The cosmopolitan city of Canton has an enormous market where you can buy just about anything, including foreign goods, and which is particularly famous for its oddities. In any event try to get to the Qingping market in Qingping Lu which sells an amazing quantity of products such as bonzai trees, very fine ones but relatively inexpensive.
Canton’s main shopping streets are Bijing Lu, Zongshan Lu and Jiefang Lu; the Friendship Store, one of China’s best, is at 368 Huanshi Dong Lu. For antiques look for the Guangdong Antique Store at 575 Hongshu Bei Lu in the Bright Filial Piety Temple complex (Guangxiao Si) and the Guangdong Antique Shop at 170 Wende Bei Lu. Finally, there is also the Jiangnan Product Store at 399 Zhongshan Lu, where you can buy articles of bamboo and woven straw, and the shop inside the White Swan Hotel at 1 Nan Jie Shamian which has a big selection of arts and crafts.
Chengdu is famous for its brocade and has many little markets selling painted fans and artworks on silk, including those on Chunxi Lu, the main shopping street, which also has a shop for musical instruments, the famous apothecary Deretang at no. 22, and the Friendship Store. The Exhibition Hall (Zhanlanguan Menshibu) in Renmin Lu has many kinds of traditional arts and crafts for sale. The very well-stocked Sichuan Antique Store north of Chunxi Lu in the Shaocheng Lukou, Shudu Dadao. is the place to find antiques.
Typical local products of Dali, north-west of Kunming, include the marble for which it is famous, batiks hand-made by the region’s ethnic minorities but also mass-produced locally, and Tibetan-style goods sold on the streets. It is worth paying a visit to the market at Shapin, not far from Dali, where the traders from the surrounding district assemble on Mondays to sell their colourful wares.
Guilin, which has developed into a major centre for Chinese and foreign tourism, has nothing special in the shopping line but you may find it worthwhile taking a look around the Guilin Antique Store at 79 Zhongshan Zhong Lu and the neighbouring quarter.
The silk painted parasols and Longjing Cha tea for which Hangzhou is famous make it a good place for a shopping expedition. The most interesting shops are the Friendship Store at 18 Hubin Lu, the Zhejiang Antique Store at 22 Huancheng Xi Lu and the Arts and Crafts Stores on Huancheng Lu and Zhongshan Zhonglu, where you can buy scissors, another well-known product of the city, and a great variety of traditional Chinese medicines.
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