Another nice3 local gift is the sets of small wine glasses and goblets fashioned from jade. These cups are translucent and quite attractive. Not to my taste, but a lot of people like them a lot. They are made at various places in Gansu, and there is one small workshop almost opposite the Jiayuguan Hotel.
As many visitors want to purchase souvenirs that are localy made, by local people, I am trying to identify items that would be suitable. Most of China's souvenir industry iis dominated by big factories in the east of China, producing huge numbers of the same thing.
Local tourism and economic bureaux are keen to promote local industry and local handicrafts.
What to buy: In Jiayuguan, one of the nicest souvenirs is the recraeated little Wei Jin Tomb painted bricks. They would make excellent fridge magnets, but so far they have just been recreating the little bricks on their own (available from the shop at the Wei Jin Tombs museum at Xincheng). Also, on the same theme are the hand-painted replicas of the Wei Jin Tomb bricks. Available also at the Great Wall Museum.
One locally made object which is fascinating, is small three-dimensional flying apsaras made from fabric and gravel (!) which fold into their own tiny box. These are hand-made by local people. These obviously are not directly related to Jiayuguan because the apsaras are seen only in the caves at Dunhuang and Matisi, but they are still locally made an a nce souvenir.