Wenzhou is situated in Zhejiang province and is a large manufacturing city that is best known for its excellent range of clothes and shoes which include cheap, fun fashions to top end luxury items. There are four main shopping malls with the Fortune Mall being the place to go for luxurious local names as well as top international brands. There are several particularly good shopping streets that have every type of shop imaginable and these include Wu Ma, Chan Jie, Ren Min, and Shamao -‘The Women Street’. There are roads that specialize in particular products too, for example, the computer market in East Renmin Street and East Huancheng Road which is nicknamed ‘luggage street’. So, here’s presenting the top 10 souvenirs to buy in Wenzhou.
1. Discover the local food
Chun Hui Street is ‘food street’ and definitely the place to enjoy some delicious handmade noodles and to buy some packs for your case. ‘Eighteen Noodle Shop’ really does have that many varieties and there is the chance to sample them all! The local specialty is ‘Old Chang Qiao Rice Balls’ which are so popular with everyone as a snack! Made from rice and boiled pigs’ intestines the balls have an aromatic smell and taste really good!
2. Pack some local tea
Light and easy to pack, local tea is always a good souvenir and it can be bought loose from a wide variety of places. Amongst the most popular ones are Liu Ji, Tribute Tea, Yandang Gree, Yongja Wuniu and morning tea.
3. Enjoy some Hickory nuts
Small round and distinctive, Hickory nuts are definitely easy to pack and really good for you! They contain 22 trace elements and are said to be twice as nutritious as beef and their goodness is much easier to absorb. As well as buying a bag of nuts, you will also find Hickory nuts in local cakes and sweets – enjoy!
4. Buy a pack of Jinhua ham
This is considered a real local delicacy and is available in a variety of qualities. The top quality has deep red flesh and a tiny amount of white fat and tastes both salty and sweet. Jinhua ham has a long history as it has been made in the area for more than 1,000 years. Jinhua is popular as it is very rich in protein.
5. Admire Dongyang wood carvings
Named after a nearby town in the same province, Dongyang is an incredible type of wood carving that is highly skilled and has an amazing amount of detail and often depicts local scenes. It is mainly used to decorate larger pieces of furniture such as cases, cabinets, desks and stools and is highly prized. The other two types of carving found in the city use boxwood and Qingtien stone.
6. Pick up some chopsticks
If you are looking for some fun presents or souvenirs, what better than some pairs of chopsticks? There is a great variety of chopsticks to choose from made in a variety of materials and including some beautiful hand-painted ones. The chopsticks can be bought in a presentation box in a single pair or up to ten place settings and many come with a little chopstick rest too! If your friends are not talented chopstick users, buy them hinged pairs as they are easier to use! The best locally made ones are those decorated with Taishan lacquer.
7. Choose some beautiful silk flowers
Making exquisitely detailed flowers in silk is one of the oldest handicrafts in China. The flowers are painstakingly made by hand and are accurate replicas of roses, peonies, and chrysanthemums – to name but a few! They certainly make dramatic accessories to any outfits, or long-stemmed variations can be used for floral arrangements.
8. Pamper yourself with some silk pajamas
There is something very sensuous about climbing into a pair of silk pajamas at the end of a tiring day. They are widely available in the city in a variety of different colors and patterns as well as romantic his and her sets!
9. Treat your friends to silk scarves
There are so many places selling silk scarves that the selection almost makes you dizzy! There are different qualities, as reflected in the price tags, ranging from cheap market finds to the snazziest designer styles. They are flat and easy to pack which makes them perfect gifts and the luxury ones are presented in a very elegant designer envelope.
Along with scarves, there are lovely traditional Chinese silk tops as well as a good range of attractive European style blouses and shirts all in a myriad of colors.
10. Treasure some Chinese calligraphy
There are several traditional calligraphy shops in Wenzhou and it is fun to just stand and watch the calligraphers at work, using a variety of different sized pens, pots of colored inks and sheets of rice paper in an assortment of sizes. Their work is pinned on the walls and can be bought, but it is fun to watch them write your name in traditional Chinese script – don’t worry if you don’t know what it is as the calligraphers have large tomes listing all European names written in Chinese script!