China today offers an incredible range of boutique shops, department stores, and hotel shopping arcades to browse through. Or try your hand at bargain-hunting at one of the new “free markets” that are springing up all over the country. You’re sure to be dazzled by the unique array of aesthetic and practical gifts available in China. You will find everything from high-quality silks and porcelains to antique screens and traditional Chinese herbal medicines. Throughout China, shops offer unique ceramics, paintings, stone rubbings, embroideries, carpets, furniture, jade carvings, antiques, books, and much more. Shop personnel will often pack and arrange for shipping bulky purchases back home. Prices are usually clearly marked in stores and shops, and English is spoken in most tourist areas. Don’t miss browsing through one of the state-run Friendship Stores; they are still some of the best places to find an excellent selection of quality merchandise, plus you’ll find a complete supermarket of Chinese delicacies to bring to friends back home.

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