A long-lasting souvenir from Shanghai

The sturdy bookmarks from Kitsch China make great souvenirs as they are small yet sturdy
A long-lasting souvenir from Shanghai
A long-lasting souvenir from Shanghai

Exquisite porcelain teacups from Jingdezhen. Astounding &mdash and unaffordable &mdash paper-cut landscapes. Premium paper lanterns. Live portrait-stamp artists. Bespoke leather and fuzz bears from Hangzhou. Comrade Mao-era enamel worker&rsquos mugs. It&rsquos all Shanghai in a slew of shopfronts. The shikumens (&lsquostone gate&rsquo residential enclaves) of Lane 210, off Taikang Lu, house many wonders for the hefty of wallet and spacious of luggage. Revised into an artistic enclave in the mid-noughties after being scheduled for demolition, Tianzifang is where hipsters come to hang out, eat and shop. For the tighter of baggage allowance and pocket, these surprisingly sturdy bookmarks from the Kitsch China brand slip into the smallest satchel. I chose the touristy neighbourhoods of &lsquoShanghai&rsquo as well as the improbably varied costumes of &lsquoChina&rsquos 56 Ethnic Groups&rsquo, at a little shop (whose signboard I couldn&rsquot read) opposite the hidden courtyard, below The Nest store. As you can see, they manage to readily evoke the sights, sounds and smells of Shanghai that didn&rsquot get bottled and bagged, and are still clasping paper and memory pages strong two years later &mdash and standing as satisfactory proxy for the souvenirs that went unbought. RMB 20 for sets of 4 kitschchina.net (check for availability).

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