Xi'an is a
great place to do some fantastic Chinese souvenir shopping, especially
for cultural items. Some excellent offerings specific to Xi'an
include: Chinese calligraphy rubbings,
Tang pottery replicas, Terracotta
Warrior replicas, Folk paintings, Folk
paper cuttings and Green porcelain.
around Jiefang Road is Xi'an's thriving business district, and most
retail stores are along Dongdajie and Xidajie, running east and west
through the city, south of the Drum Tower.
In the Muslim
area of the city, near the Bell Tower, there is a huge outdoor market
that sells almost everything you could ever want! Clothing, antiques,
musical instruments, Mao memorabilia as well as other souvenirs and
cultural items are all for sale. If you still crave more, then there
is also a small clothing market off Dongdajie.
fantastic and very special type of souvenir from Xi'an is a local folk
painting. The local folk painters have borrowed the line drawing
techniques of traditional Chinese brush painting and draw inspiration
from cultural and historical figures, animals, flowers and birds.
These eye-catching and colorful paintings overflow with the atmosphere
of Chinese country life and are widely enjoyed by travelers to Xi'an.
paintings can be purchased at most tourist attractions from street
vendors and in small shops nearby.
Porcelain (Qing Ciqi) is method of making porcelain which originated
in the Song Dynasty. Lifelike animals and flowers are the major
decorative themes and the most common colors of this porcelain are
blue and green. Useful and durable, yet also elegant and pretty, this
porcelain has many uses and forms. Green Porcelain is especially
favored as a material for making tea pots.
A good place
to buy Green Porcelain is in the gift shop at the
Forest of Steles.
cutting is an extremely popular folk art in the Shaanxi Province
villages. On days of celebration such as holidays and weddings,
villagers like to decorate the doors and windows of their homes with
colorful paper cuttings.
of the paper cuttings are rich and varied, but they always feature
symbols of good luck and happiness as the main theme. Other secondary
themes include landscape scenes, legends and myths, and folk stories.
These folk paper cuttings are usually inexpensive, but you should
cuttings can be purchased throughout Xi'an, but you can definitely
pick some up at major tourist attractions.
proud tradition as the capital of the Tang Dynasty is kept alive today
by modern day replicas of Tang Dynasty pottery. Tang Dynasty pottery,
with its distinctive blue, green, and yellow color glazes is still
hand-made as it was during the Tang. Common themes include figurines
and ceramic camels and horses.
this revival in the art of Tang style pottery, buyers should be wary
of any shop owners or hawkers that claim their pottery to be
"old". Just a reminder! The Tang Dynasty was from about 600
to 900 AD. That would make any genuine Tang Dynasty pieces out of the
reach of any ordinary modern day shop.
some Tang pottery replicas, try the Xi'an Friendship Store or Xi'an
Cultural Relics Store.
a Terracotta Warrior home with you! Many different types of replicas
are available as souvenirs, from a few inches tall to life-size!
Prices range as well, from one US dollar to several thousand dollars
for the largest statues.
price of the life-sized statues usually includes shipping to the US or
Europe. But buyer beware! The life-sized statues cost a fraction of
the price to make, usually less than 400 US dollars.
If you take
an organized tour to the Terracotta Army site, your tour will probably
stop by one of Xi'an's "Terracotta Warrior" factories. You
can purchase one there or try the Xi'an Friendship Store.