Local Specialties and Souvenirs
Compared with its lackluster entertainment, shopping in Jiayuguan is more exciting. There are a variety of goods that can be purchased, most are very popular with the Chinese and, although not exceptional, are worth looking into. Best of the specialties include the "Self-Illuminating" cup, rubbings of Wei & Jin tomb murals, stone carvings and assorted carpets.
The most famous of specialties here is the "Self-Illuminating" Cup (Yeguan bei) that is made of jade from the nearby Qilianshan Mountain. These translucent cups, immortalized in thousands of Chinese poems, are so named because when they are filled with wine and penetrated by the ghostly rays of the moon. It shines with luxuriant brightness.
The area around the city of Jiayuguan is filled with tombs from both the Wei (386-556 AD) and the Jin (265-420 AD) dynasties, and many of these are home to numbers of colorful and vivid murals (Weijin bihua muhua tuopian). There is now a thriving trade in copies, usually Rubbings, of these original cultural pieces, and this is a good way to get some insight into those bygone days.
For those with interests in Chinese calligraphy, the Jiayu Ink stones (Jiayu shiyan) have a history of over 1,700 years. So as the "Self-Illuminating" cup, the ink stones are carved from stone taken from the nearby mountains. The stones normally have strips of different colors, from a range including blues, greens, reds and yellows.
This area is a stronghold on the new tourist Silk Road. As there are no lack of stores selling, these handicrafts and more, at allegedly knock off prices. Since not always genuine, it is probably best to head to the more established stores, such as the state owned Jiayuguan Handicraft Shop on 8 Shibei lu.
Daily Articles Shopping
Xiongguan Department Store
Location: Wuyi, Jiayuguan section, Jiayuguan city
Renmin Department Store
Location: No, 1036 Renmin road, Jiayuguan
Wanhuiyuan Department Store
Location: No. 5, Xinhua road, Jiayuguan
Dahua Department Store
Location: No. 9, Xinhua road, Jiayuguan
Jiayuguan Department Store
Location: No. 17-3 west Lanxin road, Jiayuguan
Hualian Department Store
Location: No. 11, north Shengli road, Jiayuguan
Location: south Xinhua road, Jiayuguan