Nanjing is famous for its local arts and crafts. The most famous
three are the cloud brocade, paper-cuttings, and imitations of
ancient ivory carvings. Other famous products and handcrafts
include Nanjing colorful pebbles, Jinling gold foils, Nanjing
velvet flowers, Jinling folded fans, wood carvings, velvet and
jade objects. Additionally, being a modern metropolis, Nanjing
also offers an array of dazzling shopping malls and department
stores, stocked with plenty of international brand names, which
can be found in the commercial areas of the city.
|Interesting Souvenir Items in Nanjing
The traditional cloud-pattern brocade is the most famous of all the Nanjing handicrafts.
It received its name for the pattern on the material tends to resemble beautiful
clouds. Originating from the Southern Dynasty, the cloud-pattern brocade gradually
developed during the Yuan Dynasty and became extremely popular during the Ming
and Qing Dynasties. Historically there were special institutes which were in
charge of making garments with the cloud-pattern brocade for the imperial family
or their foreign dignitaries. Now, to get your hands on this traditional satin,
try looking around the Confucius Temple area and at the night market on Hunan
Velvet is a material which was traditionally made and crafted
in Nanjing. There are two main types of velvet produced in the
region: silk velvet and silk-floss velvet. This velvet is used
in tapestry, cushions, rugs, clothing and upholstery. There
are numerous shops near the Drum Tower (Gulou) roundabout on
Hunan Lu where you can purchase good quality velvet.
Imitation Ancient Ivory Carvings
Imitation Ancient Ivory Carvings are very popular in Nanjing.
The most common pieces depict figures, animals and vessels.
One masterpiece, "The Princess Wencheng Leaving for Tibet" was
chosen as one of the nine best traditional handcrafts produced
in China. Besides this, other pieces are also very popular including
the "Duanwu Dragon Boat", "A Tang Person Hits
his friend called Ju" and "Dancing Figures" from the Tang
Dynasty. Look around at the Confucius Temple area for pretty
ivory carvings. Most of the big department stores also sell
this kind of thing.
Nanjing wood carvings include the imitation wood carving and
boxwood carvings. The former is plain in color, with the horse
and Buddha's carving being the most popular. The latter mainly
depicts animals and figures.
Nanjing's Yuhua Tea is said to be one of the ten renowned tea
categories in China. The green and erect tea leaves are considered
a metaphor for the spirit of patriotic soldiers, giving the tea
the name of this patriotic memorial place. The tender leaves
are processed with great care and have a delicate appearance
and fresh taste. The tea is said to protect against food poisoning,
refreshing the body, quenching thirst and cleansing the system.
It is often presented as a gift to friends.
Jinling Gold Leaf
The gold leaf produced in Nanjing is very thin and has a long
history dating back to 420 A.D. Gold is a symbol of supreme
respect of power. Chinese artifacts and antique artwork such
as architectural ornaments, religious statues and utensil are
often gilded with a thin layer of gold leaf. This traditional
hand-made technique has been passed down from generation to generation.
In the Yuan Dynasty, the gilding technique was widely used for
clothes, ornaments, architectural decorations and even as a medical
ingredient. The gold-thread clothes excavated from a 400 years
old tomb of a Qing officer proved that the city was an important
production centre of the gold leaf. Gilded paintings, bookmarks,
statues and other gold leaf products are available in many stores
Yuhua Pebbles are scented stones which make for a peculiar tourist
souvenir. It is said that the stone is tough quartz, chalcedony,
and precious gems.The Yuhua Pebble is commonly called as "the
colored agate of rain". Apparently to appreciate this rock,
you must examine its color, line, quality, and shape. It is
said that in 1955, among the grave products of the Neolithic
Age explored in Nanjing, the Chinese found 24 Yuhua pebbles (meaning
there is at least 5000 years behind these rocks). Designers
and craftsman have made masterpieces by using Yuhua Pebble as
raw materials such that people from around the world praised
it as a new talent in the realm of art and literature in jade
|Shopping Areas in Nanjing
The main shopping streets in Nanjing include the shopping area
near city central area in Xinjiekou, Hunan Lu in the northern
part of the city near Xuanwu Gate and Taiping Nanlu, and Fuzimiao
area in the south. There are also many dazzling department stores
selling all kinds of brand name items throughout Nanjing's commercial
areas. Please read
As the central landmark of the city, the downtown area of Xinjiekou
is both the transport and business center of the city. Hotels
including Jinling Hotel, a metro station, public buses and other
tourist facilities provide tourists with the convenient accommodation
and access to every corner of the city. Department stores, brand-name
stores, and large shopping centers in this area sell dazzling
This all-round wholesale center is the retail source for many
shops and stores. You can find anything here ranging from socks
to electronic toys. Although a wholesale market, even an individual
customer coming to buy a T-shirt won't be refused entry.
Located right inside the Xuanwu Gate of the city's ancient wall
in the northern part of the city, there is an east-west road
called Hunan Lu. This road ranks as the second most popular
road in Nanjing after Xinjiekou. The beautifully decorated road
has hundreds of clothing shops, department store,s and restaurants
with the famous Shiziqiao Food Street in the middle. It is a
good place for both shopping and taking guests out for dinner.
Walking eastward from the Xinjiekou Crossing you find Taiping
Nanlu, an avenue running north - south to Zhongshan Donglu.
The avenue is a home to brand name shops selling a variety of
items from gold and jade ornaments to home appliances.
Culture Street - Changjiang Lu
Culture Street starts from Xinjiekou Crossing goes north one block
to reach Changjiang Lu. It is known as a cultural street as it
has Xuyuan Garden, Provincial Art Museum, People's Hall, Jinling
Library Building, and the City Art Center along both sides.
Science Tech Street - Zhujiang Lu
Further northward from Changjiang Lu is a parallel street dotted
with stores and shops selling all sorts of electronic products
including MP3, pocket appliances, video records, computer peripherals,
speakers, and so on. Also known as Zhujiang Lu Science-Tech
Street it is said to be the largest of its kind in Eastern China.
Market ¨C Chaotian Gong
Chaotian Gong (Palace) was originally established in the Ming
Dynasty (1368 - 1644) as a school for educating noble children
in court etiquette. The buildings house a range of local institutions
from an antique market to a qigong (a Chinese Martial Arts) institute.
Now, the market is a meeting place for many Chinese antique collectors
some of whom run small businesses at their own stalls. Come
and search for some treasure trove. One thing you should bear
in mind is that the sellers are very convincing. Don't part
with your money unless you are able to tell the real things from
|Department Stores in Nanjing
Jinling Department Store
East to the five-star Jinling Hotel, the Jinling Department Store is a home to
worldwide brands. A selection of clothes, leather, cosmetics, watches and fine
jewelry are offered to satisfy shoppers.
Gold Eagle International Shopping
The Gold Eagle International Shopping Center located on No.
89 Hanzhong Road in Nanjing, is a huge mall offering international
standards where famous international and domestic brand merchandises
including daily-use articles, jewelry, men's and ladies' wear,
and electrical household appliances are sold.
The Central Mall located on No. 79 Zhongshan South Road in Nanjing
is good for shopping, sightseeing, catering, amusement and leisure.
In addition to selling and producing general merchandise, vendors
and supplies here also have the business right to import and
Xinjiekou Department Store
The Xinjiekou Department Store located in Xinjiekou in Nanjing
sells some 50,000 kinds of commodities.