They gorge themselves on moo goo gai pan. They swoon over Donnie Yen and Zhang Ziyi.
They’re “Sinophiles,” or people who love Chinese culture and all of its exports. If this describes someone you know, here are just a few Chinese gifts that will bring them closer to their favorite country!
35 Chinese Gift Ideas
For Artists and Poets: Chinese Calligraphy Sumi Brush Writing/Painting Set
Chinese calligraphy dates back thousands of years and was originally carved on ox bones and dried tortoise shells. Today, the instruments are much more precise, and you can order them all in a single box with this calligraphy kit! It contains multiple fine-tipped brushes as well as ink, an ink stone, a brush rest, a porcelain bowl and several seals and sticks.
Everything can be tucked back into the soft-lined calligraphy box when not in use. Practice your hanzi like an ancient storyteller when you have the right tools for the job.
If You Build It, They Will Come: LEGO Architecture Great Wall of China Building Kit
You don’t have to be a kid to enjoy a good set of building blocks, and with this 551-piece LEGO kit, you’ll definitely get your money’s worth in terms of construction and craftsmanship. It has a crazy amount of detail in its towers, turrets and lakeside mountains, but it’s still a simple enough puzzle to be handled by ages 12 and up.
It’s a gift that will be perfect for kids and adults alike.
When You’re Addicted to Dim Sum: Dragon and Phoenix Chopsticks With Holder and Carrying Bag
Chopsticks are more than just an eating utensil in China; they’re also a sign of manners, refinement and etiquette education. Knowing that, why would you want to eat with cheap plastic chopsticks from your local noodle place? Invest in something like this instead: a beautiful set of natural wooden chopsticks that have been carved with dragons and phoenixes.
They even come with matching spoons and chopstick stands, and they’ll be gift-ready thanks to a beautiful box decorated with old Chinese art. You could definitely do worse for a Chinese culture fan.
A Game for Mighty Tusks: Chinese Chess Magnetic Travel Board Game Set
Known as xiangqi or “elephant game,” Chinese chess is an ancient exploration of strategy and skill. It can take awhile to get the hang of it, but once you do, you’ll be utterly addicted. This particular set is a magnetic one, so the board is easily folded for travel, and you’ll never have to worry about the jade-colored pieces flying off the brown-and-gold lines.
It’ll be both beautiful and functional for those who want to play one of China’s oldest games.
To Stay Caffeinated: Chinese Ceramic Semi-Automatic Stone Mill Teapot Set
There’s nothing like a cup of oolog on a chilly morning, and this stone mill tea set is the embodiment of all things China. You steep the leaves in hot water in the top compartment before turning the “wheel” and letting it flow out from the lip.
The result is gorgeously presented as well as tastefully brewed. Five teacups and a long-handled teapot are included with every order, and they all have a matching design of yellow flowers on a black and blue patterned background.
If you’re looking for a classy way to enjoy a cuppa, this is it.
When Thieving is Just Too Cute: Stealing Panda Piggy Bank
Piggy banks can range from the silly to the sophisticated, and this one lies somewhere between the two. It has a working electronic system that recognizes when the lid is raised for a monetary deposit, but at the same time, it utilizes this technology to make a panda snatch your coins! It’ll be a funny little way to give your friend a unique gift for a special occasion.
It isn’t inherently Chinese, but it has a panda on a bamboo box, so it should be suitable for Sinophiles everywhere.
To Celebrate the Beauty Within Books: 12-Pack Ancient Chinese Paintings Bookmarks
Art nerds, this one is for you! Each of these sepia-toned bookmarks has a different print from ancient Chinese art, including “Spring Morning in the Han Palace” by Qui Ying, “Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains” by Huang Gongwang, and “Riverside Scene at the Qingming Festival” by Xhang Zeduan.
They come with the names and artists included so that your gift recipient can look up any particular piece that speaks to them. If they’re a book lover with a hankering** for Chinese culture, this is a gift that will delight every inch of their geeky historical heart!
Genuine Pieces of History: Resin Terracotta Warriors
Modeled after the real Terracotta Army outside of Xi’an, these three-inch figurines are perfect for someone who enjoys Chinese history but can’t make it all of the way across the ocean to experience it.
Each statuette is expertly crafted in a matte black resin, and they represent different factions of the Chinese army such as emperor, general, colonel, archer and soldier. There’s even a noble steed to carry them all! Whether you choose the small five-pack or the larger, more expansive nine-pack, this collection of warriors will definitely look amazing on a mantel.
For a New Home and a New You: Feng Shui How-To Guide
Maybe they’re an expert looking for new tips. Maybe they’ve only vaguely heard of feng shui but have always wondered what it’s about. Either way, they might enjoy Feng Shui: A Total Makeover for Your Life.
It delves into the basic rules and principles of the practice while also exploring the properties of various colors, directions, symbols and more. Whether they’re hoping to attract good health, career success or personal happiness, a feng shui guide might be just what they need to get the job done!
To Blush Behind a Fan: Handheld Folding Chinese Bamboo Silk Fan
Chinese fans come in all shapes and sizes, but if you’re looking for something that’s more gorgeous than gaudy, you’ll want to steer clear of the kitschy plastic ones and invest in something of a higher quality.
For example, this folding fan is made with silk and bamboo, and its floral butterfly design has been hand-painted with exquisite detail. It’s the kind of item that your gift recipient won’t even want to use; it’s too beautiful.
Instead, they’ll probably wind up hanging it on their wall or displaying it in their office as a piece of chic, eastern-style decor.
For the Person Who Has Everything: Chinese Wood Comb
If you’re looking for unique cultural items to give to someone who loves China, forget things like mugs and t-shirts. You’ll need to get more creative with something like a natural Chinese wood comb. Its handle is carved with carps and lotus blossoms, and its rich sandalwood fragrance will soothe the senses even as it promotes circulation and hair growth on the scalp.
You can order it with or without a wooden stand that’s just as dazzling as the comb itself. To do something different on your loved one’s birthday, think outside of the box with a present like this one.
A Memento From Home: 10-Piece Chinese Silk Brocade Drawstring Pouch Collection
Anyone familiar with Chinese culture will also be familiar with these. They’re small drawstring pouches that come in a variety of colors, patterns and designs, and they’re used throughout China for everything from good luck charms to holiday money.
You could even have them serve as mini-gift bags filled with candies, coins, pendants, gemstones or other trinkets. Since they come in a pack of 10, you won’t be running out anytime soon. Keep them handy and use them as continuous presents for the China enthusiast in your life.
For Bookworms and Bibliophiles: Chinese Guardian Lions Bronzed Finish Statue Bookends
Known as lions, lion dogs and foo dogs, these ancient Chinese guardians have been around since 202 BC – 220 AD. They protect households, temples, tombs, palaces and anywhere else that harmful spirits might pose a threat to the living or the dead.
They’re most often fashioned as a pair of statuettes to be placed in entryways, but in this case, they’ve been repurposed into decorative bookends. They’ll still serve their purpose as watchdogs, but this time, they’ll be guarding home libraries rather than forbidden cities!
If They Believe in Horoscopes: 12-Piece Chinese Zodiac Animal Figurines
You’ve never seen the Chinese zodiac like this! The 12 animals are usually represented as wise, grand or highly mysterious creatures, but this time, they’re utterly adorable mini-figurines with lots of color and charm.
The snake is wearing a top hat; the dog is winking and smiling; the bull has a cute little potted plant under her arm. Each piece is separate, so they can be arranged on a shelf or windowsill however you’d like.
Just make sure that all 12 are present for good luck!
To Elevate Their Interior Design: White Flowers Removable DIY Wall Art Stickers
Do they love decorating their home? Are they always looking for new rugs, vases and art prints to bring beauty into their living space? If so, they’ll gasp in delight at these wall stickers. While individually small, they come together to form a large, stunning tableau of a tree with white blossoms and falling petals in the wind.
Birds also flit from branch to branch, and golden birdcages hang down from the boughs. Your friend will be able to decorate their entire wall with a gentle and peaceful scene straight out of a Chinese scroll.
To Make a Little Music: Desk Gong Instrument
Standing a little under 18 inches tall, this gong is a miniature version of the massive instruments that are often played in Chinese palaces and temples, but it’s still impressive in its own right. It’s stylishly designed with a black wooden frame to hold up the gong, and its solid brass construction will lead to deep, rich tones when struck.
Your gift recipient can use it in offices, classrooms, cultural ceremonies and more. It might be small, but it’s still mighty.
For the Fashionista: Six-Pack Chinese New Year Hair Scrunchies
Hair scrunchies are making a comeback among the young and trendy, and these Chinese-style scrunchies will definitely add some color and pop to their wardrobe! They have the traditional red-and-gold color scheme of Chinese New Year celebrations, but they can be worn on other occasions as well.
For example, they’d look great at a spring festival or with a chic, modern cheongsam shirt. There are six in total, so the wearer can experiment with different looks until they find ones that they like!
For Your Favorite Pair of Lovebirds: Mandarin Ducks Wall Art
Known as yuanyang in China, Mandarin ducks are symbols of love and devotion. This is because the real-life ducks mate for life. They’re commonly seen in wedding decorations to bless the bride and groom, and they’re a regular theme in poems, paintings, jewelry and other forms of romantic expression.
If you have a couple of friends who are like yuanyang xi shui, or “two Mandarin ducks playing in water,” they should appreciate this beautiful wall art that also represents their fidelity.
To Give to the Sharp-Dressed Man: Stainless Steel Polished Round Chinese Love Cuff Links
Simple but powerful, these cuff links have the Chinese hanzi for “ai” or “love.” They’re marketed as wedding cuff links or gifts for a Chinese groom, but there’s no reason to limit their potential in real life.
You can give them to your boyfriend as a testament of your affection; you can give them to a buddy who’s about to tie the knot; you could even give them to a woman who likes to kick down gender boundaries and wear blazers just like the boys.
“Love” is a message that anyone can appreciate.
For Their Warrior’s Journey: Fists of Fury Chinese Movie Poster
There will never be another martial artist like Bruce Lee. If you know someone who would agree with this sentiment, consider giving them an art print of the original 1973 movie poster for Fists of Fury.
It has all of the original Chinese text, and it shows Bruce Lee in a variety of jumps, kicks and fighting stances that he used within the film. Its total measurements are 27 x 40 inches. No frame is included, but feel free to frame it yourself and make it an awesome present for your buddy who’s obsessed with kung-fu!
To Spice Up Their Life: 18-Set Chinese Marinade Spice Collection
If you have to peel them away from your local hotpot restaurant like a vinyl sticker, consider giving them some Chinese spices to bring authentic eastern flavors into their own dishes. They can play with everything from cloves to red peppers as they explore their palate and try their hand at exciting new recipes.
This particular collection comes with 18 spices, but you can also choose kits that have as little as 13 or as many as 31 spices.
To Make the Other Girls Jealous: Cheongsam Velvet Chinese Dress
You won’t want to buy this unless you’re absolutely sure of her size, but if you are confident in that knowledge, she might appreciate having a genuine Chinese cheongsam to wear. They’re hard to find outside of China, but this one is beautiful, durable and ready to be shipped worldwide.
You can order it in a cheerfully floral red or green or a mysteriously sexy black-and-red combo. Just make sure that you double check the size chart; since cheongsam are form-fitting, you won’t want to make any mistakes there.
Are they learning Chinese? If so, you’ll want to steer clear of the usual language books and phrase guides; they probably have these things already. Instead, gift them something that they wouldn’t think to buy for themselves, such as Chinese Stories for Language Learners: A Treasury of Proverbs and Folktales in Chinese and English.
Each story comes with a breakdown of vocabulary and grammar, but beautiful illustrations will make them seem more like fairy tales than textbook lessons. As a bonus, audio CDs and online recordings are included free of charge for pronunciation practice!
For an Oriental Aesthetic: Yellow Porcelain Chinese Vase
Vividly colorful, this vase is sure to be an attention-getter in their home or office. It’s bright yellow with red flowers and blue, green and black magpies hanging out in shrubbery. Another nice feature is that it’s made of genuine porcelain; it was actually crafted in Jingdezhen, one of the “porcelain capitals” of the world.
Between the high-temperature glazing and hand-drawn painting, this is definitely a vase that your gift recipient will want to put front and center in a room.
The Finishing Touch: 12-Pack Chinese Silk Gift Wrapping Papers
How are you going to wrap your Chinese gift? You certainly won’t want to use the funny pages of an American newspaper. Instead, bring some of the elegance of the east to your gift with these traditional Chinese silk wrapping papers.
Each one has a beautiful, colorful design that incorporates nature elements or symbolic meanings through butterflies, birds, flowers and good luck charms. You can make your wrapping just as amazing as your gift when you use materials like these.
For DIY Dumplings: Chinese Soup Dumpling Kit
If they’ve always admired the way that Asian celebrity chefs make dumplings, this kit will let them bring the magic – and the agar agar powder – into their own kitchen. There are five pieces in total, including a dough roller, stuffing spatula and traditional bamboo steaming basket.
An illustrated instruction manual will walk them through the cooking process step by step. When they’re done, they’ll have picture-perfect dumplings made with their own two hands, and they’ll have skipped all of the unnecessary oils and additives of Chinese restaurant chains.
If you’re lucky, you’ll be invited over to dinner to taste their creations!
To Pop Up and Say Hello: Paper Spiritz Chinese Pavilion Pop-Up Cards
Pop-up cards are a great way to add a little pizazz to your usual birthday or anniversary greetings. This one is especially impressive because it depicts a red and yellow Chinese pavilion complete with laceleaf trees! The outside is a plain red, so they won’t know what’s coming until they open it, and the inside has a blank space for writing whatever well-wishes that you desire.
It’s an incredibly customizable card with an incredibly awesome design. An envelope is included, too, if you want to mail it!
A Throwback to Simpler Times: Classic Chinese Mahjong Set
Another game that dates back thousands of years, mahjong has been modernized to the point where some of its contemporary versions don’t even look Chinese anymore, but this set breaks the mold. It’s defiantly Chinese from its red, calligraphy-covered carrying case to each of its 144 cream and ivory tiles.
There are even Chinese words and pictures printed vertically on the inside of the lid like a scroll! Instructions are included for first-time players, or your gift recipient can jump right in if they already know how to play.
This is the kind of mahjong set that gets treasured for years to come.
For Your Chinese Buddy With a Sense of Humor: Offensive Fortune Cookies
Not for the faint of heart, these fortune cookies are guaranteed to cause a stir at your next party. They range from the outrageously rude to the hilariously perverted, and since there are 19 in total, the blushing won’t stop for a long, long time.
You can crack them open at your friend’s bachelorette party or even give them to her unopened so that she can host her own laugh-out-loud gatherings. Either way, these fortune cookies will be silent bombs just waiting to explode on the unexpected!
To Light Up Like the Cool Kids: Zippo Dragon Lighter
There’s a reason why Zippo is one of the most famous names in lighters, and once you’re flicking open the top of this bad boy, you’ll never want to buy another brand. The colors are a psychedelic rainbow; the design is a dragon rising behind the Great Wall of China.
It’s an epic lighter that’s sure to get shown off among friends, family and co-workers, so if you’re in the market for low-key gifts that will still serve a punch, consider this Zippo.
For Health, Wealth and Good Fortune: Buddha Power Feng Shui Black Obsidian Bracelet
You don’t have to remodel your home to take advantage of feng shui. In fact, harnessing the power of luck and fortune can be as simple as wearing the right bracelet! These black obsidian beads have been carved with the golden symbols for health, wealth and abundance as well as protection against evil spirits and influences.
It’s unisex, so it can be given to both men and women, and its central pendant is the mythical Chinese hybrid creature named Pixiu. With his strength behind you, anything is possible.
For Picturesque Tea Parties: Floral Pattern Cotton and Linen Tea Cup Coasters
While not an explicitly Chinese gift, these coasters are made with a soft cotton-linen fabric that’s been embroidered with the delicate branches of plum blossoms, so they’ll match most Chinese tea arrangements.
They can also be used as everyday kitchen towels or decorative items for a garden party or patio dinner. There are a lot of things that you can do with cute tea coasters, so don’t be afraid to experiment.
Prom Night, Here We Come: Rose Flower Rhinestone Chinese Style Hair Stick
As you’ve already seen with the cheongsam, Chinese fashion can be quite elaborate. But what if you’re looking for something a bit simpler for a gift bag, goodie basket or Christmas stocking? This hairpin might be a nice alternative.
It has beautiful red rose rhinestones with ornate details, including several dangling pieces from a golden net, but it’s quite simple to slide into an ‘updo. It doesn’t even have any clasps or openings.
Just stick it in the back of a bun and you’re done!
Treasure in Another Form: Feng Shui Bronze Golden Money Coin Tree
Another great gift for those who believe in feng shui, this money tree is quite literally made from Chinese coins, so it’ll be the perfect centerpiece for someone’s “wealth” corner. It can also be used to attract luck, abundance and good fortune in general.
The bronze material gives it an ancient, weathered look, and the hand-carved details are so intricate that you can see each individual hanzi on the coins. Your gift recipient doesn’t even have to be a fan of Chinese culture to appreciate a goodwill gesture like this one.
Finger-Licking Good: Flower Flavor Baking Rose Scented Flowers Cakes
Last but not least, if you want to get them a one-of-a-kind gift that isn’t made anywhere but China, buy some of these “rose flower” cakes. They’re made to order straight out of Yunnan Province,** and their fluffy pastry shells contain real rose petals that have been mixed with oil, sugar, flour and honey.
The end result is an amazing treat that’s taking the world by storm, so your gift recipient can be one of the first to hop on the bandwagon!
The Best Chinese Presentst for Friends and Family
China has one of the oldest civilizations in the world, so it should come as no surprise that people everywhere are obsessed with its culture, cuisine, fashion, art, history and more. Here are just a few tips for finding and buying the coolest Chinese gifts this side of the Huanghai Sea!
Do Your Research
Did you know that Chinese checkers originated in Germany and has nothing to do with China at all? Similarly, koi fish are a Japanese species, and those pointed straw hats that you might think of as “Asian” are actually a Vietnamese staple. You’ll want to avoid making these kinds of cultural errors in your gift, especially if your recipient is actually from China. They’ll take one look at a teapot with a koi fish on it and realize that you didn’t do your homework.
Narrow Down Their Interest Areas
Why do they like Chinese culture? What appeals to them? If they’re Chinese themselves, what do they miss about their home country, and what would touch their heart when they’re reminded of it? Rather than wading through a gigantic pile of Chinese-related goods, try to narrow your focus into something like “food” or “fashion” or “film.” You can always branch off from these things later, but having somewhere to start will let you explore your options without getting overwhelmed by 2,000+ years of culture.
It’s cliche, but it’s true: China has a lot of knockoffs. They aren’t all bad; some of them are just as cool or functional as the original, and purchasing them can save you a lot of money. Others, however, are total scams, so you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled for any deals that seem too good to be true. Know how to spot fakes, and read reviews to make sure that customers aren’t complaining about the products that they received. You might also want to double-check things like translations. Don’t give a heartfelt romantic gift that actually has a Chinese menu printed on it!
These are just a few Chinese gifts that will make them feel like they’re back in Beijing. Whether they’re a young person grooving to Chinese pop stars or an old Chinese grandma who misses the rice fields of her youth, the right gift can make them feel closer to the culture than ever!