences like “how much is it?”. I only shop at the Zoo Market on weekdays, I feel much more comfortable since it isn’t overcrowded, and you can slowly wander among the alleys.

 I think that this is definetly the place to go if you are tired of bargaining during your travel to Beijing.

How to get there ?

Subway: Take the subway line 4 directly to Beijing Zoo (动物园).
Buses: No. 16, 105, 107, 111, 347, 808, 814
Express buses: No 104,105, 106, 205

Julong Foreign Trade Market 聚龙外贸市场)
Exhibition Square, 135 Xizhimen Waidajie, Xicheng District, Beijing
地址:北京市西城区西直门外大街135号展览馆广场

Shiji Tianle (世纪天乐)
28 Xizhimen Waidajie Nanlu, Xicheng District, Beijing
地址:北京市西城区西直门外大街南路28号

Jinkailide Building (金开利德大厦)
136 Jinkailide Building, Xizhimen Waidajie, Xicheng District, Beijing
地址:北京市西城区西直门外大街136号金开利德大厦

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Ladies and gentlemen : Place your bets !

On July 3, 2012, in China Attractions, China Travel Gossip, Other Regions, by Jack Li

Macao is a little city in the South of China, in GuangDong province, on the western bank of the Pearl River Delta. This city is composed of 3 parts, the Macao peninsula which is connected to the mainland China, and 2 other islands : Taipa and Coloane. This is a charming-29km2-little city, which has nothing […]

Macao is a little city in the South of China, in GuangDong province, on the western bank of the Pearl River Delta. This city is composed of 3 parts, the Macao peninsula which is connected to the mainland China, and 2 other islands : Taipa and Coloane. This is a charming-29km2-little city, which has nothing to do with the size of Beijing (which is 16 800 km). One of the characteristics of the city is its double identity and culture. Indeed, for over 400 years Macao has been occupied by Portuguese colons, so that’s why nowadays, even if the territory is independent, street names, official documents are still written in Portuguese (although no one is speaking Portuguese but Cantonese).Their occupation is visible thanks to the architecture too, I think that this is one of the rare place where you can still find European architecture in your China travel. Well, I must say that it’s strange to see Chinese people living in a European atmosphere, this is not what you usually expect to see in you China tour.

That city is always busy, it never sleeps. On day time you can enjoy shopping in the numerous duty free stores of the city, buy some antiques at Rua das Estalagens and Rua da Tercena, go buy some tea and coffee from all around the world, enter in one of the countless traditional Chinese pharmacies and discover the benefits of medical plants or just buy some cameras or high-tech products. And, after a long day of shopping you can go to the beach on the west side of Coloane to soak up sea air.

Moreover, other main characteristic, Macao is considered as the “Chinese Las Vegas”. There are 32 casinos and a hippodrome in this tiny city, you can bet on everything, even on dogs since there are some greyhound races. Most of the American big casinos are present in this territory, so you can spend some time to the Wynns, the Venitian, the MGM Grand… You have the choice between the 8.960 machines and the 3.277 tables in Macao. On these casinos you won’t see a lot of foreigners, most of them are Chinese from mainland and Asian tourists living in near China. Indeed, Asian gamers prefers to play Baccarat than Blackjack or Poker, almost all the tables are dedicated to Baccarat. Except for gambling, I think that the casinos are worth to be visited, their design is amazing and there you can shop, eat, watch a movie, attend a concert, or watch a show.

The reputation of Macao is nefarious, Orson Welles, an famous American movie director, said that Macao “was the most perverted city of the world”, but why don’t we just call it “the city of indulgence” like W.H. Auden (an Anglo-American poet) ? Don’t forget to pass by Macao with China Southern Airlines to enjoy and discover the enormous potential of this many-sided city.

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Shopping in Beijing

On June 27, 2012, in Beijing, China Travel Gossip, Shopping, by Jack Li

When you travel to Beijing, you will end up wanting to bring a piece of Beijing home with you.  Depending on what you want to purchase as a souvenir, there are many places to shop in Beijing. From the minute you step off of one of your China flights, you are greeted with not only […]

When you travel to Beijing, you will end up wanting to bring a piece of Beijing home with you.  Depending on what you want to purchase as a souvenir, there are many places to shop in Beijing. From the minute you step off of one of your China flights, you are greeted with not only a massive airport, but also many places to shop. From the markets to shopping malls to street vendors, the options are endless.

If you wish to purchase knock-off brands then either the Silk, Pearl, or Yaxiu Market are the places to visit. Items here are relatively cheap, but haggling is a must. The silk market is one of the most popular markets for tourists in Beijing with every floor differing in what it offers. Due to this market being a popular tourist destination, the majority of the salespeople will speak a reasonable amount of English. This market also has vendors that will make custom-made suits or dresses for travelers, but as always, be careful to not get tricked into overpaying for these items.  The Pearl Market, similar to the Silk Market, has floors that differ in what they offer. Near the temple of Heaven, the Pearl Market is also a popular tourist attraction and sells an assortment of inexpensive Chinese relics. It is also essential that you bargain here and it is advisable to cut the seller’s price in half initially and then work from there. Lastly, Yaxiu Market is located in Sanlitun and like the aforementioned markets, the floors are categorized according to the type of products offered. The main way in which this market is different than the others is that is offers a number of small beauty salons that are squeezed in along one of the walls. In these salons, you can get your eyebrows trimmed, nails painted, and feet massaged at a reasonable price. As with the other markets, you must be prepared to bargain. These markets are fabulous places to buy yourself or loved ones inexpensive souvenirs.

If you find that you would prefer to not haggle for prices and would rather go to a calmer atmosphere, then Wangfujing is the place for you. This area is home to three large markets: Sun Dong An Plaza, Beijing Department Store and The Malls at Oriental Plaza. Here, they mainly sell designer clothes, but you can also find an assortment of makeup, jewelry, wines and spirits, as well as tea shops. Although the prices are higher than normal, this is not a place to make a bargain, but also keep in mind the items sold here are of a better quality. However, there is a side street next to Wangfujing, which is the snack street that comes alive after six in the evening. Here, you can haggle for prices because prices will immediately be shot up for foreign people. There is a plethora of foods to try here ranging from scorpions to fried dumplings.

There are many places to shop in Beijing for it is a vast city. Depending on what you wish to purchase, there are many places you can go. For those who are wary of haggling, then a shopping mall or an area like Wangfujing may come as a breath of fresh air. However, if you are willing to buy your souvenirs at a market where prices can be argued over, then it is certainly an experience you should embark on when you travel to Beijing.

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Beijing Supermarkets

On April 18, 2012, in Cultural Experience, Shopping, Tips & Ideas, by Jack Li

No matter if you are in need of daily consumer goods or you’re just interested to see how supermarkets in China are different from the ones you’re used to, you won’t have trouble finding them. If you travel to Beijing you’ll find many international chain supermarkets, like Carrefour, Wal-mart, Metro or Merry Mart, just like […]

No matter if you are in need of daily consumer goods or you’re just interested to see how supermarkets in China are different from the ones you’re used to, you won’t have trouble finding them. If you travel to Beijing you’ll find many international chain supermarkets, like Carrefour, Wal-mart, Metro or Merry Mart, just like in any other big city in the world. Smaller supermarkets can be found in almost every corner of the city and if you book one of the Beijing hotels there will certainly be several of them in the vicinity. The smaller ones might be slightly more expensive than the big ones but still very convenient if you don’t need much.

When you walk into the supermarket building you’ll pass numerous stands or little shops where you can buy shoes, bags, flowers, jewelry and you’ll pass those again on your way out. Also, in front on the supermarkets are usually vendors selling fruit, DVDs and other things. So in general it’s more than just the supermarket itself where you have the opportunity to buy things. Inside the market you can find nearly anything. There is not only a huge amount of food but also clothes, electronic household appliances, household goods etc.

There is a large variety of products that most people from Europe or America have probably never seen or bought before. Anyone who’s open to new things should give it a try and go for some unknown products like the various snacks that come in little packages for example. Especially in the bakery section there is not much you can do wrong, even if you can’t read any ingredients, and there are many tasty things to find. On the other hand, a lot looks familiar because many products from other countries have become quite popular here and international brands can be found as well, no matter if they offer soft drinks, laundry detergent or special kinds of sweets. Some international brands even print the ingredients in Chinese and in English, although you really have to look for it. A very interesting section is the fresh fruit and vegetable section which offers both known and unknown products. Things like lotus root, palm hearts or okra that are hard to find and very expensive in other places are common products here.

The general rule about the price is that everything you buy from the open boxes is cheaper than buying it already wrapped in a package. For example eggs are cheaper if you chose them from the big boxes and pay per pound. The friendly supermarket staff will hand you a bag and you choose how much you want. Then you just need to hand it back to them to have it weighed and get a price tag for it. It works the same way in other sections of the market, such as the bakery and the vegetable section, and for many products like flour, rice, beans etc. Products that are not common in Asian nutrition, like cheese for example, are hard to find and rather expensive.

Once you’ve found what you were looking for you might need some patience to get through the check-out. Nobody seems to be in a rush even if the lines are long and especially afternoons and evenings are usually pretty crowded and so are the weekends. If you’re planning to go on one of the China Tours it’s also interesting to see the local differences and you can compare the regional products and try some different food.

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Great Souvenir Shopping Ideas From Beijing!

On October 18, 2011, in Beijing, China Travel Gossip, Shopping, Tips & Ideas, by Jack Li

If you are in the last few days of your China travel adventure, Beijing is definitely the best place to be to look for a large selection of souvenirs for friends and family back home. There is so much choice around the city, from specialist souvenir shops in Beijing hotels, to giant shopping malls, to […]

If you are in the last few days of your China travel adventure, Beijing is definitely the best place to be to look for a large selection of souvenirs for friends and family back home. There is so much choice around the city, from specialist souvenir shops in Beijing hotels, to giant shopping malls, to the markets and areas surrounding tourist attractions. Here are a few potential gift options:

 

Modelled Dolls

This may be more of a souvenir for yourself, or your family, however the creative model makers found throughout the city can make very realistic replicas of your face from either studying you in person or looking at a good photo. Expect to pay a bit more than you would for a generic souvenir but these are so unusual and detailed it is definitely worth the extra cost.

 

Wooden Dolls

These have a cartoon-like Asian feel, and come in a variety of colours and designs. They are widely available at markets and in small stalls at markets or down side streets in the city. Small dolls (around 4 inches high) can be had for around 10rmb, but there are many different sizes to choose from.

 

Lucky Cats
Often seen when you enter a Chinese Takeaway in the west, the Chinese lucky cat has a presence here and there are many small shops inside Beijing Malls selling the ornaments with a variety of designs and meanings. In addition to ornaments you can also purchase key rings, vases, wind chimes, crockery and phone charms with the theme.

 

Traditional Souvenirs

There are plenty of the popular souvenir items available in Beijing too. Head for the markets, especially Silk and Yashow for the biggest selection. Generally on the higher floors there is a souvenir section, bargain hard and you can get things for very reasonable prices. Items for sale include magnets, shot glasses, snow globes, fans, silk items, chopsticks and lanterns.

 

Food Items

If you are in Beijing around the Mid Autumn Festival you can pick up Chinese Moon Cakes in a variety of sizes and flavours. These make interesting gifts to bring back home and are often decoratively packages. Many other food items are available including selections of tea, dried herbs and fruits, unusual sweets, chocolate and biscuits.

 

Bigger Items

If you have plenty of spare luggage space there is lots of choice for larger and heavier items. The obvious choice would be ‘designer’ goods including handbags, purses and clothing. Jade and pearls are plentiful, both imitation and real. Other popular options include tea sets, paintings, calligraphy, wall hangings and mahjong sets.

 

Personalised Stamps

Nearby popular tourist attractions you can get a stamp carved with your (or any) name in Chinese alongside your Chinese Zodiac sign. You simply write it down, pronounce it out loud and watch it being made in front of you. Again there are many sizes and designs to choose from. They also sell traditional ink and present the stamp in a gift box. They will also test the stamp for you to check you are happy with the result.

 

If you end up shopping to much you can also send your extra purchases home via surface mail although this can take up to two months to arrive. Your Beijing hotel may be able to assist with this as you will probably need a Chinese speaker to help you.

 

Fashion Shoppers- Nanjing Road is for you

On October 17, 2011, in China Travel Gossip, Cool Places, Shanghai, Shopping, by Jack Li

Fashion seekers from all over the world travel to Shanghai, so that they can go shopping on Nanjing Road. The road is 3.4 miles long and is China’s leading shopping Street. So if you love shopping and you are planning on a China tour make sure Shanghai is one of your destinations. Nanjing Road was […]

Fashion seekers from all over the world travel to Shanghai, so that they can go shopping on Nanjing Road. The road is 3.4 miles long and is China’s leading shopping Street. So if you love shopping and you are planning on a China tour make sure Shanghai is one of your destinations.

Nanjing Road was the earliest shopping street in Shanghai. It started after the Opium Wars. First it was used by the British then by an international settlement. These people would import large quantities of foreign goods, so that they could sell the goods in Shanghai.  Nanjing Road starts in the east side of the Bund and go west.

Today Nanjing Road is 3.4 miles long. It has changed over time for the shopping convenience. If you are a fashion-seeking shopper then East Nanjing Road is the place for you. It has a multiple of shopping malls, big traditional stores, theatres and specialty stores. You can find and buy whatever you want for example you can find, communications equipment, clothing, shoes, fabrics, jewelries watches, books, sun glasses, and food. There are also Chinese art shops for people interested in the Chinese culture. Some of the products they sell are China silk, calligraphy and paintings.

If you are not a shopper Nanjing Road will still be a great attraction to see, especially at night. The stores decorated with colorful lights to help draw the customer in. While walking on Nanjing Road you can see China cultural buildings, the city government building-‘people square’. Shanghai Museum and Shanghai Theatre are also located on the road.  

 If you want to go shopping and you run out of cash, its alright since most large shopping malls accepts foreigners credit cards including, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diners Club, JCB, Federal and Million. For smaller stores make sure you have enough cash.

So remember Fashions shoppers Nanjing Road is the place to go shopping. There are over 600 businesses that provide famous brands, new fashions, and superior quality. So when you are booking your China flights make sure you book one to Shanghai so that you can go shopping on Nanjing Road.

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Visit the Zoo Market for a Local Shopping Experience!

On October 8, 2011, in Beijing, China Travel Gossip, Shopping, Tips & Ideas, by Jack Li

For anyone planning to travel to Beijing who enjoys shopping and getting off the beaten track to where the locals hang out, it is definately worth making a trip out to the Beijing Zoo Market. This is an underground clothing market located opposite the Beijing Zoo, with the nearest subway stops being Xizhimen or Beijing […]

For anyone planning to travel to Beijing who enjoys shopping and getting off the beaten track to where the locals hang out, it is definately worth making a trip out to the Beijing Zoo Market. This is an underground clothing market located opposite the Beijing Zoo, with the nearest subway stops being Xizhimen or Beijing Zoo. The market is located between the second and third ring road in the west of the city, close to the student areas surrounding the big universities. It may be a short trip from your Beijing Hotel but the subway is simple, fast and the most practical transport mode to take. There is also an aquarium nearby worth a visit.

 

The market itself is predominantly clothing and accessories, generally focusing on women’s apparel however there are stalls selling menswear and children’s clothing. There is less of a focus on imitation designer goods, however these are still available just at a smaller volume than the notorious tourist markets such as the Silk Market and Yashow. You can often find many high street branded items, often these are a mix of copies with tags sewn in and genuine overstock from the factories. In my recent visit there was very convincing knitwear and clothing from H&M, Fornarina, ASOS, Topshop, New Look and Zara, which is probably a combination of genuine and imitation. Prices here are very good and not subject to the huge inflation you will experience at the other markets for having a western face.

 

Haggling is possible here but generally only a small margin from the quoted price. Many items such as jewellery, scarves and other accessories are sold at fixed prices. During my visit in the busy Golden Week public holiday I found a range of bargains at the cheapest price available in the city. Here is a short list of rough prices as of October 2011:

Scarves (depending on thickness) 25-40rmb

Purses (branded and unbranded) 35rmb

Necklaces/Earrings 10-35rmb

Tights (many styles and patterns) 10-20rmb

Vest tops (branded and high street) 12-30rmb

Cardigans 40-65rmb

Jeans 50rmb

Shoes/Sandals (high heels are more) 40-70rmb

Coats and jackets 70-140rmb

Skirts 30rmb

 

Once you are all shopped out there are a few budget options for food within the market itself, mostly vendors dotted about selling ice cream, drinks or grilled corn on the cob. If you are after a more substantial meal before heading back to your Beijing Hotel there is a McDonalds just outside the subway entrance and a short walk away (directly joined on to Xizhimen subway station) is the large Capita Mall which has a range of eating options, alongside more shopping if you still have money left over!

 

Shopping Mall Heaven in Xidan!

On September 29, 2011, in Beijing, Modern Architecture, Shopping, Tips & Ideas, by Jack Li

Anyone with a love for shopping will love a China Travel adventure. Whether you travel to Beijing, Shanghai or elsewhere, you will find plenty of markets, malls and department stores to keep you busy, and help to part you with your money! This blog will discuss the area of Xidan, which is not commonly top […]

Anyone with a love for shopping will love a China Travel adventure. Whether you travel to Beijing, Shanghai or elsewhere, you will find plenty of markets, malls and department stores to keep you busy, and help to part you with your money! This blog will discuss the area of Xidan, which is not commonly top of the list for the average tourist to visit, but shopping central for students, expats and the general public in Beijing!

 

You can get to Xidan on subway line 1, the Xidan stop is just past Tiananmen and you will exit right into the heart of the shopping district. Line 4 also stops here aswell. When you leave the subway you will find yourself at the beginning of Xidan Commercial Street, which is a three and a half mile long commercial centre, with malls and department stores propped up side by side.

 

Opening times are generally 10am til 10pm, with some stores opening at 9 or 9.30am. Generally malls have a fast food style food court on the lower floor, and a more upmarket restaurant food court on the upper floor. However in the bigger malls restaurants are interspersed with shops, cafe’s and stalls.

 

The Top Malls to check out in Xidan:


Joy City

This is the mother of all malls in Xidan, with thirteen floors packed with fashion, cosmetics, home ware and everything else inbetween. Joy City features the largest cosmetic store in Beijing, the largest cinema in China and the largest escalator in the world. It has a huge variety of shops and restaurants with a mix of Chinese, international and high end stores.

 

Grand Pacific Mall

Grand Pacific is less flashy and a fair bit older than Joy City (it opened in 2003), however it is still a big mall with a large selection, particularly if you are looking for denim products. The mall hosts many big denim brands including Miss Sixty, Replay and Diesel.

 

Xidan Shopping Centre

Xidan mall is a large (and again fairly ageing) mall, with an interesting market on the ground floor selling Chinese food, snack and candy items. These would be ideal for gifts to take back home, as there is a huge variety and prices are very reasonable with no need to haggle! Stores here are arranged by category, so there is are floors for ladies fashion, another for accessories, one for electronics – and so on. The top floor features a food court with many cheap dining options.

The upper floors of the mall are filled with tiny stalls, similar to the markets, selling all sorts of items, mostly fashion and accessories. Come here prepared to haggle, as although prices won’t start as high as the Silk Market, being a westerner you may still be subject to price inflation.

 

If you manage to see all of these and are still not ready to head back to your Beijing Hotel with your bags, then there are still many more shopping options. There are plenty of high end shops and department stores including Xidan CVIK Store, Chung You Department Store, Xidan Department Store and The Parkson Building.

Confessions of a Shopaholic in Beijing

On September 20, 2011, in Beijing, China Travel Gossip, Shopping, by Jack Li

China is notorious to the western world for being cheap. However, away from the markets and towards the highstreet and designer brands, you will be digging deep into your pockets to spend every last yuan with the exciting colours and fabrics that are avaliable! A Beijing tour is not complete without a day at the […]

China is notorious to the western world for being cheap. However, away from the markets and towards the highstreet and designer brands, you will be digging deep into your pockets to spend every last yuan with the exciting colours and fabrics that are avaliable! A Beijing tour is not complete without a day at the beautiful malls and experiencing Chinese fashion at its best. Beijing is no doubt one of the up and coming fashion capitals of the world and you are constantly surrounded by beautiful girls in unique clothes complete with weird and wonderful accessories and men in stylish get-ups that will make any fashionista jealous. So hop on a Chinese flight at get your wallets and purses at the ready!

 

Xidan is the ultimate shopping district and home to the infamous “Joy City” where there are a variety of shops from popular Chinese brands like Fengguo.com.cn and Sanrio Vivitix (the makers of Hello Kitty) to familiar UK brands such as Oasis and an even the Arsenal football team shop! Joy City is without doubt a…joyful… place to shop. It is the place where the local fashionable Beijingers shop who want to avoid the hustle and bustle of the markets and have a bit more of a disposable income. Situated on 13 floors, this mall boasts having the largest digital cinema in China and the world’s longest escalator. To add to the fun of your shopping experience, there are mirrors bent into waves along some sides of the mall, reminiscent to that of a fun-house where your body’s image is twisted and contorted into all sorts of shapes and will leave you and your friends amused. After a couple of hours of hard shopping, it is time to visit one of the numerous food courts. A personal favourite of mine is a restaurant  “Babela’s Kitchen” where the menu is as thick as a book! They serve everything you could possibly imagine, suiting every palette  from pasta bakes to Chinese curried rice, all of it being reasonably priced and with excellent customer service. Their smoothie and Chinese tea selection are delicious.

Another lively shopping district is Sanlitun Village. This district is surrounded by a buzzing nightlife full of exciting bars and clubs as well as being in close proximity of the infamous Yashow market for those who want to get a bargain. The village is simply divided intotwo sections: The south being for high street brands and includes an apple store, 30 gourmet restaurants and a multi-plex cinema; and the north including more high-end fashion designers including Armani and Balenciaga, leaving every shopper satisfied and suiting their budgets.
For those with expensive taste. The China World Mall is home to all things glizty and glamorous. Just a few steps away from Guomao
subway station, you are standing amongst designers such as Tiffany & Co, Chanel and Louis Vuitton. The latest Mulberry Bag will set you back a whopping £1750! So if you are wanting to splash the cash, the China World Mall is for you. Situated in 3 zones, the mall caters for people with lower budgets by offering western food such as KFC as well as sporting an ice rink.

So travel to Beijing and experience China’s elaborate shopping malls and great sense of style.

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