2015 Christmas gift ideas for Beijingers!

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Christmas gifts? Less than a month left for those heading back to their home country to celebrate Christmas with their family and friends… and anyway less than a month before the winter break observed by number of foreigners living in China and who may also decide to celebrate Christmas / New Year Eve in tropical countries to escape from the grey and cold Beijing.

Having said that, Christmas is almost synonym of giving-gifts… and for many of us, this is not what we enjoy the most. How to fit in our luggage our own belongings together with the gifts for the “25” family members we will celebrate Christmas with? Beijing is one of the most expensive cities to live in… For new comers to Beijing, old “Beijingers” will tell “That’s easy, chopsticks, fake items (oups, now Yashow has changed and Silk Market is almost empty), Chinese tea“. Things get more complicated from the 2nd Christmas!

In this article, SCOUT is sharing some potential Christmas gifts for your friends and family members! Keep an eye on this article, as we may add more ideas in the coming days ;-).
Actually this article will be useful for anyone living in Beijing or visiting China and interested in bringing back original gifts! 

 

The “basics”

  • buying-chopsticks-set-high-end-chinese-woodenChopsticks set. Many colours and design available… You will probably never see such chopsticks in a Chinese family, they are too fancy and eventually not using food grade materials.
    They are probably only manufactured for tourists and export market…
    Not heavy and doesn’t take a lot of space in your luggage, but this is really the most classical gifts for anyone visiting China. Where to buy? Silk Market, Pearl Market, Taobao
  • imagesChopsticks for kids (or for your parents who still need some training to master chopsticks). Those chopsticks are usually resistant to dishwasher. We like the pair with a panda, but shops offer plenty of designs and colours. Where to buy? Silk Market, Pearl Market, Taobao
    More funny than the chopsticks set?

 

  • 20150706045642235Chinese tea: buy from the market or from neighbourhood shops. If you don’t drink tea, be aware that not all teas are equal… you can find green tea from 25 RMB / 500 g up to hundreds of yuan… and there is a difference! Target 70 to 100 RMB / 500 g for a fair quality.
    Wuyutai Tea House is an old tea house you can trust; they have many branches in Beijing (one is located at the North of Sanyuanli Market). 

 

  • 7pcs-smart-purple-clay-teaset-orginal-handmade-Yixing-Chinese-kungfu-tea-set-China-traditional-purple-gritChinese tea set. All qualities and design widely available in the city. If you are not looking for authentic or design set, just buy on line (taobao, JD.com). If you would like to find unique or authentic stuffs, you should be able to find some nice sets in Beijing hutongs and in 798.

 

 

  • silk comforter_sham_ivory large800x533Chinese silk. Many shops pretend to sell real silk but you’d better to check by yourself… The lighter method is the most efficient. If you ask the sales staff to approach a lighter from the pretend silk and they find every possible excuses not to do it, you can be sure it is not real / pure silk… 
    Best way: go for silk manufacture tour in Beijing.

 

 

  • ai-loveChinese calligraphy. Select a beautiful sentence / meaningful word or write the name of the person you are offering the gift… 
    Chinese calligraphy is an art that is famous throughout the world.
    Not sure if such piece of art will fit well to any Western interior… but definitely Chinese gift!
    Where to buy? Silk Market, Pearl Market, Hutong.

 

  • moutaiWines and Spirits. If the Baijiu is the most well-known alcoholic liquor in China, you can also find various wines and liquors (rice, plum…).
    Main Chinese brand for Baijiu is Moutai. You don’t need to buy a large bottle… as most Westerners will taste but not be able to drink it  :-). Where to buy? Supermarkets, convenience stores.

 

  • 5922789Chinese Masks. More decorative than the pollution masks we wear almost everyday during winter time in Beijing, Chinese Opera masks are quite traditional but they can easily find their place in a Western interior. Gold and silver colours are usually used for gods and spirits. The main colour in a facial make-up symbolizes the disposition of the character… White colour doesn’t carry a very nice character! 
    Smaller size: bottle opener with Chinese mask (8 to 20 RMB depending on your negotiation skills).

 

  • chop_pl_131211Seal stamp with personalized Chinese name. Personalised and hand crafted Chinese chops!
    We had a supplier in former Yashow market. We assume you can find shops offering chops in Panjiyuan market (antique market in Beijing) or in Gaobeidian or eventually in hutongs. 
    Gift box + ink together with the hand crafted chop will make a nice gift!
    Where to buy? Silk Market, Pearl Market.

 

  • mao-stuff_3064545cMao memorabilia: Coins, stamps, paintings and photographs from Chairman Mao or Chinese Cultural Revolution propaganda items, posters, bronze, ceramics, books, buttons, pins… Where? On line (Taobao), PopUp Beijing (Sanlitun), Hutong… 
    Mao stuffs still represent a big business for China. Some made fortune selling original stuffs and some other built factories to fulfil the demand… 

 

Exclusive gifts – 2015 SCOUT Real Estate’s suggestions!

  • Decorative calligraphy brush – get them from Lily’s Antiques Furniture (华伦古典家具), Gaobeidian. Get 13% off on your bill if you follow their Wechat account and pay using your Wechat Wallet
    Even more beautiful if you buy a set of 3 or more. However, this is not light and it will take some space in your luggage. About 200 RMB / set (brush + hanger),

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  • wooden_massage_toolChinese massage tools. Not expensive items (about 20 rmb per tool). 
    Back Scratcher, Foot Roller, head massage tool …  We found some in Gaobeidian. You can also probably buy on line (Taobao) or in Silk market.
    Our suggestion: Make sure you know how to use them 😉

 

  • Chinese Tobacco et pipe. Gaobeidian or Yandai Xiejie hutong (near Gulou / Sichahai). For young and old smokers. Don’t forget to check on country regulations for allowed tobacco quantity!

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  • Chinese tea container. Chose metal or porcelain. Nice souvenir… Got a nice one from PopUp Beijing store in Sanlitun, about 300 RMB. 

 

  • Fp_dvbuq6sb7bXyLJ_X1OcJCstAv.jpg!580x580Cushion with Chinese design.
    Get from Lily Antiques (Gaobeidian or from their on line shop) – 450 RMB / one.  Chinese traditional patterns with modern design. Only get the cushion cover for 200 RMB max
    PMT Art shop (Nanluoguxiang and 798). Less pricy. Cushion cover with black & white pictures of Beijing streets or monuments. Many other objects (clock, frames…) with those pictures.

 

  • Panda fridge magnet (20 RMB). Many other accessories with modern Chinese patterns / themes (magnets, travel pillow, Keychain, T-shirts, hats). 
    You will find NLGX stores in Nanluoguxiang (#33, next to Crepanini store), in Beijing international airport terminals (T1, T3). You can also buy on line from NLGX website.

 

You will be celebrating Christmas in your home country: buy on line!

You are probably familiar with the on line merchants websites in your home country. I receive my salary in RMB and I couldn’t yet obtain a Chinese credit card, even I fill all requirements from the bank… (we will talk about this matter in a separate article). Anyway, back in my home country, I don’t receive money on my bank account and therefore I try to avoid using the credit card linked to that account.

The good news is that there is a way to use your RMB to pay on many merchant websites, using PayPal. You first need to link your Chinese payment card to your PayPal account. Each transaction will require you to log into your Chinese online banking, but it is worth trying.

French merchants accepting PayPal: FNAC.COM, CDISCOUNT.COM, DARTY.COM, PIXMANIA.COM, BOULANGER.FR, MISTERGOODDEAL.COM, SARENZA, SHOW ROOM PRIVE, CONFORAMA, ZALANDO PRIVE, MONOPRIX…

German merchants accepting Paypal: YOOX, ALZA.DE, TIENDANIMAL.COM, INTIMISSI, MEDICANIMAL, OXYGENE, PACKLINK.DE, FRAGANCE DIRECT, …

Other countries: we suggest anyway that you check on your preferred e-commerce websites which ones are accepting PayPal. Don’t hesitate to share your finding by commenting this article!

 

SCOUT Real Estate wish you a happy Christmas shopping!

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I am living in China since 2007. I am sharing my experiences for other expatriates to make their stay in Beijing more enjoyable. As I am writing this blog for SCOUT Real Estate agency, I am also computing updates about the Real Estate market in Beijing, not only on residential properties, but as well on commercial locals and offices. Hope you enjoy your reading!