Top 5 Beijing Souvenirs
Jun 6 , 2011
You didn't really think you could travel to Beijing without bringing souvenirs home, did you? Instead of picking something up at the airport, impress your friends and family with these top 5 Beijing souvenirs.
Souvenirs are a part of any travel experience, for better or worse. If you travel to a fun and interesting location, there are bound to be family and friends at home waiting for you to bring back a memento or two. For many travelers, this means picking up a few t-shirts and some post cards at the airport before you head for home. On your trip to Beijing, make a point of upping the ante, and spring for some more thoughtful gifts. These top 5 Beijing souvenirs will impress their recipients, and will have much more longevity than a stuffed panda bear.
Cloisonné is an art form perfected in Beijing many centuries ago, and you’ll still find craftsmen practicing this art today. For those unfamiliar with cloisonné, just picture the archetypal intricately designed enamel bowls and vases that come to mind when you imagine Chinese art. Copper or gold wires and enamel are used to create delicately decorated works of art, and the tradition has lived on for hundreds of years. Today, you can find all kinds of top quality cloisonné works, including lanterns, ash trays, decorative dishes, and even stoves. The best places to look for cloisonné are Beijing’s Silk Market and the arts and crafts section (open on the weekend) of Wangfujing Street.
Paper cut is a top 5 Beijing souvenir because it is so well received by kids. This is another ancient art form that has survived in Beijing, and it is simply pictures cut out on paper. Subject matter range from animals and kids to festival scenes, and you’ll be amazed by the intricacy of the images. Their portability and affordable prices make them a great choice if you’re concerned about your souvenirs surviving the trip back. You’ll find vendors in the Dongcheng District.
Anything from Hongqiao Market
Hongqiao Market is the place to go for top 5 Beijing souvenirs, because you’ll be hard pressed to find anything that it doesn’t sell. This four floor shopping paradise is crammed with all kinds of goods, from handbags and accessories to electronics and small appliances. Hongqiao Market is a good place to look for pearls and pearl jewelry. Prepare to bargain. Tip: if you look like a foreign visitor, the vendors will jack up the price. Begin haggling at half the price they quote.
That’s right, a crystal ball. A genuine crystal ball from one of the city’s reputable dealers is undoubtedly one of the top 5 Beijing souvenirs, and it will likely leave the its recipient speechless. Who expects a crystal ball? They range in size and price, with the biggest ones costing up to $200 each, so save these souvenirs for extra special people. When you purchase the crystal ball, you’ll be able to get the name of its recipient engraved inside in either English or Chinese, which adds an even more personal touch to the gift. Ask the dealer to package it well for you (or consult your hotel concierge), to ensure its safety on your flight home.
Plaque from the Great Wall
If you’ve toured and climbed part of the Great Wall, you should take home something to commemorate the event. A bronze plaque from one of the Great Wall souvenir shops is an excellent idea, and it is one of the top 5 Beijing souvenirs. It will denote, in English and Chinese, your name and the date on which you climbed the Great Wall. It’s presented in an impressive display box, and it only costs around $15! Having something for yourself makes this a top 5 Beijing souvenir, and you’ll be glad you got something to mark your journey.
Shop for souvenirs in one of many shopping areas in Beijing.