10 Best Souvenirs to Bring Home from China

Best Gifts to Bring from a China Trip

 

Souvenir shopping can be one of the most enjoyable aspects of visiting China. There, you’ll discover beautiful items you can’t find anywhere else. As you explore bustling shopping streets, keep an eye out for the following souvenirs:

1. Hand-Painted Snuff Bottles

One of the most popular souvenirs in China, hand-painted snuff bottles originated during the Ming dynasty. Today, most people use them purely as decoration. Increasingly, these are mass-produced — but you can find an authentic product if you opt for artisans who paint these souvenirs as you watch.

 

2. Masks

If you love opera, you’ll be equally fond of the beautiful opera masks found in stores throughout China. These brightly-colored masks feature bold designs that are sure to stand out. Different mask colors signify different opera character; take your time and explore a variety of designs before you make your selection.

 

3. Chinese Tea

If you love tea, you’ll definitely want to pick up an assortment before you head home. This allows you to continue to experience one of the best elements of your trip when you’re thousands of miles away. Keep an eye out for teas exclusive to China, and specifically, the region in which you’re staying.

 

4. Yixing Clay Teapots

While you’re shopping for tea, keep an eye out for clay teapots. Not just any teapot will do, however; you’ll specifically want to search for those constructed from Yixing clay. Crafted near Lake Tai, these beautiful pots are primarily meant for brewing black and oolong teas.

 

5. Kites

Kites were invented in China thousands of years ago. These kites don’t look quite like what you flew as a child, however. They’re often more intricate and more memorable. The windy environment of Beijing makes this souvenir ideal for testing out while you’re still in China.

 

6. Chinese Silk

Chinese silk may be thin, but it’s also exceptionally strong. Produced by silkworms as they craft their cocoons, this material is both comfortable and luxurious. Silk pajamas could completely transform your bedtime routine.

 

7. Calligraphy Brushes

Whether you currently practice calligraphy or hope to eventually pick it up as a hobby, you’ll quickly fall in love with the authentic brushes you find in China. Many souvenir shops sell full sets including ink sticks and other essentials.

 

8. Lord Rabbit Figures

Lord Rabbit has been prevalent throughout Beijing since the 1300s. At one time, nearly all households in Beijing made sacrifices to the rabbit god for the mid-autumn festival. Today, Lord Rabbit figures are primarily used for decor — and to symbolize the unique culture of Beijing.

 

9. Jade Jewelry

Jade has long played an important role in China, where it is still sold in most jewelry stores. Be careful; some shop owners attempt to pass off imitation jade as the real thing. The most reliable sellers will offer certificates of authenticity for big-ticket items.

 

10. Erguotou

Commonly consumed among Chinese blue-collar workers, this white liquor is made from sorghum. While a variety of brands can be found in and around Beijing, Niulanshan and Red Star are the most famous. 

 

Souvenir options abound throughout China. The true difficulty lies in narrowing down your list to ensure that you have enough space in your luggage to bring each precious item home. Whether purchased for yourself or for loved ones, your Chinese souvenirs are sure to spark joy.

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