Notices

Items to buy in China

Old Jun 14th, 2002, 07:56 PM
  #21  
kmarie
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Bob,

A few suggestions--

Lacquer boxes, some with inlaid lids with shards of blue-and-white porcelain; small shard pendants set in silver.

Baskets.

Brown pottery teapots. Look for intricate designs and interesting glazes. As you make your selection, e sure the lid fits well. (Not sure if these are the ones Kathie refers to...)

Writing supplies--inks, brushes, papers, blank books with bindings you'll not see at home. (If you are going to Xian, look at the stands and stores along the street on the way to the stele forest.)

Sky charts from the old observatory in Beijing.

Colorful paper cuts. Probably laser-cut but they must have originally been hand-done. Zodiac, floral, animal designs are readily available. Mounted, matted, and framed, they are a great memento.

Fabrics typical of various minority groups in China. Blue and white batik tablecloths. Applique pieces.

Tea cups/mugs with lids.

Antique locks and keys.
 
Old Jul 2nd, 2002, 02:53 AM
  #22  
topper
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
ttt for Dede.
 
Old Jul 2nd, 2002, 07:13 AM
  #23  
Franz
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
It's been 4 years since I visitied, Beijing, but found that all of the souv/gifts I was looking for were available (cheaper) at the Great Wall. I bought the Cloisenne for 1/4 the price the factory wanted, and quite frankly couldn't tell the diff. (I'm no expert, but neither were the gift recipients!) I bought silk scarves and postcards (10 pack) for $1US each from hawkers on The Wall. (By the way, if you go to The Wall outside of Beijing, go left at the top of the stairs, even if everyone else is going right. It's shorter, more picturesque, and less steep!!) I brought $50 in one dollar bills, and used them to bargin with. I also brought a few $5US bills, the merchants loved accepting greenbacks.

In Shanghai, I bought 3 antique tables from a shop near the airport, I can't find the name of it right now, but will keep looking. All have held up well, but are decorative. My hosts purchased two cabinet/armoirs, and found them to be unsuitable for everyday use.

Remember to always always always bargin!
 
Old Jul 2nd, 2002, 03:59 PM
  #24  
Larry Adams
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Peter and all who replied to the query about shopping:

Thank you. Perhaps it is best to shop in Honk Kong. I saw no mention of comparisions between HK and the PRC. I am taking my grandson (15) on Monday and all his cousins (my grandchildren) who did get to go expect gifts galore! Any further suggestions are greatly appreciated. Larry Adams
 
Old Jul 4th, 2002, 09:44 AM
  #25  
Sally
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I bought a piece of woodcarving used to belong to an old house in Tunxi's Old Street. Two modern chinese paintings and a Mao badge. Most people from our tour bought silk comforters, they claimed it was their best purchase.
 
Old Jul 4th, 2002, 10:35 AM
  #26  
shopper
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Sally, any price information on the silk comforters in US$ and the places to go to buy them? Thanks.
 
Old Jul 9th, 2002, 11:45 AM
  #27  
Patty
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Sally,
I have several of those old woodcarvings too. They are my favorite purchases along with my teapot collection.
 
Old Jul 10th, 2002, 05:20 AM
  #28  
Sally
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Shopper:

I was on a tour to Hangzhou and a visit to silkworm factory there. I can't remember the price but those who bought it told me it was a real bargain. I am kicking myself now for buying one. I am sure most departmental stores in China stock them.

Patty: Yes, those woodcarvings, I bought two of those. I was told they are almost a hundred years old. They sure looked old even with dust and cobweb to go with when I found them in a huge heap. Maybe I should bring them for valuation. I won't be mind if they are not antiques as I only paid $35 a piece. And they are exquisite. They are my best purchase from China by far.

My Canadian friend bought an old tea pot for $50. It has the most usual green color and intricate designs. She might have paid over the odds as she went crazy when she first saw it. Of course, the owner of shop knew it and would not give her a good price even with my intervention (I speak Mandarin Chinese). She told me recently that teapot is her pride and joy, everyone who has seen it, loved it. She would still buy it even if it was $200. so, there you go.
 
Old Jul 18th, 2002, 05:06 PM
  #29  
Duke
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Top this puppy for more input.
 
Old Jul 29th, 2002, 12:20 PM
  #30  
Topper
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Any more things to look at out there?
 
Old Jul 30th, 2002, 02:10 AM
  #31  
fran
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I just returned from China--Beijing, Xi'an and Shaghai. In Beijing, I was approached several times by young people claiming to be students at some art institute--saying that they have a small exhibit of student work for sale. Are these legit? Yes--I did go to one and bought a picture, but afterward, was laughed at by my fellow travelers as being a "sucker" who got taken by a scam. I like the picture anyway and it's not like I spent a fortune--so that part is okay, but.. I'm wondering just the same.
 
Old Jul 30th, 2002, 11:25 AM
  #32  
Bob
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Fran: If you like the picture and the price....who cares? Enjoy it. Most people look at this stuff as "investments" but they never sell any of it. We buy things on trips to enjoy and never sell. You got a deal if you like it.
 
Old Jul 30th, 2002, 06:11 PM
  #33  
Peter N-H
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Actually the scam mentioned by Fran is a common one which seems to have begun life in Xi'an more than a decade ago, where 'students' used to hang around the Drum Tower and introduce themselves to passing foreigners in English.

The story was always that they were raising funds to take an exhibition to Germany (sometimes it was the Edinburgh Festival) and would we like to see the exhibition--no charge. The 'exhibition' was, of course, a shop, with all the standard classical paintings which are reproduced so often they might as well be Xeroxed, copies of Xu Beihong's horses, and just about anything else which might appeal to foreigners.

Gentle pressure to purchase and support the imaginary trip was applied, and we were annoyed not at having been misled--it's accepted that this will happen--but because in this case we'd fallen for it. A price of Y750 was asked for one picture, and in my irritation I offered Y30--which was all it was worth, and I wanted to make a point.

"Oh no, I was told. This painting" which mixed Western and Chinese themes and techniques, and at least in that way stood out from the rest, "is unique." It couldn't be sold for less than Y500. To my annoyance, as I was leaving, they sold it to me for Y30. I didn't want it, but I'd offered a price, so I paid it with bad grace.

The next day I made another visit to the Terracotta Warriors, around which at that time there were numerous stalls selling 'art'. And there, outside one, was an exact copy of the 'unique' painting I'd just bought. A Chinese couple were looking at it, but decided against buying. "Too expensive," they said. As they walked away the vendor shouted after them (in Mandarin), "Foreigners really like this painting. They'll pay US$100 for it!" And he laughed. He's right--we're a stupid lot, very gullible, and we know nothing about prices. And that's why he likes us as customers.

People have posted elsewhere on this board about how they were met in Xi'an by charming students who took them to their art school and sold them paintings for very low (actually ludicrously high) figures, with some sob story or other to ease the transaction, so it seems it's still going on there.

I first noticed variations on this arrive in Beijing in 1996, too, particularly around Liulichang, and last week every time I passed the main entrance to Sun Dong'an Plaza on Wangfujing I was hailed with, "Hello friend. Welcome to China. Excuse me..." If this happens to you in a place popular with foreign visitors it is sadly now always a sign that some scam is about to be perpetrated: the art student scam, the 'help me practice my English, let's do it in this bar, oh look--the bill's Y2000' scam, or worse. Proceed with caution.

The view, 'I don't care if this is real or not--I like it and I'm happy with the price I paid' is only really tenable if one went into the deal with one's eyes wide open. But the Chinese travel industry is dedicated to welding them shut, as are many individuals targeting foreign visitors.

There's nothing to be bought in China which might be regarded as an investment. As has been pointed out above, almost everything is fake and the Chinese themselves fully expect to be cheated and are highly sceptical people. That's just how things are there.

If you arrive in China understanding that, then shopping is quite a different experience, and can be enjoyable, and if you assume that everything you are told is false you won't make a purchase on false pretenses. But if you believed what you were told and found out afterwards it was false, then it can be hard to relax with your purchase or enjoy it. And certainly no scam should be endorsed with a policy of 'Oh well, it wasn't much, who cares?' less the scam become yet more predatory.

Peter N-H
http://members.axion.net/~pnh/China.html
 
Old Aug 1st, 2002, 02:58 PM
  #34  
Bob
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Peter takes this stuff too seriously. We travel all over the world and always realize that there are no "deals" and we are not going to sell any of it anyway.

Just look at it, bargain and if you like it...buy it. These businesses will never go away so enjoy them for what they are. Or go to the auctions in London or NY and really get ripped off!
 
Old Aug 6th, 2002, 12:01 PM
  #35  
gail
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
We feel one of the best purchases we made in China was our silk comforter that we purchased in Suzhou. We purchased the comforter and the silk cover for it for about $150 US. Cool in summer, warm in winter. It is a delight.
 
Old Aug 6th, 2002, 07:56 PM
  #36  
shopper
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Gail, do you recall where you bought the comforter and cover in Suzhou? Thanks for any help you can provide.
 
Old Aug 9th, 2002, 04:37 PM
  #37  
CharlieC
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Top for more comments
 
Old Aug 19th, 2002, 04:07 AM
  #38  
Paige
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
We just came back from a week in Beijing. We bought loads of postcards, little red books, Mao alarm clocks, little bottles painted on the inside and fresh water pearls. The Hongqiao (sp?) pearl market is a fun place to shop and like somebody mentioned, on the 3rd floor are lots of stalls selling all kinds of stuff. The Dirt Market (sorry, I don't remember the other name, starts with a P) was a blast to wander around. All types of stuff is for sale there.
 
Old Aug 20th, 2002, 09:25 AM
  #39  
cb
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Shopper:
One place where you can find silk comforter is at a silk factory which was part of our tour. Dont know if there's more than one silk factory. The factory tour included the processing of silk cocoons and how comforter fillings are made.
 
Old Aug 20th, 2002, 09:31 AM
  #40  
SAM
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Keep information coming
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information