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Gift shops in Shenzhen
There are a couple of places where you can buy gifts in Shenzhen. Untill this weekend, I only knew about the gift shop near SEG, which is ok, but now I found some other gift markets that are much bigger and with more locals. You will find lots of different things: traditional paper cutting, Buddha figures, miniature bikes, fake food, lighters, keychains, cups, glassware, lights, toys, wedding stuff and much more. The first gift shop is located near SEG, the other one in Luohu district, near all the furniture stores.
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Shop selling traditional Chinese decoration for weddings

Area around SEG:
Go to SEG and walk in the direction of MOI, Women's World etc. Opposite of Women's world you will find a large building where they sell lots of mobile phones and computer hardware. You need to look quite careful, but one of the signs says something like "Gift market". You first walk a few meters towards a parking area and then you see a bakery to your right and to the left you see the stairs to the gift shop. It consists of several small shops each with one sales person. It's conveniently located close to the big shopping area and it's possible to find something here, but the selection is not very good.

Luohu area:

Close to Hoba furniture store in Luohu district, this is a very good area to buy gifts. There are several very big warehouses with countless small shops inside. Lots of locals will also go to this area to buy gifts. We first went to "1 - GIFTS" called "Sungang Art&Craft City" in the map below. In the the first building there are 3 corridors with small shops on each side. The shops sell all kinds of stuff related to home decoration, but also make good gifts. We bought several things here, including fake KFC food made out of plastic. There were also several cool clocks, indoor fountains, paintings, woodcarvings, umbrellas, lights, glass and quite a lot of other stuff. This shop was not so busy.

gift_shops_luohu

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Sungang Art&Craft city

gift_shops_1
Inside Sungang it was not very busy. Still quite a lot of fun shops though


After that, we walked to "2 - GIFTS" . Just follow the street right down, turn right and walk a little while till you see two busy buildings. From the front it looks quite old and inside it's quite crowded. There are three floors and on each floor the selection is quite similar: lots of toy shops for little kids, but also several shops selling wedding decorations such as Chinese knots. The fake KFC food that costed 35RMB in the 1st shop, costed 45 RMB here. So perhaps you need to bargain harder in this busy warehouse. We found one shop that specialized in Rubik's cubes and we bought a 4x4(x4) cube, they even had 9x9x9 - though I don't believe anybody can solve that one!
gift_shops_3
Entrance to the shops is at the left, just follow all the other people, because it's busy!

cantonese_lucky_gifts
One shop was specialized in traditional Cantonese figures that are supposed to bring good fortune, such as the golden cat with the moving left paw. Makes also great gifts.

gift_shops_5
It's quite narrow inside and crowded, especially on the upper floors.


After we got out, we went to "3 - Home decoration" which is in fact just behind the first building. It's more upscale and looks nicer inside. Several shops had nice stuff, but we bought a beautiful jewelry box in Chinese style for my girlfriend. Bargaining of course allowed! From there, you can also explore other furniture shops in the area such as HOBA and several others.
It's my experience that you often find get good ideas just by looking around.



Supermarkets

A final tip for those looking to buy some gifts: the supermarket! It might sound a bit strange, but supermarkets in other countries always are lots of fun and reflect the local culture. The first time my parents visited us, they also bought lots of chopsticks in the supermarket to give to friends at home. At the supermarket the price is usually (much) lower than the chopsticks intended as "gifts" and you can still find nice designs as well. If you are pressed for time, it might be a good idea. Better supermarkets often also have a toy area or clothes area. Otherwise, dive into some of the small shops you see everywhere.

Survival Chinese for bargaining:

Duo shao qian? - How much does it cost?
Wah, zhenme gui! - Wow, so expensive.
Keyi pian yidian ma ? - Can you do a little cheaper?
ershi kwai - Twenty RMB
wushi kwai - Fifty RMB
liang bai san shi kwuai - 230 RMB
Tai gui le! - Too expensive

You should bargain everywhere and of course don't be afraid to walk away and look around in other shops. Shop owners always have a calculator at hand and often immediately give you a certain percentage discount when you ask for it.

Gift ideas

Does the person like any sports? We saw cups or glass ware or paintings or small miniatures for many different sports. For smokers it's easy: many ashtrays or cigarette lighters for sale. If the person is interested in calligraphy, perhaps an ink stone and brush, or for old people perhaps something to massage. For young people there are lots of fun articles. Also lots of stuff for in the car. Bit more expensive no problem? Think about home decoration shops: they have really beautiful things and many can easily fit in a suitcase. Further, what about Chinese Opera faces or statues, Buddha, Chinese folding fans, chopsticks, ties, red umbrella etc etc. For little kids perhaps one of those cool flying helicopters or other toys.

How to get there?

The Luohu area is a bit further away from famous sights, but definitely worth going there. We took bus 375 to get there, but there are many busses. There is currently no subway there.


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Last Updated ( Friday, 05 August 2011 )
 
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