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About Nanjing

-- Nanjing Brief Introduction

-- Nanjing Local Features

-- Weather and Climate

-- Attractions & Sightseeing

-- Dining & Cuisine in Nanjing

-- Entertainment in Nanjing

-- Shopping in Nanjing

-- Map of Nanjing

-- Transportation in Nanjing

Nanjing Destination Guide
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Shopping in Nanjing

Boasting more than 20 professional craft workshops and over ten thousand staff, Nanjing produces various kinds of handicraft. Among the different goods produced are the: cloud-pattern brocade, velvet, imitations of ancient ivory carving and wood carvings.

The Yuhua Pebble (yuhuashi) from the Yuhua Terrace is also a popular souvenir and many pebbles carry a specific tale or legend with them. The best place to buy souvenirs is in the area around Confucius Temple. Be prepared to bargain hard however, as store owners here have a tendency to over-charge foreigners!

In terms of department stores, while not quite on a par with neighboring Shanghai, most modern amenities are available in the city. There is a great department store attached to the Growne Plaza. The area around the Universities has some good little boutiques with fairly funky clothing.

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.


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 Curvings

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.

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.


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