What to buy in China?

Old Mar 4th, 2005, 11:45 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 533
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
What to buy in China?

Its me again, the mother of the 13 yr. old son going to China this summer as part of the people to people international program. tonite he asked me what kind of things do tourist buy in China? souveniors, etc. So what kind of things did you all buy on your trip in China. somehow my son has heard that you can get electronics such as playstations and ipods cheap over there. Is that true. he is going to beijing, shanghai, xian and hong kong. Thanks for all your help, it has been appreciated, itsv.
itsv is offline  
Old Mar 5th, 2005, 07:19 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
No, stay away from the electronics. You will not get cheap authentic iPods there. And Playstations are so cheap here in the US. Why put one there with no warranty, even if he can find a deal?

Well, I don't buy souvenirs when travelling aboard, so no recommendations from me. But make sure he bargains for anything he buys.
rkkwan is offline  
Old Mar 5th, 2005, 08:12 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 66
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi!So your teenage son is up to China this coming summer....lucky him ! I'm taking my 14 years old son to Beijing for Easter.No electronics whatsoever will be bought over there , unless your son 's a genius able to recognize fakes , good stuff etc...But all cheap tee shirts , bamboo souvenirs , dried smelly jellyfish or scorpios should make terrific funny and exotic souvenirs .For you he could bring back silk , but don't let him buy jade:it'll probably be plastic.
I've been to China myself 25 years ago:the best rememberance are all the different smells , sometimes inconvenient , of course , plus the crowds everywhere , the noise (chinese people often are loud), China is a tough country but it'll probably be magical to your son.
Forget the electronics, buy a thin paintbrush and discover calligraphy!
SOPHIEDEPARIS is offline  
Old Mar 5th, 2005, 08:34 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,602
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
One really great gift/souvenir to bring back, which my teen-aged nephews loved (and my 13-year niece, who herself went to China this past year) is a Chinese chop-in other words, the name of your son or others hand-carved in stone while you wait, which includes an inkpad within a lovely little Chinese porcelain container and both packaged in a small case or box. The stone chop usually has the head of the Chinese zodiac animal of the person's birth year on top-so the chop seller will ask you what year you were born in order to pick a rooster, rabbit, horse, etc. Chops are quite inexpensive, particularly in Xi'an.
Spygirl is offline  
Old Mar 5th, 2005, 04:15 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 177
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I ditto the thought on electronics... they are all fake here and the real things are very expensive because they are "imported" (yes, manufactured in China for export, but when sold legally they are considered imported! and duties drive up the price). Different story for HK, where no duty keeps prices in check. But it isn't worth saving $50 when you don't get a warranty and don't know a reputable dealer.

I would encourage your son to get the things he can't get at home. Why buy a Diesel t-shirt because it is $5 when ou can get one at home? Ditto for a copy watch. Buy things that are unique to China. The CHOP idea is great. Have him buy local Chinese bands CD's. Cheap and easy to pack.

In Xi'An, peasant paintings are a great cheap souvenir (maybe he'll see a scene of something that reminds him of his experience). Game boy games are about $5 if he has one of those. Depending on the vendor, they usualy work, but make sure his system (unit) is compatible.

For me, my best souvenirs are my photos. It is may favorite activity in a country and most cherished when I return. Make sure he brings his camera, or a sketch book and definitely a journal.
Bchen is offline  
Old Mar 5th, 2005, 09:37 PM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 533
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
thank you all for your help. The chop idea sounds great. I thought the electronics would not be a good thing. I am like the previous poster, I don't really buy souvneniors, I skip the shopping and instead enjoy the museums. itsv.
itsv is offline  
Old Mar 13th, 2005, 09:57 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 152
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
itsv..

Small world. My son is also going with P2P. I've been looking for different info on this forum, too. What do you think about cell phones for the boys?
susant100 is offline  
Old Mar 13th, 2005, 01:49 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 19
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I agree with everyone else here on other electronics. In general, do not buy them in China. First of all, nothing you buy has a warranty outside of China. Secondly, many Japanese electronics made for the Chinese market (incl. HK) do not go through the same rigorous quality control process as those made for ex-Asia markets. Finally, the reason everyone else stated - fakes.

Mobile phones are great purchases, if you are looking to buy the newest model and not worried about getting a bargain. You can find much earlier release of phone models, esp. for Sony Ericsson and Motorola, two of the most popular brands.

Last August, I bought the newest Motorola there for around 3,100 yuan. Europe didn't carry the model until 6 months later. And it has still not been released in the States yet.

It's cool to have something that no one would have for a while, but just remember that good mobile phones in China are not sold at a bargain price.
travelfeet is offline  
Old Mar 13th, 2005, 02:08 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 517
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Jade is a popular item of course, but I also agree that a chop is a wonderful thing to buy, have him get one of the little round ink stamps to go along with it.

Have him bring back some money in good condition too. My son started an international money collection way back when he was 7 and we moved to Indonesia. It is really cool to look at the different types of art each country uses. My son also bought a Mao cap when we were in China, which he loved to wear, and we found kind of funny. That's something you usually can't find here! <G>
rapunzll is offline  
Old Mar 13th, 2005, 03:28 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 17,106
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Here are a couple of other suggestions:

1) One of those fisherman/hunting jackets - the ones with no sleeves and so many pockets you don't know what to make of all the zippers. He should be able to bargain one down to about $10 US. I used to bring these back from my business trips and the guys just loved them. Must be something about pockets.

2) If he shops carefully, especially in Beijing, he may still find some of the old Soviet Union Navy wristwatches, pocket knives, etc. The reason these are so sought after is because they were made of titanium - a marvellous metal better than steel and of which Russia has tons of deposits, but not too many other countries have. He may have to go to the "regular" Chinese markets, instead of the ones haunted by tourists, to find any of the genuine articles. My guys went bazookers over these.
easytraveler is offline  
Old Mar 13th, 2005, 05:31 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 369
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My son did something similar when he was 15, and he really enjoyed shopping and buying souvenirs for everyone he knew. Hats, kites, dragons, Buddhas, old coins, tassels, packets of postcards, vases, purses, t-shirts, swords, etc. Everything was really cheap. He never shopped so much in his life!

And it's funny because when we went to China last year, we did the same thing! We bought tons of trickets - just for the fun of it. Nothing more than 10-20 yuan.

It's hard to tell what is real and what is fake, so we didn't even try. We concentrated on cheap souvenirs and had a blast! If you want to buy electronics or expensive items, you can always do that back home at the mall or on the internet.

Incidentally, my son is a little older and a more experienced traveler now, so we do have a nice collection of really special items from his most recent trips to China - silks, cloissones, jades, etc. If your son is anything like mine, he will go back to China again and again and again...
OJudy is offline  
Old Mar 13th, 2005, 07:12 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Bchen, I'm really impressed by your knowledge in China travel. If you're interested in putting this knowledge into potentially fulfilling use, can you give me your contact info by emailing [email protected]? Thanks!
frankfyu is offline  
Old Mar 18th, 2006, 11:39 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 5,869
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the suggestions re: chops (already on my list) and the USSR Navy wrist watches.
Where might one find those in Beijing (or Shanghai) and how do I know they are authentic?
M
mikemo is offline  
Old Mar 19th, 2006, 07:23 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 59
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Pearls are a fantastic price in Beijing. All my neices have a lovely string of saltwater pearls from China. I take the pearls to a shop in California to have white gold clasps added (the chinese clasps have great designs but are cheap). The shop owner was impressed with the quality. Most markets have a "pearl market" on the top floor.

Silk ties are also a great deal. You can get 6 for 100 Yuan.

Jasmine tea - avoid the tourist tea shops.

This stuff is in the same price range of the tacky stuff and very Chinese.

As as general rule - you should pay around 10% or the orignial asking price.

EmptyNest is offline  
Old Mar 19th, 2006, 07:17 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 246
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
its easy to make sure you buy real jade.

he could buy a cheap terracotta warrior set (they are very cheap and somewhat tacky but hey its a souvie so it'll be fine)

a tea set, and a getting them at a tea market or one of a thousand gift shops in HK.

Some electronics can be ok to buy but I'm talking accessories mostly like webcams SD cards etc.
bhuty is offline  
Old Mar 19th, 2006, 07:22 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 246
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
ditto the pearls but thats stress that a 13 yr old doesn't need.

buddhas are an ok souvie too.

And maybe the jade balls that are like 4 or 5 balls within each other.

Seriously, shopping in China is quite time consuming, better to just enjoy it and if he sees something sold by a street vendor that strikes his eye then for the right price that will be fine.
bhuty is offline  
Old Mar 19th, 2006, 10:04 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 237
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
In Beijing there is a market called Panjiayuan - it's an antiques market but what is great is that you can also buy lots of Mao memorabilia. Maybe even Soviet watches. I bought a wind up clock with Mao and lots of red guards on - every second, they wave their arms with their little red books. Only cost 40 yuan (is that about 6 dollars?) and still works.
I like the idea of kites - they'd look so striking.

bkkmei is offline  
Old Apr 2nd, 2006, 08:52 PM
  #18  
ita
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 925
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Bhuty-how do you tell if it is real jade? I am looking to find a jade teapot.
ita is offline  
Old Apr 6th, 2006, 06:27 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 5,869
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We returned from Beijing, Jinan, Ti'an, Qufu, Shuzou, and Shanghai last PM.
Got the very best Chops/seals for $130.RMB, but could not find the USSR Navy (titanium) watches anywhere.
The "knockoff market" in Shanghai is great, but the Gov't is closing it ion 2 months.
Amazing country!
M
mikemo is offline  
Old Apr 18th, 2006, 10:19 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 52
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Some very good suggestions. The chops are a good idea.

Someone mentioned about peasant paintings in Xian. Tell your son to be careful when buying these. This has been a "scam" in Xian (and other areas) for a long time now. Someone will approach your son and he'll be VERY friendly and strike up a conversation with him and tell him that he's learning English and would like to practice talking to your son. And he'll tell your son that he's a struggling painter and he'll ask your son if he wants to buy a painting or 2 from him. This is their way of luring you into their shop to buy a painting. Some of their work is pretty good. Just tell your son not to be pressured into buying something if he's not interested.

As far as buying electronics, everybody is right in that it's definitely not cheaper in China, especially in H.K. But you CAN bargain with them at some shops.

The other thing that I would stock up on if I went to China again are pirated DVD's! EXCELLENT prices and quality! We got some for as little as 60 cents each!!!! Tell your son to definitely buy some when he's in Beijing, Shanghai, and Xian. We didn't see any in H.K.

jcena is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
mcjones
Asia
18
Jul 13th, 2014 11:14 AM
shj
Asia
7
Feb 16th, 2010 10:13 AM
Faloola
Asia
26
Oct 10th, 2006 05:33 PM
DonJ1973
Asia
6
Jul 20th, 2006 10:56 AM
Francine
Asia
9
Jan 18th, 2003 04:28 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

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