A Shanghai souvenir shopping spree that goes beyond the fake markets
From the motley of goods at the many fake markets in Shanghai to the plethora of odds and ends at Yuyuan Garden, the options for souvenir shopping in Shanghai are endless. However, if you’re looking for something that escapes the ubiquity of mass production, we’ve got you covered. Here are a few options; be warned, you may end up end up keeping your well-intentioned gift purchase for yourself instead.
Chinese Propaganda Posters
After immersing yourself in 20th-century history at the Shanghai Propaganda Poster Art Center, head on over to the gift shop. Copies of the posters, felt posters, postcards, and even originals are for sale.
B/F, Bldg B, 868 Huashan Lu, near Fuxing Xi Lu（华山路868号B号楼，近复兴西路）
Handmade Paper Lanterns
Paper Life stocks a sizable selection of handmade paper lanterns. Strings of small circular lanterns as well as larger free-standing ones of various shapes and sizes are available, in a variety of patterns and prints. LED lights in the lanterns subvert the potential fire hazard of a burning candle.
849 Julu Lu, near Fumin Lu（巨鹿路849号, 近富民路）
Upcycled Ming Dynasty Antiques
Tsing Yi Cai Ci Fang carries trinket boxes and pendants made from shards of pottery. What’s unique about these upcycled goods, however, is that the shards come from Ming and Qing Dynasty ceramics. Each pendant or box is one-of-a-kind. If blue-glazed china is not your thing, the store carries a few pendants made from antique mahjong tiles and old coins as well.
Suite 200, Bldg 3, 210 Taikang Lu （泰康路210弄 3号喽 200号）
The ultra-modern, handmade wares at Spin Ceramics are designed in Shanghai and produced in China’s ceramics capital of Jingdezhen with traditional techniques. The funky objects and elegant dinnerware will artfully accent any home. Bone china dim sum paperweights, water and ink cups and stackable lotus or free loop bowls are just some examples of the stunning pieces you can find here.
360 Kangding Lu, near Shaanxi Bei Lu （康定路207号，近陕西北路）
In the hard-to-locate Harvest Season, two women of the Miao minority tribe sell stunning embroidered home furnishings, bags and clothing both contemporary and in the traditional Miao style. Framed embroidery is available as well. You can watch the women work on new creations while you shop.
Suite 118, Bldg 3, 210 Taikang Lu （泰康路210弄3好喽 118号 ）
Nankeen Fabric Goods
Hidden away in the back of an alley, the Chinese Hand Printed Blue Nankeen Gallery carries textile artwork and traditional Chinese items and clothing created using plant-dyed, handmade Nankeen printed cloth. Smaller accessories, toys, pouches and pencil cases make great souvenirs, but if you are willing to spend significantly more, fabrics can be purchased too.
No. 24, 637 Changle Lu （长乐路637弄 24号）
Ever dream of enjoying baozi off baozi-patterned ceramic plates (perhaps while wearing a baozi-print t-shirt)? If so, Pinyin Press’ online shop is the perfect place to obsessively click “add to cart”. Are jiaozi more your thing? There are a good amount of jiaozi-print items too. Everything from recipe tea towels to noodle bowl tote bags to lucky cat oven mitts can be found on their website.
Anything at Madame Mao’s Dowry
Madame Mao’s Dowry stocks a well-curated collection of traditionally inspired goods. Ceramics, crafts, clothes and accessories designed by local contemporary artists are on display. Of course, Mao paraphernalia, postcards and books about Shanghai are available too. Finding a suitable souvenir here isn’t what’s difficult – realizing there is no way you can take half the store back with you is the real problem.
207 Fumin Lu, near Julu Lu（富民路207号, 近巨鹿路）