Shopping in China

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Lhasa

    Dropenling

    This impressive nonprofit enterprise aims to bolster traditional Tibetan handicrafts in the face of rising Chinese and Nepali imports. Products are unique and of high quality, and they are made using traditional techniques (natural dyes, wool not acrylic etc) updated with contemporary designs. Ask about the two-hour artisan walking tour of Lhasa’s old town (¥50 per person, minimum five people).

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Hongkou & North Shanghai

    Spin

    High on creative flair, Spin offers a modern take on Chinese ceramics with oblong teacups, twisted sake sets and all manner of plates, chopstick holders, plus cool little items like ceramic bow ties. Pieces are never overbearing, but lean towards the whimsical, geometric, thoughtful and elegant. All are made by Shanghainese designers in the famous pottery town of Jingdezhen.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Sanlitun & Chaoyang

    Panjiayuan Market

    A curio hunter's heaven or an Everest of fakery? Panjiayuan is both, and marvellous fun to boot. Picking over the wares of some 4000 dealers, you won't chance upon that priceless dòucǎi stem cup, but you will find Mao busts, Little Red Books, coins, stamps and faded cigarette posters bobbing about in an endless sea of knock-off ceramics, cloisonné, Buddha icons and jade.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Shanghai Old City

    Old Street

    This renovated Qing dynasty stretch of Middle Fangbang Rd is lined with specialist tourist shops, spilling forth with shadow puppets, jade jewellery, embroidered fabrics, kites, horn combs, chopsticks, zǐshā teapots, old advertising posters, banknotes, Tibetan jewellery, the usual knock-off Mao memorabilia, reproduction 1930s posters, old illustrated books and calligraphy manuals, and surreal 3D-dazzle kitten photos.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Kowloon

    Ladies' Market

    The Tung Choi Street Market is a cheek-by-jowl affair offering cheap clothes and trinkets. Vendors start setting up their stalls as early as noon, but it's best to get here between 1pm and 6pm when there's much more on offer. Beware, the sizes stocked here tend to suit the lissom Asian frame. A terrific place to soak up local atmosphere.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in The Bund & People's Square

    Suzhou Cobblers

    Right off the Bund, this cute boutique sells exquisite hand-embroidered silk slippers, bags, hats and clothing. Patterns and colours are based on the fashions of the 1930s, and as far as the owner Denise Huang is concerned, the products are one of a kind. Slippers start at ¥650 and can be made to order.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Sanlitun & Chaoyang

    Parkview Green

    In a city in thrall to the mall, this futuristic, ecofriendly pyramid stands out from the crowd. Hong Kong–owned Parkview Green is a fabulously ambitious, art-strewn wonderland enclosing designer boutiques from the likes of Stella McCartney and Sandro, a Tesla showroom, a cinema and brilliant restaurants, including Italian fine-dining Opera Bombana and casual duck joint Taste of Dadong.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Aberdeen & South Hong Kong Island

    Horizon Plaza

    Tucked away on the southern coast of Ap Lei Chau, this enormous outlet housed in a converted factory building contains 100 shops over 25 storeys. Most locals come here to buy furniture, but you’ll also find Alexander McQueen on offer and Jimmy Choos at knock-down prices. Heaps of kiddies' stuff as well, from books and toys to clothing and furniture.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Tianjin

    Nírén Zhāng

    Trading under the name of the artist (Zhang Mingshen) who invented Tianjin's most famous craftwork almost 200 years ago, the inconspicuous first-floor premises of Nírén Zhāng is a wonderful place to browse for Tiānjīn Nírén (天津泥人) – playful childlike clay figurines representing traditional Chinese activities and traits.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Dashilar & Xicheng South

    Caicifang Porcelain Workshop

    This charming boutique upcycles shards of porcelain vases smashed during the Cultural Revolution into unique and desirable jewellery, boxes, ornaments and art pieces. You can pay ¥50 for a shard fridge magnet, or a few hundred for a metal box inset with the character for 'double happiness', a common decorative motif on blue-and-white porcelain. English-speaking staff have a wealth of porcelain-related knowledge.

  • Shopping in Tianjin

    New Year Paintings Gallery

    The former canal-side market town of Yangliuqing is famous throughout China for producing Chinese New Year block-printed paintings that people hang in their homes for good luck. This small gallery showcases some lovely examples and also has some for sale; you can take home an easy-to-transport scroll version for less than ¥200.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Macau Peninsula

    Loja das Conservas

    This beautiful shop carries dozens of canned seafood brands (representing hundreds of varieties) from Portugal, all labelled with details on the history of the maker and the product. You'll find not only excellent sardines, tuna and mackerel but also sea bream, bacalhau (salted cod), octopus and sangacho de atum (tuna blood). The last is good on a bed of greens with a citrus dressing.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in French Concession

    Lolo Love Vintage

    There are dozens of 1920s brooches and pearl necklaces in glass display cabinets, rock and roll on the stereo and brilliantly kitsch bits and bobs like a stuffed peacock and plastic cactus outside this wacky shrine to 20th-century vintage. The Lolo villa is stuffed with frocks, blouses, tops, shoes and sundry togs spilling from hangers, shelves and battered suitcases.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Central District

    Wattis Fine Art

    This upstairs gallery has an outstanding collection of antique maps, lithographs, photos and posters for sale. Rarely will you find such an extensive homage to Asian history, covering not just Hong Kong and Macau but also Chinese cities like Shanghai and Southeast Asian destinations such as Borneo, Myanmar (Burma), Malaka and Mumbai. Enter from Old Bailey St.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Drum Tower & Dongcheng North

    Plastered 8

    A visual celebration of Beijing in all its chaotic glory, the T-shirts, hoodies, tote bags and gifts at this iconic streetwear shop make funky and desirable gifts. The boss – a long-term British expat and Chinese TV celebrity – works with Chinese artists in various media to create his always edgy designs.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Shenzhen

    Old Heaven Books

    A delicious bookshop specialising in cultural and academic titles, Old Heaven also doubles as a vinyl-music shop, cafe, live venue and community creative hub. It's a great place to plug in and catch up on that travel blog over a hazelnut latte. Performances take place here during the OCT-LOFT Jazz Festival.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Central District

    G.O.D.

    Goods of Desire – or G.O.D. – is a cheeky local lifestyle brand, selling homewares, clothes, books and gifts with retro Hong Kong themes. Fun buys include aprons printed with images of Hong Kong's famous neon signs, bed linen with themes like koi fish, and reasonably priced cheongsam tops in modern fabrics and colours; great for souvenirs. There's several other branches, including in PMQ.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Jing'an

    Design Republic

    Run by esteemed interior-design duo Neri & Hu – the last word on everything tasteful in Shanghai – Design Republic has set up this multilevel showroom displaying products from acclaimed local and international designers. Within a beautiful red-brick building that was a former police headquarters (c 1909), here you'll encounter anything from Scandinavian furniture to designer glassware, ceramics and accessories.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Kowloon

    Yue Hwa Chinese Products Emporium

    This five-storey behemoth is one of only a few old-school Chinese department stores left in the city. Products include silk scarves, traditional Chinese baby clothes and embroidered slippers, cheap and expensive jewellery, pretty patterned chopsticks and ceramics, plastic acupuncture models and calligraphy equipment. The top floor is all about tea, with vendors offering free sips. Food is in the basement.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Aberdeen & South Hong Kong Island

    G.O.D.

    One of the coolest born in Hong Kong shops around, G.O.D. does irreverent takes on classic Hong Kong iconography. Think mobile-phone covers printed with pictures of Hong Kong housing blocks, light fixtures resembling the ones in old-fashioned wet markets, and pillows covered in lucky koi print. There are a handful of G.O.D. shops in town, but this is one of the biggest.