another cheap souvenir item that I sometimes Buy during my travels.
The Keychains are the stereotypical cheap souvenir items that you give to your friends as a gift and a memento of your travels.
while I love to collect mostly shot glasses and fridge magnets of my travels, I also do buy other souvenir stuffs and being in Beijing, I bought a number of key chains as they are really a cheap souvenir item here and comes in different designs and different materials like wood or tin or pewter or steel and a keychain cost from RMB 5 to 10 per piece, depending on your haggling skills.
available at the many souvenir shops and stalls all around Beijing
you must buy one Mao Zedong T-Shirt for posterity!
Mao Tse Tsung, also known as Mao Zedong is the founder of Modern Communist China and was a giant in the International Scene During the Cold War and though during his rule in China was one of the most tumultous in Chinese History, He is one of the most famous modern Figures of China and there are even lots of souvenirs that have Mao Zedong as their feature and the most popular will be buying the Mao T-Shirts and they are available everywhere at the tourist areas and even in Malls and Shopping areas and a shirt will cost from RM 15 to 25, per piece, depending on your haggling skills,
another good way to buy souvenirs, but be ready to haggle as price are not fixed!
but you would notice that prices of the souvnenir T-Shirts are generally higher in Beijing than in Southern China as most of the Manufacturing Areas of China is located along the Coasts and in the Provinces of Guangdong, Shanghai, Hainan and Fujian. Souvenir T-Shirts abound all around Beijing, particularly at the tourist areas and the quality of the cheapest ones are spotty at about RMB 15 to 20 per shirt (if you haggle) and the more durable ones cost RMB 30 to 40 (if you haggle).
off course you can buy the cheapest T-Shirts in Southern China and Macau and Hong Kong if you want to buy various cheap T-Shirts as souvenirs as these shirts are cheaply mass produced along the many Factories along the Pearl River Delta
assorted refrigerator magnets from beijing and it cost 10 to 20 RMB, depending on the materials used and your haggling skills and are available everywhere at the various Tourist Sites like the Great Wall, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace, Beijing Zoo, Beijing Capitol International Aiport, Ming Tombs, etc.
nice paper weights for the fridge
a nice souvenir from Beijing as beside shot glasses (unfortunately, I could not find any Beijing shot glasses here), I also love to collect Refrigerator Magnets on all my travels and here in Beijing is no Different., I usually buy them as part of my souvenir collections of the local area that I've visited and here in Beijing, and you can find them everywhere especially at the assorted souvenir shops all around. Prices of the Fridge magnets vary depending if the ref magnet is ceramic or plastic or magnetized metal and your haggling skills.
If you're a collector too then I would suggest you buy one too
good as gifts for girls. cost 10 to 15 RMB each, depending on your haggling skills.
off course buying silk in Hong Kong and in Macau or Mainland China is the real mccoy! as this is the place who invented the silk fabric that they discovered from the goo of silkworms and buying in The Capital of Beijing for Silk Products cannot be more original.
but a caveat, there are inferior quality silk produced in Mainland Chine too, so before buying the silk products like the silk wallets, be sure to check out the products really well. budget silk wallets can cost between 10 RMB to 15 RMB per piece, depending on your haggling skills and the real quality ones can go up to 30 RMB and more.
where can you buy the cheapest made lighters around the world?
where else but in china and it's territories of Macau and Hong Kong as most of the large scale manufacturing is located at the Southern China Region in the Pearl River Delta of Guangzhou Province which is just beside the two terrritories. Hence you can buy chinese made lighters as low as 2 RMB at the souvenir shops and regular convenience stores all around Beijing (but if you want the durable ones, they cost RMB 6 or more).
very cheap and also disposable, but I could not vouch for the quality.
very cheap at 3 RMB
a great way to have a souvenir as The Coomunist Cap was made famous by Communist China's Founder Mao Zedong and you can find it literally everywhere.
you can buy the ubiqitous mao communist caps even in capitalist hong kong as these are fast selling novelty items for collectors like me and you can find these mao communist caps at the various souvenir shops and stalls all around Beijing like in the Summer Palace or Temple of Heaven or Forbidden City with different designs and colors and some even have tin pin up symbols around the caps and they range between RMB 12 to 20 per cap, depending on your haggling skills and the quality of the caps, so i would suggest you buy one for posterity
They have some really nice handy craft in China, and they can be pretty cheap, if you are a hard bargainer.
Bought the picture for RMB50 in a shop. Thought it was a good bargain, I bought 4. When it started, the lady asked for RMB100. After some arm wrestling bargaining, we settled at 4 for RMB200, I walked away, gleefully.
Then, on the street market, saw the same stuff again. Asked for the price, the lady at the stall told me it was RMB50 each. And without much fight, she was happy to give 2 to me at RMB50.
I was a bit miffed, but still glad that I managed to average down the price per unit.
One of the things you MUST do when shopping in China is to bargain. Start by offering a 60 or 70% off, depending on the product. Don't you thing it's too much, the prices they give to tourists are as much as 15 times higher. Believe me, they will reduce it until it's fair for you both. Always bargain pleasantly and with a smile and don't be afraid, bargain is a normal practice.
There is a lot of air in the prices quoted to tourist. You should start bargaining by giving an offer max 10 % of the offered rate. And you do not need to increase it. Usually the seller comes down to your level if he really wants to sell. And believe me, he does want to sell!
Even those with patience may go crazy with the absolute persistence in trying to sell you stuff especially when near a tourist area....to point of nauseam.
The Silk Market is a great shopping experience - I quite enjoy conversing with the vendors who try to befriend...it's part of the atmosphere, just enjoy it instead of being annoyed by it.
Remember a few dollars here and there won't mean much to you, but it will to them.
After experiencing the thrill of getting a good bargain in the markets, and with road-side stalls, I went shopping in clothing and jewellery shops along the main road (that Jishuitan stn is on). I tried my bargaining tactics with them. It didn't work well. I think they were annoyed. They might maybe discount you 10-20 RMB, that's all. Or you can get a special price if you buy 2 or more. But generally the quoted price is near to the price they are going to sell to you. One Jewellery shop had a sign, 'No bargaining please'. So, just try it tenatively in nicer shops around Beijing. You may get a discount, but don't hope for any amazing price cut like in the markets!
They can see it, they can touch it, they can smell it. Brightly lit underground corridors and banks of escalators take the new urban Beijing comrades into a luxurious warren of Western luxuries. They can walk from their homes and see what luxury means: to get rich is glorious. And you get a Rolex.
Seeing, touching, smelling wealth is not enough fro Beijing: they want to have it, have it all, and have it now. This is the realm of Gollum - wanting 'my precious' without ever knowing what they have now that maybe means so much more. Haughty, chirpy and ridiculously inept shop-girls stand idly awaiting their next customer - and at these prices, the next customer will pay the way for the entire shop for another day. Just one in fifty thousand in Beijing have the money to keep China World and other luxury plazas in business.
Most Beijingers have absolutely no idea that most of the luxuries found in the bright basements of the China World Centre are equally unattainable for the vast majority of those in Europe, the States or Japan.
The new Forbidden City is definitely China World, and as further down the road, the contents are largely an illusion.
This came very useful when I was at the foot of the trail up to the Great Wall.
Chinses peope are very entrepreneurial and will try to sell you everything and anything if you walk by a stall - "No" to them means you want to bargain.
Chinese will ALWAYS try and charge foreigners at least three times and upwards of the price of the item if it is not clearly marked already. To counter balance this, start your bidding at at most one tenth of their asking price - you will quickly find that their asjing and your offer price will converge at around what you can expect for that item if you were chinese.
A good way to tell them you are not interested is to say "I think this is beautiful - someone else might like it" then they will gracefully retreat and say no more.
Of course the other way is to quickly walk on by or walk away if you have no interest in buying anything.
One of the most frequent questions I have encountered when I dine out with my European colleagues is : "shall I leave tip" ?
Thanks to Chairman Mao's motto " serve people first "!
One thing you don't need to worry about while trvelling in China is the "tip" , most of the place where you get service are not necessiarily to leave tip (except some tourist site or luxury hotel ) .
No need to be guilty as some of the local people are not used to be given small money, if you leave little money , sometimes may confuse the things, those who served you may consider that you look down upon them.
Enjoy " tip free " service in China everywhere!