If you are a foreign traveler in Beijing, your trip is hardly complete if you miss the ancient culture street. Last week I went there again and was impressed by a handicraft shop named ¡®Gu Ya Zhai.¡¯ The diversity of their folk arts and crafts will make it easy to find something interesting, such as presents or souvenirs.
As soon as I entered the shop, I found my eyes darting around everywhere, amazed to see so many unique handicrafts. A large variety of porcelain vases, plates and bowls were displayed on antique wooden shelves. Among them, the plain white vases with blue patterns looked more elegant than the colorful ones.
The shopkeeper Mr. Xu greeted me, and told me the most popular items here are the shadow puppets hanging on the wall. They are made of either donkey skin or cow skin. I tried to manipulate one. All of its joints were moveable and flexible. It was very funny!
The small snuff bottles looked so delicate. The caps are made of agate, while the bottles are made of crystal. Fine patterns like landscapes, flowers and birds were painted on the inner walls of the bottles. I still wonder how Chinese craftsmen can do such a wonderful thing.
A pink, vivid kite in the shape of a goldfish also caught my eye. Its big eyes rotate when the wind blows.
The shop also carries Chinese paintings and calligraphy works, jade jewelry, and small, ancient shoes for women¡ The prices are quite reasonable.
What I appreciated
Folk arts and crafts, fine workmanship
What customers appreciate
Traditional Chinese handicrafts, reasonable prices
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