Besides pandas and spicy food Chengdu is also famous for its wide range of traditional uniquely Chinese produce including bamboo products, lacquerware, silk and traditional folk art. The laid back atmosphere of the city makes it the perfect place to take a few hours off from the sight seeing trail to stock up your suitcase with souvenirs.
We’ve put our heads together and come up with our picks of the 5 best shopping streets in Chengdu.
Jinli Street 锦里
Jinli Street is one of Chengdu’s most well known shopping streets. This is the go to street if you in the market for some traditional Sichuan folk art. This street has everything from traditional papercuts, peasant paintings, and clay figurines as well as a healthy dose of local cuisine. However, the real charm of red lantern lined Jinli Street are the restored Qing and Ming dynasty buildings, offering a glimpse into the China of old.
Chunxi Road 春熙路
Chunxi Road is the commercial centre of modern Chengdu and couldn’t be further from the small town charm of Jinli Street. You’ll find all of the big name shops such as Nike, Baleano, H&M and other high street favourites, as well as Chinese souvenir shops. There are also lots of commercial restaurants offering traditional Chinese food and dumplings, as well as the usual smattering of McDonalds, KFC and Pizza Hut.
Around Wuhou Temple 武侯祠
If it’s Tibetan artefacts you are after than the small Tibetan style streets around the Wuhou Temple are definitely the place to head for. The vendors and stalls adjacent to the temple have every type of Tibetan produce you can imagine, including Tibetan food, jewellery, artworks and buddhist iconography. So if a trip to Tibet is not on your agenda this is a great place to find all things Tibet.
Songxianqiao Antiques Market 送仙桥古玩市场
If you are in search of actual antiques at a bargain price, this is not the place for you. On the second floor of this mall there are a lot of small galleries run by local artists where you can haggle over their artworks, but actual antiques are few and far between. However, the Songxiangqiao market is a great place to go and pick up Mao memorabilia and offbeat trinkets, the must-buy accessories of any trip to China.
Imperial Examinations Lane
Despite it’s bizarre name, it’s unlikely a trip to this street would result in the undertaking of any imperial exams. These days the street is home to a large number of trendy boutiques and clothes shops, attracting the hip and trendy from all corners of greater Chengdu to deck themselves out in the latest fashion trends.
What are your experiences of shopping in Chengdu? Know the best place to go for bargain silks? What’s your favourite place to stock up on waving Chairman Mao wrist watches? Let us know in the comments below?