I just came back from China. As any seasoned traveler would, I went there armed with a tour book, Chinese phrase guide, good walking shoes.....and a long shopping list.
Besides the knock-off designer handbags and Rolex watches, China is known for fine silks, gourmet tea, enameled cloisonné, hand carved jade, and pearls. I planned to bring back beautifully woven pashmina shawls for my nieces, ties for my brother and my nephews, a jade teapot for myself.
To make things easier, our itinerary included stops at specialty stores wherever we went. We visited jade, cloisonné and silk factories recommended by the government tourist agency. The stores were clean, had great selections and plenty of well-trained staff.