10 gift ideas to bring home from china

3 Jan

After having lived in China for a few years it’s easy to come to the conclusion that since everything that westerners see in their home countries is generally made in China. A lot of what the markets have to offer, particularly the fake markets are knock-off versions of western premium goods. Here is a list of ten things I’ve found friends and family tend to enjoy as gifts when you visit China
1) Scarfs – you can find them cheap, buy a bunch at once for a discount. The ladies love them.
2) Tea – go for a round of the traditional black tea or the flowering tea (little balls) which make a good conversation piece.
3) Chinese Ornaments – for house decoration.
4) Artwork – there are amazing artists in China and if you look around you don’t have to pay a fortune.
5) Bookmarks – lots of decorative bookmarks for those who don’t yet have a kindle.
6) Chopsticks – there are some beautiful decorative sets to be had for good prices.
7) Tea service set gift box. Pack them carefully.
8) Jewelry – you can get really interesting hand made earrings, necklaces and rings for a few bucks from local designers and sellers.
9) Custom tailored suits, dresses and coats – usually ready to pick up 3-5 days after ordering so make sure to go to the fabric market early in your trip.
10) Did I mention scarfs? Easy to pack and you’ll never have trouble giving them away.
A few things I don’t recommend leaving China with
1) Anything food related. It probably won’t pass customs and people generally shy away from eating things from other countries.
2) Electronics – they are usually less expensive to buy outside mainland China and the quality will be known.
3) Software and DVD’s – tempting, but most likely will violate copyright laws in your home country.

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