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A gift shop hidden behind the Forbidden City, Hua Fu Yi Yuan offers amazing Chinese ethnic products. This Wusi St. shop carries a wide range of handicrafts of Yi Ethnic group in southwestern China. Selections include Suo Yi rainwear, silver bracelet, and straw hat. The prices start cheaply. For example, a beautiful vanilla-scented pouch cost RMB 10.
The owner was easy-going, and very enthusiastic in showing me his wares. He recommended one of their new items, an 8-piece instrument called Ba Yin Qin. The instrument, when played with water drops in a tea ceremony, can produce euphonic sounds similar to the ones you hear in a chime-bell performance. The Ba Yin Qin cost RMB 180.
He also showed me a Suo Yi hat, a traditional Yi ethnic rainwear for hundreds of years. It has been used for so long, in fact, that Suo Yi has become a symbol of the Yi people. For RMB 120, you get the hat and a pair of shoes.
I also loved a variety of colorful kites coming from Weifang, the kite hometown of China, and various Chairman Mao products.
What I appreciate
Affordable prices, large variety of Chinese ethnic products
What customers appreciate
Wide selection of Chinese ethnic products, reasonable prices
Gifts from the high mountains of Tibet
Folk Handicrafts from Northwest China
China's "King of Hats"
Art on Fabrics