Top 10 Souvenirs To Buy In China

Souvenirs are a must when traveling, but what should you buy to fill up your limited luggage space? Here are 10 things worth bring back from China!

1) Tea

pile of green tea

Tea is consumed on a daily basis and with almost every meal in China. They have mastered the cultivation and brew of a countless variety. If you’re planning to visit the bigger cities in China, there are entire markets where you can sample and purchase different teas from all over China.

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While in smaller towns they are more likely to just have their local specialties which are just as good. If you’re looking for the best of the best and money isn’t an object then I would recommend buying Da Hong Pao. China’s most famous oolong tea from the WuYi mountains.

2) Chinese Knots

chinese knots on black table

Chinese knots have been around since the Tang and Song Dynasty. It’s are a form of decorative art that is given as gifts to wish family and friends health and happiness in the new year. Chinese knots are typically made with red lanyards that have 2 cords entering from the top to create a symmetrical knot design and end with the 2 cords or tassels hanging at the bottom. They can be bought at most tourist spots and are the perfect souvenir if you need to buy a large quantity to gift.

3) Silk

chinese silk-colours

China is the world’s largest producer of silk and has been making silk since 3630 BC. Chinese silk is used all over the world and cities like Hangzhou, Sichuan, Suzhou, and Dandong are known for their silks. Buying a piece of silk might not be too useful, but you can buy the many different silk clothing and accessories available. If you want to splurge, I would recommend buying a silk chi pao which is a traditional Chinese dress. They can be made to look very modern or traditional.

4) Paper Cuts

chinese paper cuts

Paper was invented by Cai Lun in the Han Dynasty and as it became more affordable later on, paper-cutting became a popular form of art. Chinese paper cutting is typically made using scissors or knives, where several papers are combined and using a motif the artist would cut out intricate the design. In China, they are used to decorate doors or windows and are sometimes called chuang hua which means window flowers because of the light that shines through the cuts.

5) Baijiu

If you or someone you know loves strong liquor, you might want to consider buying some baijiu to bring home. They can be bought really cheap at local convenient stores or you can buy the best of the best for a few thousand yuan a bottle. Baijiu is a big part of the Chinese culture and business culture. Drinking is common at business dinners, and is considered a sign of trust.

6) Chopsticks

chinese chop sticks

The preferred utensil of China is chopsticks. Of course, they can be purchased anywhere in the world, but in China, you can find some of the most beautifully designed ones that will make you not want to use them. Typically made out of bamboo or wood, in tourist spots like tianzifang in Shanghai, you can find entire stores selling specially designed chopsticks. Pick up a pair to display back home!

7) Calligraphy

Source: evanced

Source: evanced

One of the most famous types of Chinese art is Chinese calligraphy. There are many different options you can choose from to take a little piece of Chinese calligraphy home. There are the different styles like seal script, cursive script, etc… You can choose to buy classic writings or have a calligrapher craft your own name in beautiful script. You can even take a class yourself while you’re in China and make your own calligraphy art!

8) Peking Opera Masks

chinese-opera-mask

Beijing or Peking Opera is known worldwide for their unique style, costumes, and masks. Peking Opera masks are a replica of the makeup worn by the performers as they act and dance. Take a part of the show home with you by buying one of these unique opera masks. They’re available in many designs, sizes and represent different expressions of the show.

9) Personalized seal

In many tourist spots in China, you can get a personalized seal made. Back in ancient times and in some parts of East Asia today, seals are still being used in lieu of signatures. Typically made of stone or wood. You can get one made with your name and stamp your name like a boss!

10) Jade

jade stone

Jade is one of the most popular precious stones in China. In Chinese culture, Jade symbolizes beauty, nobility, perfection, constancy, power, and immortality. It’s significance and value is comparable to diamond or gold in the west. In China, you will find many jade vendors but be careful where you buy your jade. There are many fakes being sold on the street. For the real deal, buy from large specialty or department stores if you’re not skilled at identifying jade.

What do you want to bring back from China?

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Monica Guan

Monica Guan

Monica is a Canadian-Chinese travel blogger and marketer that has spent time in beijing, nanjing, guangzhou, shenzhen, hangzhou,and xitang, shanghai. When she isn't watching YouTube videos, you can find her writing or creating videos.
Monica Guan