10 Best Places to Shop in Eastern China, China

Hefang Jie

Fodor's choice

Also known as Qinghefang Historic Block, Hefang Street is a lively, crowded pedestrian street that's not to be missed on a visit to Hangzhou. Restored old buildings are beautifully illuminated at night and house tea shops, traditional apothecaries, and boutiques selling qipaos (traditional silk Chinese dresses), scrolls, calligraphy, and wooden fans. Artists draw caricatures, candy makers sculpt sugar into art, blind masseurs alleviate tension, and storytellers re-create ancient Chinese legends. Start at Wushan Square and walk west. At night the glowing Chenghuang Pavilion, perched on a mountaintop next to the square, is enchanting.

Antiques Market Curio Bazaar

Small clusters of galleries and stalls here sell a variety of jade pieces and antique bric-a-brac of varying levels of authenticity. Chinese scrolls with traditional watercolor paintings and kitschy Mao-era memorabilia make good souvenirs. Bargain hard; prices are inflated for tourists.

China Silk Town

On either side of a nearly 4,000-foot-long pedestrian street, the stalls and shops of China Silk Town sell silk ties, pajamas, and shirts, plus silk straight off the bolt.

227 Xinhua Lu, Hangzhou, Zhejiang Sheng, 310000, China

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Gulou Pedestrian Street

If you head east down Zhongshan Xi Lu to Gulou (drum tower) Pedestrian Street, you'll come to a row of restored buildings packed with everything from inexpensive DVDs to tea to ceramics. In between the busy shops, there's the odd restaurant and night club. The area can get pretty crowded on weekends, but it is a great place to soak up modern Chinese culture while shopping for souvenirs.

Heyi Avenue

Ningbo's crème de la crème shop for luxury items at posh Heyi Avenue stores such as Gucci, Dior, Armani, Montblanc, and Swarovski. There's plenty of riverfront dining and nightlife, too.

66 Heyi Lu, Ningbo, Zhejiang Sheng, 315040, China

Lu Xun Zhong Lu

In addition to calligraphy brushes, and fans, scrolls, and other items decorated with calligraphy, this street has several shops selling the local tin wine pots. In the traditional way of serving yellow rice wine, the pots are placed on the stove to heat up wine for a cold winter's night. Also popular are traditional boatmen's hats, made of thick waterproof black felt.

Tianyi Square

Just east of the Tianfeng Pagoda is the Tianyi Square shopping-and-entertainment complex, a popular local meeting point, thanks to plentiful outdoor seating around a central fountain. There's also a slew of electronics and fashion outlets and a wide selection of fast-food and low-key local restaurants (don't miss the Ningbo dumplings at Gang Ya Gou). If you need a break from the crowds, look for the enormous Yaohang Street Catholic Church just outside the square.

88 Zhongshan Dong Lu, Ningbo, Zhejiang Sheng, 315040, China

Wushan Night Market

The Wushan Night Market has stalls selling late-night local snacks as well as those purveying accessories of every kind—ties, scarves, pillow covers—knockoff designer goods, and imitation antiques. It's open nightly from around 6.

Huixing Lu, Hangzhou, Zhejiang Sheng, 310007, China

Xianggang Lu Antiques Market

Qiaokou District

A combination antiques/curio/tchotchke emporium, this 20-year-old market is the place to come for souvenirs. Weekends see more than 200 venders selling their wares, with antiques ranging from coins to bronzeware. Jade jewelry and figurines, porcelain pieces, traditional Chinese furniture, and calligraphy supplies are also for sale. The authenticity of the antiques is questionable, so decide on a price ahead of time and then bargain with the seller until you reach it. Though weekends are when the market is busiest, there are enough stalls open on weekdays to make the trip worth it.

Xihu Longjing Tea Company

A few blocks north of the China Tea Museum, the Xihu Longjing Tea Company has a nice selection of the famed longjing (Dragon Well) tea.

38 Lingyin Lu, Hangzhou, Zhejiang Sheng, 310003, China