Shanghai Souvenirs and Gift Ideas for Ladies

Beautiful young woman using smartphone at shopping mall.
••• shanghaiface / Getty Images

Are you trying to figure out what a good gift or souvenir from Shanghai would be? Don't tread uncharted waters. There's no reason to go blindly shopping for a present for your girlfriend or wife to bring home after your business or leisure trip to China. If she hasn't told you specifically what she'd like you to bring back (she probably did some research after you told you were going), then listen to me: I am female, I like to shop, I know what's available here in Shanghai. The following list gives you some wonderful ideas about what to bring her.

  • 01 of 05

    Embroidered Silk Slippers

    Women’s green slipper like silk shoes
    ••• DigiPub / Getty Images

    Girls love to slip their feet into something pretty so trade in her raggedy old faux-shearling bedroom slippers for something gorgeous and silk. Suzhou Cobblers' slippers and shoes are sure to drive your girl wild with abandon over her new hand-embroidered treasures - no foot-binding required.

    Where to buy it?

  • 02 of 05

    Gorgeous Ceramics

    spin ceramics shanghai
    ••• Teaware at Spin, Shanghai. Sara Naumann

    Jingdezhen is historically the capital of Chinese porcelain. Porcelain has been made there for hundreds of years and nothing says "China" like, well, china. While fragile, you can easily transport small items such as jewelry boxes, vases or teacups. Most are sold in very sturdy boxes. You can find everything from the super-traditional blue and white patterns with swirling dragons and phoenixes to ultra-modern designs in stark white. She'll love it.

    Where to buy it?

    • Traditional: Shanghai Museum Store, 201 Renmin Da Dao, by Yan'an Road (inside the People's Park). Open daily from 9am-5pm.
    • Modern: Spin, 360 Kangding Road near Shanxi Bei Road (康定路360号近陕西北路). Open daily from 11am-8pm.
  • 03 of 05

    Architecture Books on Old Shanghai

    I list these in my Gift Ideas from Shanghai for Him article as well, but I think these make a great gift for any art or architecture loving girl. Who wouldn't want to put a unique coffee table book out for guests to peruse?

    Old China Hands Tess Johnson and Deke Erh have been publishing books about Shanghai's historical architecture for years. Stop ​by the Old China Hand Reading Room or the Deke Erh Art Center to pick up one of several of the team's books on the fast-vanishing foreign-influenced architecture of Shanghai.

    Where to buy it?

    • The Old China Hand Reading Room, #27 Shaoxing Road (between Ruijin Er Road and Shanxi Nan Road)
    • Deke Erh Art Center, 2-1, Lane 210, Taikang Road
  • 04 of 05

    Pearls and Jewelry

    Close-Up Of Pearls On Textile At Store For Sale
    ••• Thai Yuan Lim / EyeEm / Getty Images

    Who doesn't like a real bargain? South Sea Pearls, those big luscious baubles that grace the necks of the likes of Laura Bush and Oprah Winfrey are very expensive, even low-quality ones can cost upwards of 10,000 US Dollars. While cultured in warm southern Pacific seas, they're traded into China and can be bought at a real bargain. If you're good at bargaining, you can get a strand for as low as USD 1,000 but be prepared to spend half a day haggling.

    That's still quite a hefty price tag. Other genuine pearls are also available at the markets for very good prices. But never accept the first price offered. Ever.

    Where to buy it?

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    Silk Pajamas

    Silk Lingerie
    ••• AtomicSparkle / Getty Images

    Another luxurious gift for her that she surely wouldn't buy herself is a set of signature silk pajamas from Shanghai Tang. She will love her new jammies. And you for thinking of her.

    Where to buy it?

    • Shanghai Tang, Xintiandi Plaza, 15 Xintiandi North Block, Lane 181 Tai Cang Road or the corner of Maoming Road and Huaihai Road