The biggest stores stock well-known designer brands from across the world. High fashion is easy to come by in Xiamen, but so are designer knockoffs in the merchant stalls of the night markets. However, the city is home to several manufacturing plants, and a few name-brand goods are sold inexpensively through factory outlets.
Local handicrafts include lacquer-ware and statuettes, but the most sought-after handmade gift is bead embroidery. Colorful beads are strung on silk thread and used to decorate scarves, handbags and slippers, among other things. The final product can be impressive.
Siming/Zhongshan Road/Hualian Commercial Plaza
The busiest shopping district in Xiamen straddles Zhongshan Road and features several department stores and shopping complexes. In between these larger complexes are rows of boutiques dealing in fashion, jewelry and gifts. Several public buses follow Zhongshan Road, so it's easy to connect to other parts of the city.
Siming/Dinghai Road/Night Market
The Xiamen night market convenes on a nightly basis and carries all of the standard bazaar fare expected from a Chinese market. Merchants deal in gifts, souvenirs, handicrafts, inexpensive jewelry and designer knockoffs.
Gulangyu Island/Longtou Road/Handicraft market
The island's main commercial avenue is a haven for arts and crafts. Shoppers arrive by ferry to peruse lacquer-ware, delicate ceramics, beaded embroidery along with classic calligraphy and paintings. Bargaining is required in many of these shops.
Siming/Xiahe Road/Friendship Shopping Mall
Xiahe Road is one of Xiamen's newest commercial districts, with Friendship Shopping Mall at the center of it all. Beyond the boutiques and department stores of the shopping mall, this area is also home to a Wal-Mart and a few generic commercial plazas.
Siming/South Hubin Road/Fushan Chengda Shopping Mall
This shopping mall joins with Egret Alluvion Shopping and Entertainment City to form a thriving commercial area. Modern shops and restaurants are accompanied by theme parks and cultural exhibition halls. Combine a shopping trip with a show or trip to the park, and there's enough to do here for an entire day.
Xiamen shopping tips
While department stores and many boutiques operate on a fixed-price basis, shoppers should expect to bargain for goods purchased at curios, night markets and some smaller shops. A good tactic is to halve the asking price and then work up from there. Of course, the only surefire way of getting a good deal is familiarizing yourself with the product first so that you know what it ought to cost. Find more information about Xiamen and hotels in the area: Xiamen hotels
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