Guilin is good for souvenirs and gems, and if you're on a China-wide tour be sure to wait until you get here if you're into southern Chinese goods. Best buys include Guilin Stone, which is a special type of bright and unique stone that was formed in this region of China.
The best shopping in Guilin can be had within the many day and night markets and there are all sorts of nooks and crannies to duck into to window-shop, people-watch and to find the best deals. Guilin arts and handicrafts are particularly good buys and you can pick up wood crafted items at a snip.
Gold, silver, and jade jewelry items are always good buys, while traditional paintings of the local mountain scenery, and calligraphy works, are also popular. For local products, look for osamnthus tea, wine, and sugar.
Zhengyang Walking Street
Guilin Zhengyang Buxing is a traffic-free street and the heart of Guilin's shopping, eating and entertainment for locals and tourists. ‘The first street in western China' buzzes by day (but is best done at night) and you can pick up lots of goodies, including souvenirs and cheap clothing.
Zhongshan Zhong Lu Night Market
Another fine spot for picking up souvenirs and art and crafts, this night market goes from 20:00 to midnight when it is made traffic-free. Products from southern China can be had here, including the much sought after Guilin Stone, as well as ethnic dresses, musical instruments, and bamboo carvings. It has a buzzing atmosphere where bumping shoulders with happy locals and tourists is fun.
Guilin Department Store
Guilin is not awash with mega shopping malls and department stores as with the big economic powerhouses of the Chinese east, but the Guilin Department Store is getting there. It sits on Zhongshan Middle Road and is a multistory building that has products from all over China, with especially good quality clothes and shoes. Bargains can be had after Christmas and Chinese New Year.
Under Little Hong Kong
The center square of Guilin is called Little Hong Kong and, along with the sightseeing in this part of town, is an intriguing web of alleys underneath where all sorts of nifty items can be had. Good deals can especially be had on clothes and accessories.