The industrial town of Shantou is a nice easy place to shop as there are plenty of opportunities! The trading center of the city is in the Jing Ping District where there are four large shopping malls and a number of good shopping streets including An Ping Road, Li An Road, and Bo Ai Road. For upmarket European styles head to ‘Brand Street which is situated between Jin Yuen Road and Yin Xia Road. Here all the shops are European in style and there are fashionable clothes, shoes, jewelry and leather goods. If you would like a unique shopping experience the large night market in Longyan Road is a must!
1. Choose some pretty porcelain
Shantou is known for its porcelain which is really attractive and highly detailed – it certainly makes a very special souvenir and can be packed well for traveling!
2. Admire the local embroidery
A piece of locally made embroidery is certainly a souvenir to treasure. There are plenty of mass produced pieces but in the small specialist shops, you will find genuine embroidery that has been intricately worked by hand in lovely bright colors and complex designs.
3. Watch the seashell carvers at work
Shell pictures are a very ancient handicraft that only a handful of craftsmen still do in the city. They can usually be found in their small workshops where they spend hours creating the most exquisite pictures from the seashells that they painstakingly carve. Their work often portrays flowers, trees and birds and the hours of work that it takes to complete each picture is easily understood when the work is examined closely. Often mother of pearl is used to accentuate some of the fine detail and the picture is on a deep colored velvet background.
4. Choose a stone sculpture
Stone has been a popular medium for carving for centuries and there is still a good selection of sculptures on sale in Shantou. Many of the carvings are in soapstone and the work is simply amazing because of its incredible amount of detail – no wonder many people start a collection of pieces!
5. Enjoy watching a local artist
Local artists can be found at the various markets selling their work which portrays traditional Chinese life as well as local landscapes and festivals. Some artists will also quickly draw your portrait which is always fun and makes a great souvenir.
6. Pack some different teas
What better place to buy some tea than from a specialist tea stall in one of the markets or stores? The Chinese take tea drinking very seriously and there is an amazing range of different teas including black, green, bitter, flower and medicinal. All teas are sold by the gram so you can choose exactly how much of each kind you would like and in some of the specialist shops, there is the chance to try some before you buy too!
7. Discover new toys
Everyone is a child at heart so the thought of a toy market with thousands of toys will be more than appealing! The market contains more than 30 different toy shops each packed with every type of toy imaginable – and to suit all budgets! Shopping is made easier because you choose the toy you like and carry on shopping whilst all your purchases are amassed waiting for your payment and collection at the till.
8. Consider the latest technical items
China has long been linked with technology and you will see plenty of tempting items in the city. There are desktops, laptops and all types of computer gadgets as well as the latest mobile watches and a full range of accessories with sales staff very eager to show you how they will all improve your life!
9. Find a fan shop
Fans are very popular in Shantou and there are a number of specialist shops with their walls covered with the most beautiful fans. There are fans of every kind imaginable including carved wooden ones, silk ones and hand painted ones. The great thing is that they are light and take up little room in your travel bag but a group of them make a wonderful wall decoration.
10. Buy some chopsticks!
What better gift for your friends and work colleagues than some chopsticks? There are plain wooden ones, black lacquer ones and some really smart sets that have been hand painted and have matching chopstick rests. If you think that your friends might find mastering chopsticks tricky, there are hinged pairs on sale too and these definitely make life easier!