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Nanjing Shopping

Nanjing boasts more than 20 professional craft workshops and over ten thousand staff, is a city where you can find various kinds of handicraft. Among the different goods produced are the: cloud-pattern brocade, velvet, imitations of ancient ivory carving and wood carvings.

What to buy in Nanjing

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 handicrafts 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 the Confucius Temple area for pretty ivory carvings. Most of the big department stores also sell this kind of thing.

Traditional Satin
Among the many handicrafts produced in Nanjing, the traditional cloud-pattern brocade is the most famous. The name derives from the fact that the pattern on the material is said to resemble beautiful clouds. First made in the Southern Dynasty, it gradually developed during the Yuan Dynasty and was most popular during the Ming and Qing Dynasty. 

There have always been special institutes in charge of making garments with cloud-pattern brocade for the imperial family or foreign dignitaries. Try looking around the Confucius Temple area and at the night market on Hunan Lu for this brocade.

Cloud Brocade/Yunjin Brocade
Named for artistic cloud pattern weaves, Cloud Brocade is a traditional silk product originally from China's Southern Dynasties (420 - 589). In the Qing period (1644 - 1911), cloud brocade production reached its height when a brocade and embroidery production institute called "Jiangning Zhizao" was established in the city. Fantastic brocade clothes were produced for emperors and royal families. Today, cloud brocade products include costumes, ethnic clothes, cushions, quilt covers, carpets, wall hangings and other craftworks. Wall hangings with traditional Chinese patterns would be both a good choice for room decoration.

Velvet is a material which is 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 Gulou roundabout on Hunan Lu where you can purchase good quality velvet.

Wood Carvings
Nanjing wood carvings include the imitation wood carving and boxwood carvings. The former is plain in color, with the horse and Buddha's carving the most popular. The latter mainly depicts animals and figures.

Jinling Gold Leaf
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. The gold leaf produced in Nanjing is less than 1/10 micron thick and has a long history dating back to 420 A.D. This traditional hand-made technique has been passed down from generation to generation. In the Yuan Dynasty, 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 prove that the city was an important production centre of gold leaf. Gilded paintings, bookmarks, statues and other gold leaf products are available in stores

Yuhua Pebble
Yuhua Pebble, mainly found in Yuhua Terraces (Yuhautai), is a unique tourist souvenir to Nanjing. It is a hard composite of quartz, jade and opal and commonly known as the Yuhua agate. Today, many of these pretty colored stones are made into ear-rings, rings and pendants. Those exquisitely polished, can be as expensive as other more famous gems.

Where to buy in Nanjing

Xinjiekou Commercial Circle
Xinjiekou is known as the "first Commercial Circle in China", there are many large commercial, trading & circulation enterprises, and several hundred shops, hotels, plazas, banks as well. You can find department stores, brand-name stores and large shopping centers in this area sell dazzling world-famous brands. Now, Xinjiekou becomes one of the China Top 10 Famous Business Streets, only next to Wangfujing of Beijing and Nanjing Road of Shanghai.

Shanxi Road Commercial Circle 
This place is another prosperous business area next to Xinjiekou. There is a nationally known Hunan Road, which is known for "Civilization Model Streets" for the movement of "No Counterfeit in 10,000 Stores of 100 Cities".

Confucius Temple Commercial Area
This street is located by Qinhuai River, its architecture is of unique style of the Ming and Qing Dynasties. It is an unparalleled Tourist Commercial District in China. This street is the retail source for many 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

Address: No. 28, Dashiba Jie

Zhongyang Gate Commercial Area 
Located in the north of Nanjing, with Nanjing Railway Station and the East Long-Distance Bus Station, it is a rising commercial center.

South Taiping Road Commercial Street 
In 1984, it was awarded the title of "Top-10 Commercial Streets in China". Nowadays, it has developed into "a street of gold and jewelry trading ". Walking eastward from the Xinjiekou Crossing you find Taiping Nanlu, an avenue running north - south to Zhongshan Donglu. The avenue is a home to brandname stores selling a variety of items from gold and jade ornaments to home appliances.

Science & Technology Street on Zhujiang Road
It is the biggest distribution center of electronic products in east China, just as famous as Zhong Guancun in Beijing. Further northward from Changjiang Lu is a parallel street dotted with stores selling all sorts of electronic products including mp3, pocket appliances, video records, computer peripherals, speakers and so on. Also known as Zhujiang Lu Sci-tech Street it is said to be the largest of its kind in Eastern China. It is equally famous with Zhongguancun of Beijing.

Exquisite Products of Hunan Road
Stretching from the Shanxi Road Citizen Square in the west to Zhongyang Road in the east, Hunan Road is one of the busiest commercial streets in Nanjing and titled “Street with Specialty of Exquisite Products of Nanjing” by the municipal government.

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