Shopping for cheap and affordable China souvenirs and gifts are always a fun thing to do in our stay. We always love to bring souvenirs home to share our wonderful trips to others and as a memory of our wonderful journey. Beijing souvenirs are one of a kind and must make your families and friends happy, but remember, save up one for yourself as memento. While there are more than a thousand Beijing or Chinese souvenirs for you to choose from, this time I would share the most affordable and the best and top China Beijing souvenirs to make sure you had made good use of your time and money.
Top 10 Beijing Souvenirs
The followings are randomly listed. The order of importance would be determined by you!
1. Imperial Carved Lacquerware
Carving is one of the valuable and skillful art in ancient China. Skillful artists did pattern carvings on nearly all daily objects, from big furniture to personal ear rings. The carvings are very artistic and you can learn more about the culture of China from most of them. Now everyone can take one of these traditional carves home since some of them are very affordable, you can find the red carved key rings, ear rings and accessory boxes in common souvenir shops for less than $13. These little attractive souvenirs could definitely cheer up the ladies.
For this kind of red carving souvenir, you can only find them in China, but you will be able to see other accessories like bracelets, ear rings, small mirrors and stuff in the shops, those are less representative and you will be able to find them (better and cheaper) when traveling to south east Asia.
2. Traditional Beijing Skincare
Since the climate of Beijing is rather dry, many cream and skincare products are quite thick and moisturizing. They are generally a very good protector in deep winter. And as a gift or souvenir, you would like to choose some light ones like hand cream or body cream instead of something to put on the face, because our facial condition would be different.
The hand cream and lotion captured on the picture are some of my recommendations (not in proportional size), they are also very affordable at the rate of less than $2-$5 per item. The hand and body cream on second row are with heavier texture than the first, thus maybe suitable for regions with very extreme weather. You may notice the clam shaped cream, well it’s not that large, smaller than others in actual size of around 2 inches, the packing is of clam shape and do not worry, the case could be covered up while not in use.
But if you are buying for yourself or for your closer ones, the TWO GIRLS(or Shanghai Vive雙妹嚜) products are really fantastic! You can find this brand in Hong Kong too. The Two Girls, featuring a pair of Chinese traditional dressed women, are famous for its perfumes. The florida water can be used as perfume and could act as mosquito repellent and cool down the body temperature. The fragrance smells exactly like those traditional Chinese women in Cheongsam, as a kind of vintage Chinese flavor.
Combs made of wood or cow and fish bones are very common souvenirs in Beijing. Apart from improving blood circulation, these combs are particularly good for massaging the head as they are anti-static. For long term usage the Chinese believe that dandruff and hair loss could be reduced if used frequently.
Some of these combs are very cheap and could be located in the street market; there are also shops specify on comb making or hand made combs, they stock in unique combs and more elegant combs for higher end gifts. It is one of the best gifts for those who are particularly concerned for their health, especially for the elderly and middle-ages.
4. Snuff Bottle
Same as carved lacquerware, snuff bottles could also be found only in China. Though this kind of souvenir carries a little sad and unhealthy history of China, the snuff bottles are always one of the best gifts Chinese like to get from their trips nowadays.
For those who are interested in the history of snuff bottle in China, it was commonly used by the public in the Qing Dynasty, where people put in tobacco in the snuff bottle and carried it everywhere to snuff tobacco for convenience, thus the small size the bottle has. Smoking tobacco was illegal in that time but not snuffing, so what they could do was snuff. As it was being carried whenever people went, ancient Chinese people began to decorate it with patterns and design and hang them on their belts to make sure others could see them, it was by then treated as an accessory. The development of snuff bottle was becoming more and more mature, many bottles have Chinese painting on them or even INSIDE them while some are carved with patterns. The snuff bottles could show how skillful the ancient Chinese artists were.
Now, the use of snuff bottle is merely for memories and decorations. It has lost its functions in the modern city. But even so, we can still stare at the snuff bottle and figure out how Chinese artists are able to paint a Chinese painting in the inner side of a bottle of 1.5 inches tall.
5. Chinese Opera Cartoon Pens, Key Rings and Accessories
Best Beijing souvenirs for kids should be these Chinese Opera Cartoon products, they are available in pens, key rings, dolls, figures, stickers, you name it. Each character carries a different Chinese traditional story, so when you send out your gifts, you can tell them the story, this way they could learn something more about the Chinese culture too!
6. Modern Mao and the Creative Merchandise
Everyone knows Mao when we speak of modern China. There are many creative merchandise around the Mao theme too, created by young people in Beijing, representing the creativity of modern young age. These creative products could make you laugh. Take some of these home to your friends to share the joy!
7. Beijing T-shirt
Whether you are going for traditional T-shirt of the Great Wall or causal shirts with some creative slogan, you will be able to find them all in Beijing. These are some funny, useful, low cost and thoughtful gifts for friends. I never thought I could find Internet popular memes printed on T-shirts in China too! Have some laugh.
8. Old Beijing Shoes
While these shoes cannot compare with your Nike air sport shoes, the Chinese had been wearing them for a long time. The shoes for male would be rather plain, but girls would love this kind of shoes. If you are buying one for your girlfriend, go for the red ones with stitch patterns of flowers or dragons, most of them will be amused by these. Lol.. Just between you and me, the red stitched ones are always for the brides.
As Beijing are all about its architectural traditional complex, gardens and the Great Wall, there is no better way than sharing your instant feeling with your friends by sending a postcard from China together with China stamps. Yes it is cheap, but always priceless.
10. Beijing Snacks
One of the best of the best in Beijing is its food and cuisine. You may not be able to take all the food back home for sharing, but well preserved snack is a MUST for you to carry back home. You can save them all for you alone or share some of them with your friends if you are, say, generous.
And you know, Beijing snack is another very important topic that I am going to write it as another post. Which snacks are yummy and which are yucky? Stay tune.
After this brief introduction, now you can prepare your shopping list before heading to Beijing, all of my recommendations are very affordable and interesting. You will find much more souvenirs on sale in the Beijing marketplace. Do not be shy to haggle if necessary. I am sure your friends and family will love whatever you bought for them. So just enjoy your journey!