One of the perks (and perils) of traveling through Beijing and Shanghai is the excellent shopping that can be found, and often for great prices. With the holidays fast approaching, your resident AsiaTravel shoppers thought we’d share a few of our favorite city haunts. Some are very well-known, and some are tiny gems that we were reluctant to part with. Happy holiday hunting!
- For serious bargain hunters, the stalls at Hongqiao Market will whip up strands of pearls, coral, beads, and semi-precious stones to your heart’s content, while you watch. Buyer beware: quality (and price) varies greatly, so be sure to inspect your wares before you hand over your hard-earned RMB.
- Looking for something new for the home? Lost and Found is the place for eclectic home-wares.
- If you have a fan of contemporary art on your shopping list, than the 798 District is a must even if the gallery paintings fall just a little out of your budget. For those less willing to fork over the big bucks for avant garde art, this is also a great place to source art, photography and design books.
- Grifted is home to an off-beat collection of unique, one of a kind gifts with a quirky sense of humor.
- Find almost anything at Panjiayuan, a massive open air market, perfect for souvenirs and “antiques”. Be sure to go early though, as that’s when you’ll find the best bargains. Only open on the weekends.
- Worth a visit even if you’ve already seen the museum’s collection of bronzes, calligraphy, and pottery, the Shanghai Museum Gift Shop has a sophisticated assortment of real and replica treasures for the sophisticated giftee.
- Madame Mao’s Dowry stocks high-quality knickknacks and furniture with a China twist. Look out for their ceramic Christmas tree ornaments with propaganda art and slogans.
- While not one particular store, the warehouses and shops on Taikang Lu are known for their one-of-a-kind, interesting wares.
Locations in Both Cities:
- For modern, Asian-influenced pottery, SPIN should be number one on your list.
- Torana specializes in beautiful handcrafted Tibetan area rugs.
- Whether shopping for your mom or yourself, Woo is a must for scarf and shawl lovers.