Xian Worth-buying Souvenirs – What and Where

Xian owns a worldwide fame for being the most ancient capital in China as well as the home to the Eighth Wonder – Terracotta Army which has drawn great attention thoughout the world since its discovery. History, a generous master, has bestowed too many treasures on Xian. It seems that every ancient alley, every piece of wall brick, can let a person traverse time and space. Xian attractions, Xian food, Xian memories are the things that can hardly been taken away or kept for life time. However, there are some specialties of real significance that serve for treasuring up, emblematic of Xian culture.

Replica of Terracotta Soldiers

Speaking of Xian, we can never skip the topic of Terracotta Warriors at the mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor. The replica of terracotta soldiers is clay sculpture that is modeled in three types – soldier, chariot and horse. The miniature sculptures are in small size but look exactly the same style as those in the museum, which are meaningful and very popular as Xian souvenir.

Where to buy: Terracotta Factory near the Terracotta Warriors Museum; Shannxi History Museum; Shuyuanmen Street.

Xian Terracotta Army
Xian Terracotta Army

Lantian Jade

Lantian Jade is one of the earliest jade species developed and utilized in China. It has a history of more than 4000 years, and is regarded as a treasure by all dynasties of royalty and dignitary. Lantian Jade is renowned for its hardness, colorfulness, and fine texture. Legend says that the love token Emperor Tang Xuanzong once send to concubine Yang Yuhuan is also Lantian Jade.

Where to buy: If you have plenty of time, you can go to Lantian county, a surrounding area of Xian which produces and processes Lantian Jade. If not, you can go to a Xian jade factory or store with appraisal certificate.

Where to buy Lantian jade in Xi’an: First, if you have much time, you may go to Lantian county, and there are four old companies producing Lantian Jade, Lantian jade factory, Jade carving craft factory, Yumoxiang, and Shanglinyuan. Second, if you don’t have enough time for shopping, you could go to a jade ware store in Xi’an, and buy one with an appraisal certificate. If you are not sure whether it’s genuine, and still want to buy one, I suggest you buy a cheap one to make up for your likeness.

Tang Sancai Replica

Tang Sancai Replica is the sculpture of Tang Tri-Color Glazed Ceramics, referring to low-temperature glazed pottery popularized in the Tang dynasty. The main color are yellow, green and white, so people used to call it “Tang Sancai”. Buying a genuine Sancai pottery always costs a lot, since it is treasured nationally as antique. Visitors to Xian are suggested to buy the sculpture of Sancai, which is affordable and also worth collecting.

Where to buy: Shannxi History Museum; Souvenir shop in Muslim Quarter; Shuyuanmen Street.

Peasant Painting of Huxian County

Huxian is a famous township of farmer painting which originated among folk life. It is strongly linked with local opera, dance, Shehuo(a festival activity), dragon lantern and other diverse cultural customs, showing distinct regional features. The paintings are exquisite but straightforward, quietly elegant but colourful, sophisticated but simple. Works of Huxian peasant painting have been exhibited abroad for many times, and specially introduced in the form of album, film and TV by Germany, Britain, Japan and other countries.

Where to buy: Huxian County in the south of Xian.

Paper Cutting:

Paper cutting is a traditional folk art which is very popular in rural areas of Shaanxi. The paper used is usually in bright red, and there are various auspicious words and patterns, as well as some showing folk stories. Delicate paper-cut expresses people’s blessing of abundance, and peace of year by year, outlined the yearning for a better life.

Where to buy: Shops in scenic spots; Shuyuanmen Street; Small Wild Goose Pagoda.

Shadow Puppet

If you see a shadow puppetry on your Xian tour, you might as well buy a shadow puppet handicraft to bring home as a souvenir. There is shadow puppetry with operation lever, or that mounted with delicate frame. Price varies from 10 yuan to hundreds. It can be placed in home as adornment or send to friends as gifts, either is pretty good choice.

Where to buy: Shops in scenic spots; Shuyuanmen Street; Small Wild Goose Pagoda.

Clay Sculpture 

Shannxi clay sculpture enjoys a good fame in China for its long history and superior craftsmanship. Clay sculpture in Shannxi has a long history, and some were unearthed from ancient tombs  of the Spring Period ( 770 BC-476 BC). Clay sculptures to local people is a good fortune because it will bring them happiness and safety. Those clay sculpture are usually made in animal appearance, like rabbit, lion, and tiger.