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Datong Travel Guide

Datong Shopping

Still considered to feel like a "small market town," Datong is no shopper´s paradise. Once an important Ming dynasty trade hub, Datong´s atmosphere has become a little sleepier of late, obviously commercial variety is harder to find in smallish coal towns. However, if you are looking for some local souvenirs, keep your eyes open for some of the following items.

Datong Egg Carving: Bearing some resemblance to Easter eggs, Datong Egg Carving is done on hollow eggs and are ornately decorated with Chinese Calligraphy, and classic Chinese painting themes.

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Yungang Silk Dolls:This Chinese craft has a 1,000 year history, and many dolls are made to represent characters from Chinese fables and classic Chinese literature (think the beauties from "A Dream of Red Mansions"). Wrapped in fine silk, these dolls are both sturdy and svelte to the touch.

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Datong Porcelain Crafts: Datong´s history of porcelain work goes back 1,400. Using a unique, traditional method of production, figurines representing animals and characters from Chinese legends are brilliantly rendered.

Plaited Corn Husk Crafts: Pliable, durable, and sooth to the touch, processed corn husks can be used to produce an impressive array of consumer goods, such as bags, mats, cushions and coasters. Best of all, any item made from plaited husks will be very light and breathable.

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If you do decide on a shopping expedition, you should start on Datong´s main shopping thoroughfare of Xinjian Xi Lu (Xinjian West Road). Confusingly, this road will change names more than a few times as you work your way down its lengths, but if you just follow the shop fronts, you´re probably in the right place. The main shopping parts of this road are called Da Dong Jie (Big East Street) and Da Nan Jie (Big South Stre et).

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