Beijing Time (GMT+8)
11:56 pm Nov 03
Xian is packed with vast scope of shopping scenes to thrill and delight each of its visitors. Part of the joy is the sheer amount of small trinkets on offer, from replicas of cultural relics to traditional arts and once-of-a-kind folk crafts. A perennial love for travellers to pick up special Xian souvenirs is at the century-old Muslim Street. If you desire the trendiest and the most upscale, Xian has more than enough shopping malls, high-end designer stores and flashy boutiques for you to browse.
Here are some ideas of how you can get started on your shopping adventure in Xian.
Lifelike copies of the real figurine displayed in the museum, the Terracotta Warriors Replicas is unarguably the ultimate souvenir for anyone who has made the trip to Xian. Many different types and sizes of it are available, while those mini versions, with 1/8 size of the original ones, are ideal to fit in your luggage and take home to delight your friends or families. The best place to buy the iconic souvenir is the Muslim Street or souvenir shops around scenic areas, usually five or six in a box, each with different features and facial expressions. Some may be hawked higher and you need to bargain hard.
Shadow Puppet Show is a gem of ancient Chinese folk opera, in which dramas are acted out by shadow puppeteers moving cut-out figures of leather or paperboard against an illuminated screen, accompanied by musical and sound effects. Watching a fantastic shadow puppetry makes for a great experience along your Xian travel. And the exquisitely crafted puppets can be pleasant souvenir of typical Chinese flavors to bring back home. Involving as many as 24 procedures, artworks of shadow puppets possess impressive aesthetic features, like vivid image, gorgeous color and sophisticated carving art, which are highly spoken by foreign visitors.
Paper-cutting is a time-honored folk art in Shaanxi province, reputed as a "living fossil" for its heritage of ancient Chinese designs, folk customs and cultural traditions of thousands of years. Made of red paper, paper cuttings feature vivid depiction and rustic beauty. Motifs varying from animals, flowers, legendary figures to scenes from folklores convey rich connotations, such as people’s wish for fortune, health or happiness. Today, red paper cuttings are chiefly decorative, livening up windows and doors in festival celebrations.
Jade article produced in Lantian County is one of the highly prized varieties of jade in China. Tracing back to the Qin Dynasty, it was already treasured by royalty and nobles as a status symbol, and the emperor Qinshihuang, China’s first emperor, used it to make his imperial seal. Well known for its hard texture, mild luster and beautiful coloring varying from milky white to emerald green, pale blue and light yellow in one piece, Lantian jade is excellent material for jade carving and producing craft works. Bracelets, earrings, tea sets and various fine art products are great gifts for friends.
A well-known can’t-missed spot for first-timers to Xian, the time-honored Muslim Street is your top choice to pick up tiny replicas of terracotta soldiers, antiques, paper-cuts, silk products, little handmade toys and other nice pieces of local art crafts. The bustling area actually consists of a myriad streets and lanes, like Beiyuan Gate(北院门), Huajue Lane(化觉巷), Dapi Yuan(大皮院), Damaishi Street(大麦市街), Sajin Qiao(洒金桥), etc., where you can indulge in treasure hunting for hours while taking in old architectures of Ming and Qing dynasties flanking on both sides.
Shuyuanmen Cultural Street is a 570-meter-long old fashioned street immersing in strong cultural ambience. The main focus of the street is calligraphy, traditional Chinese paintings as well as Chinese Four Treasures of Scholars (brush, ink, paper and inkstone), which makes the quaint area loaded with over 100 ancient style shops a paradise for artists. You may also visit a workshop and see craftsmen painting, practicing calligraphy, making stamps and constructing various artworks. It’s a much more peaceful and delightful visit, and prices are surprisingly fair.
If you are not a culture fan, still you can enjoy here for souvenir shopping with a fabulous array of antiques and folk artifacts.
Another good place to find a wide range of antiques is at Xian Antique City. Set up in 1998, it is the largest antique market in the city, boasting more than 400 shops specializing in everything from ceramic or porcelain pots to ancient coin, jade articles, jewels, paintings, old furniture, bronze wares and replicas of Tang Pottery Replicas. Head there on Saturday morning where the market is at its most lively, you will find plenty of old and fun stuff displayed on mats spread on the ground. It’s a great chance to enjoy Chinese culture, but you’ll have a hard time to tell if the pearls or trinket are genuine or not.
If you are looking for high street fashion and cutting-edge Xian lifestyle, you won’t go far wrong by heading to the North, South, East or West Street radiating from the recognizable Bell Tower in downtown. Known as the city’s most affluent commercial center, the area is packed with gleaming mega-malls, upmarket department stores, gourmet restaurants and luxury boutiques catering to Xian’s well-heeled folks.
South Street is your best bet for finding top international brands like Lois Vuitton and Prada; North Street is ideal for tech shopping with a cluster of mind-blowing electronics superstores; East Street crowded with specialty shops is all about for modern youth fashion, and the West Street stands out for its Tang Dynasty architectural style which gives a flavor of the cultural uniqueness of Xian. Each street comes with its own character and together offers the best shopping experience in Xian.
Recommended Places to Go Shopping:
Centering on Xian’s university area and easily accessible via efficient city public transport, Xiaozhai Commercial Center is bursting with youthful vigor as a popular hangout for local youngsters and fashion lovers. Aside from mazelike malls and department stores, the most appealing feature is a plethora of small fashion boutiques where haggling is encouraged. You can find everything from band name clothing, funky fashion, bookshops, beauty salons, high-tech gadgets, covered markets, all kinds of gourmet eateries, bars and so on. With so many tantalizing options to explore, Xiaozhai delivers overall shopping satisfaction.
How to get there: take metro line 2 or 3 and get off at Xiaozhai Station.
Popular Shopping Venues:
Great Tang All Day Mall is a huge complex of theme squares, souvenir shops, galleries, restaurants, cafes and pedestrianized cultural blocks centering on the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, a prominent landmark of the ancient city of Xian. With the glorious Tang Dynasty culture as the background, it integrates shopping, dining, recreation, leisure and sightseeing into a whole, making it a great place to catch up with friends and scope out Xian’s shopping scene. The place is best visited at night when architectures in Tang Dynasty style are marvelously illuminated.
Places to Go Shopping:
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