What to Buy
Most of the travellers in China eager to bring some local souvenirs to their families. With so many options available in China, shopping can be a time consuming, confusing and exhausting experience. Here are some useful tips to make your shopping more efficient:
Don't buy everything in the first day or two. Each city has its own specialty. Some of the best buys are:
Beijing: Cloisonné; Fresh water pearls
Xi'an: Replicas of the Terra Cotta soldiers; Tangsancai ( Tang Dynasty hand painted China); Antique Furniture
Shanghai: Silk carpets
Hangzhou: Longjing Tea; Silk Suzhou: Silk
Guilin: Scroll paintings;
China Southern Sea Pearls
Yunnan: Mounted Butterflies; Pure tea;
Dali Batik (tie-dyed fabric)
Xinjiang: Carpets; jade articles
Tibet: Thang-ka（tanka）(Sheep skin wall hangings)
Shopping is not obligatory
You don't have to feel forced to do some shopping. Our guides offer shopping opportunities as a courtesy but if you're not interested, say no. Some of them may be quite enthusiastic, thinking this is what you want, so don't be embarrassed to tell them directly and immediately if you don't like. It will be the same if your attendants advise you to buy something.
Be cautious of fake items
Shopping in China is an experience both of fun and caution, especially when you want to buy some Chinese traditional antiques.
Antique buyers should know that many experts have been disappointed to find that their find of a lifetime is beautiful but fake. Antiques should be officially certified to be exported legally. The penalties are severe. Keep all receipts, certificates and official documents that are received when you purchase any antiques. Antiques are those items over 120 years of age.
Bargaining is enjoyed by Chinese people and others who want to buy something value for money. So you can enjoy bargaining with most of the retailers in small and private stores instead of the large shopping malls.
You'd better check the import restrictions in your home country as some items may attract tax on arrival in your home country, especially if it is mailed or shipped separately.
Q: Am I allowed to bring back purchased electronics to the USA in my luggage?
A: There is no problem in taking electronics back to the USA. You just need to consider excess baggage (if you intend to take a lot) and duty which will be collected by US Customs on entry. The passenger need to check the duty free limit which each passenger is allowed. The passenger would also need to ensure the electronics are packed well to prevent breakage.
In addition, when you make the decision, you need to double check the electronics you buy can also work in the USA (voltage, etc.). You can also refer to some customs and regulations for more information.