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Shopping in Kaifeng

Kaifeng was the ancient capital between the mid 1000s to the mid 1300s, and is certainly a better looking place than Zhengzhou, the current capital of the Province. Kaifeng also has a pretty good selection of shopping items and souvenirs for travelers to pick from. Embroidery (Bianxiu), fighting kites and New Year Posters are all popular souvenirs.

Shidun Jie 

Shidun Jie is a nice street at the very heart of the town, boasting some original Qing style houses with pretty overhanging balconies. The Market is the real pull here however, and is famous even outside the province for its rich variety of wares. Every evening, peddlers display their odds and ends on brightly illuminated stalls. Everything from underwear to cosmetics and plastic kitchenware is up for grabs. Bargaining is all part of the fun here so make sure you join in as it is pretty much expected of you!

Xiangguo Temple Market

Xiangguo Temple Market is probably the largest of its kind, boasting over 3,000 stalls, large and small. Around the corner from Shidun Jie and Gulou Jie are the food stalls, a paradise for gourmets with a thin wallet--serving a variety of local specialties for just a few yuan. Souvenir hunters will find Song Jie at the northern section of Zhongshan Lu the most interesting. Tourist shops, built to resemble buildings from the Song Dynasty, line both sides of the street here. 

Kaifeng Embroidery

Kaifeng embroidery, also called Bianxiu, already has a history of more than 800 years, dating back to the Northern Song Dynasty. At that time, there used to be a workshop at the then capital specialized in making embroidery into all kinds of things, ranging from the ordinary headdresses, curtain, umbrella, carpet to the superior imperial robe and banner. Today, due to the global industrialization, a considerable percentage of embroidery works is done by machine, rather than with hand, however, for laymen, they will find it really hard to tell one from another. And how many people are willing to pay several times more? The most popular works among travelers nowadays is the one bearing galloping horses as well as another depicting the bygone scene of enormous prosperity of the city.

Zhuxianzheng New Year Poster
Zhuxianzhen New Year Poster, so named after its place origin, which is not far from Kaifeng, was first made during the Tang Dynasty and reached its heyday in the Ming and Qing Dynasties. The poster is good at depicting bucolic scenery with a free and easy style while the figures in the poster are mainly those well-known in traditional Chinese legends and fairly tales, accounting for the reason why they appear exaggerated in most cases.