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Just as its name implies, Yu Hai Cui Yuan, is indeed a "sea of jade". Located on Fatou Xili Street, it is very close to the Temple of Heaven.

Upon entering the shop, I was first attracted by a huge jade carving of a cabbage displayed in a glass container. It looked fantastic, both in terms of size and craftsmanship. According to the shop assistant, it took totally three years to carve this giant piece of work.

Needless to say, the price tag was also quite amazing, at RMB 1,000,000.

Another characteristic jade carving is a basket containing peonies, peaches, and guavas with butterflies flying, and a cat standing aside. This is a good birthday present to the elderly. Peonies and butterflies symbolize wealth, while peaches and cats mean longevity.

Besides these exquisite jade carvings, this shop also holds a range of jade jewelry. The jade is imported from Burma, which are the best in the world. The raw jade are then carved into their present form by Yu Hai Cui Yuan's own group of artists. Prices vary from RMB 300 to RMB 58,000.

What I appreciate:
Amazing jade carvings

What customers appreciate:
Beautiful collection of jade items, fine craft


In northeast China, gourds ¨C hollowed out fruit shells ¨C are believed to be able to drive away evil spirits. And they come in different shapes and sizes. But before I visited Ya Zhen Mi Bao Ge , I have never seen gourds made from walnut shells.

The shop had dozens of gourds in different sizes. The big ones are as tall as a person, while the small ones are about 8 inches. The owner of the shop explained to me the unique technique of making these gourds. First the walnuts need to be cut open, and the kernels inside taken out. Then use a special glue to stick the shells together. Mid-sized gourds cost about RMB 120. The big ones can be costly, as they take a whole week to make.

Beside the gourds are tree-root carvings. I was particular impressed with a huge tea table. It was carved out of the root of a thousand year-old tree in Burma. The price of this tea table is about RMB 20,000.

The shop also features many other items. There are nice hand-made tobacco pipes and beautiful jade and emerald jewelry.

What I appreciate:
Cute gourds with special design

What customers appreciate:
Unique and wonderful craft



Cross stitch, an art first originated in Europe, is incredibly popular in China today, especially with the young girls. Although cross stitching has changed quite a bit moving to the east, I found a small shop that still holds true to the origin of this art. The shop is aptly named ˇ°European Cross Stitch.ˇ±

I found the shop near the D exit of Chang Chun Jie subway station. It felt warm and comfortable as I stepped inside. According to the friendly shop assistant, the most popular product sold here are wall decorations. Prices ranged from RMB 100 to RMB 300 or so, depending on their sizes. However, if you choose to make it by yourself, you can typically save up to 2/3 of the original price.

Besides wall decorations, the shop also provides more practical cross stitch products. I personally liked the couch pillows which they can stitch your favorite design for (RMB380). I also liked the apron too (RMB150). As these were items I would look at every day, it felt more important that they be more special.

What I appreciate:
Cushion, Apron and the comfortable atmosphere

What customers appreciate:
Decorations, Tapestry

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Beijing Shopping: Just as its name implies, Yu Hai Cui Yuan, is indeed a "sea of jade". Located on Fatou Xili Street, it is very close to the Temple of Heaven.