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What would you look like in a different life? Say you became a police? Or became a soccer player? Although you cannot relive your life, you can at least get a glimpse of it through a figurine of yourself at Viplus.


Located in the basement of Shin Kong Palace, Viplus specializes in custom-made figurines, which you can find various samples on the shelves. According to a shop assistant, the head is made from resin, while the body is made from painted pottery. Both materials are non-toxic, odorless, and mold-proof.


For your own figurine, give them a head photo of the person you want a figurine of. Then choose from more than 300 designs available for the body. And in case you¡¯re wondering, the most popular design at Viplus was basketball star Yao Ming. After that, give their professional designers 15 to 20 days to finish.


During my visit, the promotional price for new designs was RMB268, while the regular price for old designs was RMB 388.


What I appreciated

The various designs, interesting idea for a gift


What customers appreciate

Interesting souvenir or gifs, personalized item


On the south side of Zhushikou Dongdajie lies an outdoor outfit shop called Tu Bu Tian Xia, which means "Hike around the World". This newly-opened shop features the American brand "The First Outdoor", or TFO for short.


After the shop assistant greeted me, she told me that the brand comes from Delaware. Products include hiking boots, outdoor sportswear, backpacks, tents, and sleeping bags. They are all developed and produced according to American standard.


According to the shop assistant, a featured product at the shop was the brown hiking boots, which features four patents of the brand: TFO-Waterproof, First-Grip, First-Tex, and First-Comfort. Upon examination, I found that it look very firm and wearable. The sticker price was RMB 1099. But if you simply ask the shop assistant, she can usually give you a 20 percent discount. I personally liked the green double-layer outdoor jacket (RMB 1269 before discount), which was made from waterproof and ventilated fabric.


You could also join the Tu Bu Tian Xia Camping Club here, to take part in organized activities with fellow outdoorsmen.


What I appreciated

Quality outdoor equipment, camping club


What customers appreciate

Brand name quality equipments, plenty of selection

Beijing pictures, The entrance of Sheng Xifu Hat Store

On the east side of Wangfujing Street lies an old, famous hat store named Sheng Xifu. A time-honored brand in China, Sheng Xifu has opened for almost a century and has earned the nickname ¡°the King of Hats.¡±


Sheng Xifu caps are famous for their use of quality choice materials, handmade features, fine craftsmanship, and excellent quality. Many leaders and foreign dignitaries have ordered hates from Sheng Xifu over the years.


It¡¯s hard to miss the shop when you walk in the area. A copper signboard hangs on the shop entrance, with its English name ¡°Sheng Xifu Hat Store¡± engraved. In addition, six red lanterns help guide you inside.


The shop is comprised of two floors. As I looked around the first floor, I saw mainly regular hats. Plain men¡¯s hats, made of cotton, wool, or hemp, went for RMB 128. Women¡¯s hats had more designs and colors.


The second floor featured medium to high grade hats. For example, a hat made of rabbit fur cost RMB 680, while a hat made of otter skin cost RMB 2100. You may also find reproductions of hats worn by famous Chinese leaders here. The most popular one belonged to a hat worn by former Premier Zhou Enlai.


What I appreciated

Quality hats, famous Chinese brand.


What customers appreciate

Quality hats, famous Chinese brand.


Located just south of the Dongtieying Bridge, 'Jiangxi Specialty' offers the local food and liquor of the Jiangxi Province.


The showcase facing the entrance presented various roasted duck parts seasoned with soy sauce. Its delicious smell permeated the air around the shop. The whole duck was priced at RMB 36 per 500g.


What caught my attention was the Si Te Liquor, one of the most famous white liquors in China. Made in Zhangshu City, Si Te brand has had a history of over five thousand years! The shop assistant told me that the liquor was made from quality rice and water from an underground spring. In fact, he said the former Premier Zhou Enlai once said it ¡°tastes pure and aromatic, and aftertaste lasts forever¡±. One bottle of Si Te liquor (500ml) packed in an elegant gift box had a price tag of RMB 298.


In addition, they also sell mushrooms, rice noodles, and Jiangxi snacks like tiny sour jujube cakes. Most of these are fairly rare in Beijing.


What I appreciated

Si Te Liquor, inexpensive prices.


What customers appreciate

Jiangxi specialties, inexpensive prices.


On the east side of the South 3rd Ring Road, I found Giuseppe, a menswear shop that offers high quality long and short-sleeved shirts. The brand comes from Italy, and the clothes are manufactured in Zhejiang Province.


Despite a small storefront, I felt the outlet provided a pleasant shopping atmosphere. Their shirts were neatly arranged on shelves against both walls. Overall, I felt the shirts to be good to high quality.


I examined closely their pure cotton series of shirts. They feature good ventilation and moisture absorption. The colored stripes look natural and clear. And the stitching was excellent. Prices for this series ranged from RMB 205 to RMB 498.


They also have a 100% cotton non-ironing series of shirts, which were priced from RMB 416 to RMB 676. In addition to shirts, you can also find quality neckties in many different designs for RMB 100 to RMB 300.


The shop assistant told me that Giuseppe sticks to its high quality and offers no discount. So the price on the sticker is what you pay.


What I appreciated

High-quality, comfortable


What customers appreciate

Italian brand, high quality


Organic teas are made without artificial pesticides and fertilizers. For organic teas in Beijing, there is no better place to go than Gengxiang. Located on the Maliandao Tea Street, this top organic tea brand offers a huge selection of natural teas on two floors.


As I stepped into the store, the counters filled with organic teas greeted me. Their most popular teas are jasmine and green tea. But I also saw plenty of Westlake Longjing, Tie Guanyin, and Yunnan Pu¡¯er tea. Prices, per 500 grams, started at RMB 60. Although top quality leaves can cost upwards of over 3000 yuan.


One attractive feature for casual tea drinkers is the tea-tasting area. Here, you can take a seat and sample different types of teas for your favorite.


Further back in the store, I found a large section of various tea accessories. These include full tea sets, tea boilers, porcelain and purple clay tea pots, and tea cups. If that¡¯s not enough, they even have a teahouse on the 2nd floor, serving choice teas and offering tea foot baths.


What I appreciated

Quality organic teas


What customers appreciate

Organic teas, famous brand, tea-tasting section

Beijing pictures, The facade of Erdos Aoqun Woolen Sweater Shop

In China, the most famous brand for wool products is Erdos, made in Inner Mongolia. Erdos has a sub-brand called Aoqun, which specializes in quality woolen sweaters. I visited an Aoqun outlet on the east side of the Beijing West Railway Station South Road.


The shop is hard to miss, due to its eye-catching red façade. Inside, I found a good selection of sweaters for both men and women. With the coming of spring, they had a 20% discount on all sweaters inside.


I examined two sweaters in particular. First was a red round-collar women's sweater made of pure wool. It was decorated with shining crystal-shaped buttons. It had a discount price of RMB 270. The other was a plain red V-neck sweater for men (RMB 388 after discount). Both had solid stitching and felt comfortable to touch.


In addition to sweaters, the shop also sells various woolen underpants at RMB 110 each. And if you spend over RMB 350, you can get a scarf as a present.


What I appreciated

Quality woolen sweaters


What customers appreciate

Name brand quality sweaters, reasonable prices.

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Beijing Shopping: What would you look like in a different life? Say you became a police? Or became a soccer player? Although you cannot relive your life, you can at least get a glimpse of it through a figurine of yours...