Although Guilin has no notable department
stores, this is a good area to pick some nice
souvenirs. The area around Mopanshan Dock has
a few nice small shops selling gems and other
traditional Guilin souvenirs such as Bamboo and
wooden carvings. Guilin is an especially good
place to pick up some tasty snack food. The oranges
and small kumquats around here are very juicy
and Guilin people also have a very sweet tooth
so it's worth checking out some of their delicious
Yangshuo also has some sweet little
boutiques and a great weekend market where you
can pick up some nice souvenirs and also some
good quality clothing. Yangshuo painted fans make
a nice gift and the selection in the town is good.
Bamboo & Wooden Carvings
Bamboo and wood carvings are another local specialty
which is popular with tourists in Guilin and Yangshuo.
Green bamboo and boxwood are embossed and hollowed
out to produce pretty carvings. Typical subjects
include landscapes, characters, birds and flowers.
Examples of these carvings can be seen in the
small handicraft boutiques on Xi Jie in Yangshuo.
Guilin is famous for its exotic and deliciously
sweet food. Candy, including Osmanthus, sesame
and peanut flavors, is a local specialty. Candy
is often presented to guests at Chinese banquets.
These delicious sweets are available all over
Guilin in supermarkets and small street stalls.
is Guilin's local liqueur made from rice and Chinese
yeast. The Guilin Sanhua Brewery was established
during the Song dynasty, but served only the Royal
family! Today, the lethal liqueur is still brewed
according to traditional principles and techniques
but is now widely available throughout the area.
The name of the sprit mean "three flowers"
and derives from the fact that the alcohol is
brewed three times before it is bottled. This
liqueur is transparent and has a mellow and fragrant
taste, but also a good kick! Locals believe that
the spirit improves blood circulation- perhaps
just an excuse to drink some more!
Sweet Osmanthus Wine
Guilin has two vineyards producing two distinct
types of Osmanthus wine.
There is a very sweet wine produced here which
tastes much like a traditional desert wine. This
drink is made by fermenting grape and Osmanthus
flowers together and subjecting the fruit and
flowers to a soaking, distilling and filtration
process. The result is an incredibly aromatic
wine which is light in color and taste. The wine
is also said to have healing properties that ease
indigestion and improve your spirit! (Unless you
drink too much!)
The second type of wine produced in
the region is a rice wine. This undergoes the
same process as the grape wine but here, the grape
is swapped for rice. This wine is less sweet and
is crystal clear. This wine tastes a lot stronger
than the last one too!
Both these wines are widely
available in restaurants and bars throughout the
Tippy Tea is a black tea made in Guillin from
leaves plucked from tea plantations in this area.
This tea is held to be very healthy and locals
believe that drinking vast quantities of it can
help keep Cancers at bay. This tea is widely available
in Stores in Guillin and costs between RMB100-200
Guilin watermelon powder is renowned for having
soothing properties and is taken as a drug to
help throat infections and colds. Herbal medicines
are very big in china and this is an effective
alternative to western pain killers. This particular
medicine has won numerous awards and is sold in
huge amounts in Hong Kong.
Weaved Grass Craftwork
Woven silver grass is a unique handicraft produced
in the Guilin area, traditionally by the minority
people. Specially grown grass that is strong enough
to be woven is picked from the fields and painted
with a restorative oil. The grass is then woven
together to make baskets, wall hangings, decorations
and even clothing. Examples of this delicate handiwork
can be seen at the weekend market in Yangshuo.
Yangshuo Painted Fans
painted paper fans are delightfully delicate and
colorful. The fans are available in various sizes
but all are made with either silk or paper with
bamboo as the fan support. The painted fan undergoes
a series of processes including dyeing, mounting
and painting with lacquer before it is ready for
retail. Local painters in Yangshuo particularly
enjoy depicting birds, flowers, insects and traditional
Chinese girls. These fans are widely available
in Yangshuo in many of the boutiques in the village
and also at the weekend market.