A shop not far from Qufu’s Confucius Mansions (Kong Fu) sells craft wares and some interesting antiques.
Much of the business life of Shanghai, China’s most densely populated city, goes on in the famous street of Nanjing Lu, always thronged with people, leading west from the Bund (Zongshan Lu) for a couple of miles to the former French Concession. There are also good places to shop on the streets running parallel and across, such as Sichuan Lu or further south Jinling Lu and Huaihai Lu, which lie on the northern edge ofthe old town, the Yuyuan, itself crammed full of little shops. 118 Nanjing Dong Lu is worth recommending for its musical instruments, and the Caitongde pharmacy, behind the fagade of no. 320, specialises in Chinese medicines. The Friendship Store on the Bund carries just about every kind of typically Chinese wares, including magnificent silks, handicrafts and works of art. Occasionally really fine pieces can be found in the antique shops at 694 Nanjing Xilu and 194/226 Guandong Lu.
Suzhou certainly deserves its reputation as China’s leading silk producer, and the quarter around Guangian Lu is full of silk stores and workshops, where exquisite hand embroidery as well as silk by the yard is sold. The finest pieces can be seen at the Suzhou Embroidery Research Institute at 292 Jingde Lu (tel. 22 24 60 and 22 24 15). Renmin Lu holds the Suzhou Antique Store and the Arts and Crafts Store, while the Friendship Store is on Guanqian Jie.
Tianjin is famous for its kites, carpets and clay figurines. Most of the kites are made in a factory in Beijing but in Tianjin itself they can be bought in the Arts and Crafts Factory on Huanghe Dao, Nankaiqu. Carpets are on sale in
Number Three Carpet Factory at Hexi in the southern part of the city (tel. 817 12), which is also the location of a workshop making the clay figurines, available from 270 Machang Dao and the art gallery on Jiefang Lu.
The little city of Weifang in Shandong Province is famous for kite-making and producing the posters used for the Chinese New Year festival. A kite museum established there a few years ago is a very good place to buy kites and to watch the people at work making them.
Like Suzhou and Hangzhou, Wuxi is one of China’s major silk-producing centres. If you intend to buy silk, make your way to the shops around Dongfanghong Guanchang Square, and especially the Arts and Crafts Store at 192 Renmin Lu and the Friendship Store at 8 Zongshan Lu where you can also buy another local specialty, brightly painted clay figurines.
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