General Question

Plone3000's avatar

Romantic chinese gift ideas?

Asked by Plone3000 (668points) March 31st, 2011

I will be going to Beijing China in 17 days and I am stoked. I want to bring back something for a girl that I really like. China constantly gets bad reps from many people in Western societies for having low quality products. I know that China produces some great products. The only thing I am concerned about is will my gift be as authentic as getting one in a more rural part of China?

I want to get something romantic, but doesn’t scream “I love you!” because I am not dating this girl. It should be authentic and traditional to China. It does not have to be big or expensive either because she is really into symbolism.

somethings I had in mind were cherry blossoms or some “blooming tea”. Maybe a necklace? If you have lived in, been to, or just know a lot about Chinese culture give me some ideas!

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20 Answers

Bellatrix's avatar

What about a Cheongsam? They are so beautiful and sophisticated and totally Chinese and especially if you can buy one in China. I would be thrilled with such a gift.

Plone3000's avatar

@Mz Lizzy_Very nice, I would have to try and get her size discretely.

Nullo's avatar

@Plone3000 Explain your plan to her mother; she’ll probably know it. Be sure to know what dress size works out to in actual centimeters; it’s unlikely that those things will be conveniently labeled.

Plone3000's avatar

@Nullo Good call, I would have just looked at the size.

Bellatrix's avatar

And her favourite colour too. I love red but these dresses come in lots of different colours. They are also very flattering to many body types I think.

longtresses's avatar

I think something silk or handmade is a good start, but not too “Chinese” or folksy. You’ll just have to wait until you spend a day at a flea market or weekend mall.

Plone3000's avatar

@Mz_Lizzy her favourite colour is red too! She is very pretty, a tan skined Pacific Islander.
@longtresses You are right I may just have to wait and see. I am still open to sugestions.

faye's avatar

Jade comes in many colours. I love it. You could get jewellery or ornaments. I love my jade earrings and have a jade petalled tree. @Mz Lizzie, I just looked at pictures of cheongsam and I can think of many bodies they wouldn’t flatter :)

Bellatrix's avatar

You know, the fact that you are even thinking about her present before you go shows how fond you are of her. I think it’s lovely and I am sure she will be impressed with whatever you buy her.

jlelandg's avatar

@Plone3000 WHOA THERE HOSS! Be careful. Beijing folks will try to scam you. Be very careful who you talk to and where you buy a 旗袍—qi pao (what a “cheongsam” is called in China).

If you’re going to buy tea, don’t buy it from assholes (and yes, that is the applicable term) who try to “practice their English” with you. Nor do you buy any Chinese art from an “art student” who can speak decent chinese and is showcasing art. ALL SCAMS!

sincerely, 4+ years in China

P.S. Loverboy, I know you want to spend alot of money to impress your chick, but don’t spend anything that sounds like a ton of money. Remember when you go: $1=7 rmb $15=100 rmb (roughly) don’t spend more than American price on anything.

At some of the tourist sites, they sell these cute Chinese umbrellas for girls. they are nice and if you haggle you can get them for 30 or 40 RMB which is a fair price because they are making money and you aren’t getting cheated.

I could write paragraphs more. I’ll stop there.

snowberry's avatar

Some organic products will be confiscated by customs, such as plant products (tea?) or illegal stuff such as ivory. Check with customs before you purchase anything.

jlelandg's avatar

this might help

@snowberry Tea won’t get confiscated if it’s clearly marked.

I am guessing @Plone3000 doesn’t speak Chinese, to better help can you tell me the nature of your trip?

jlelandg's avatar

If the original poster doesn’t come back, read my comments, GA me, and ask more questions, then I fully expect him to be back asking questions about why Chinese people scammed his ass.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

I have a brocade silk dressing gown that I love, and a tea set that is square, black, and has pinkish orchids on it. Got them both in San Francisco, though, in Chinatown. My granny had a carved ivory apple with a whole Chinese village carved into it. It was beautiful. One of my cousins brought it to her when he was in the service. I don’t know of anything that you could get in China that couldn’t be bought in Chinatown or on line, though. A jade decoration of some sort, maybe?

Nullo's avatar

Try for an everyday item that you don’t see Stateside, owing to an understated degree of novelty.

Plone3000's avatar

@jlelandg The nature of my trip is a school trip, EF Tours. I will not complain if I get scammed, I know thats my fault if I make a bad choice. An umbrella sounds great too, then I will not have to worry about her size. How do I know if something is “clearly marked”.
@Mz_Lizzy Thank you that is very nice to say.

faye's avatar

I wrote a respnse yesterday and must have forgotten to hit the button. I think clothing is iffy unless you can get a robe. That would be fantastic. Also, I love my jade earrings and jade ornaments. Jade comes in so many colors, shapes and sizes.

Kardamom's avatar

I would love to receive a beautiful ceramic tea set, or a pair of jade earrings

If you can manage to take a decent landscape photo (especially with fog or the moon over a body of water or some beautiful blossoms or pine trees or a pagoda with mountains in the background) then bring it home, get it printed and matted and framed (in a Chinese-esque frame, but not something gaudy) she will love it. It’s from the heart, because she will be seeing what you saw, and it is something that you made. Find some reputable person who can write her name in Chinese letters (please make sure it is correct and not someone making something up!!!). Write those letters on the wrapping for the gift.

Look at these photos for inspiration. #1 #2 #3

jlelandg's avatar

@Plone3000 be careful about buying jade. If you have some Chinese students going on this trip with you, try to get them to help you buy things.

Basically, don’t buy unless you’ve haggled some first. People in Beijing are going to look at you and usually at least double the price.

rue23's avatar

Can you which city of China are you in ? Because every city in China has it own characteristic. For example , suzhou is famous for silk scarfs.OR
I think you can sent her a truelove knot(a knot for tying the ends of two lines together) (in China call 同心结)

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