For the Boys
Legos help foster the imagination of any child, allowing them construct anything from a lighthouse to a city. Visit the Lego store to purchase these creative plastic bricks. For the rambunctious boy, why not let a remote-control helicopter or car do all the buzzing around? Remote-controlled toys can be found at almost every Chinese market. Take a trip to Silk Street, Yashow or Alien Street Market and remember to bargain. If the markets come up short, try Kidsland for pint-size motorized vehicles.
Boys will also love tinkering with tin toys. Panjiayuan market is full of these tiny treasures. Or you can visit the quaint shop Vintage Wind Up Tin Toys on Nanluogu Xiang. Wind-up robots start at RMB 28.
Comic books and Japanese manga remain a staple for young boys. Browse one of Beijing’s many local comic book stores, or pop by Beijing Comic City, which is sure to have a series to suit the pickiest boy.
For the Girls
No matter what, girls will always adore Barbie. So give the gift that has survived the ages. Help the birthday girl accessorize her new plastic friend with clothes, a flashy car, or even a Barbie Dream House. My Little Pony is another timeless present for girls. Kidsland and Tot to Teen have a wide selection of these figurines.
When in China, wear Chinese clothes. Dress the lucky princess in a qipao purchased from Xiao Fu Xing. For custom tailoring, choose a talented tailor from either Yashow or Silk Street Market. Jessica Tailor at Yashow and Lisa Tailor at 3.3 come highly recommended from those in the know. Make it a surprise and bring the lucky girl’s measurements to the tailor. However, for a perfect fit, a follow-up fitting is advised. Complete the outfit with a pair of Chinese embroidered shoes.
Classic books suitable for young girls include Clifford The Big Red Dog, If You Give A Mouse A Cookie and Matilda. For girls ages 9 and above, try Judy Blume or author Cathy Cassidy, who recently appeared at The Bookworm’s literary festival (see Close Up, p44). Peruse Chaterhouse Booktrader or The Bookworm for English-language titles.
Sweep her away from the stresses of Beijing by pampering her at one of Beijing’s lavish spas. Book an Aromatherapy Body massage (starting at RMB 395) or an Essential Facial (starting at RMB 428) at Kocoon Spa Lounge and Elixirs. This tranquil spa in Nali Patio uses certified organic oils from France and sells imported oils and lotions for mother and baby. First-time visitors to Kocoon receive a discount of 30 percent. For moms in Shunyi, Le Spa features hair styling, manicures (RMB 90), hot stone massages(RMB 588), a crystal steam room and an infrared energy house. Alternatively, head to the always popular Bodhi Theraputic Retreat, which offers a range of Chinese massages. Bodhi packages start from RMB 600, and one-hour massages start from RMB 288. For a cleansing facial, complete with extraction, visit Dragonfly Therapeutic Retreat. A 70-minute basic facial will set you back RMB 400.
Indulge her inner spirit and tantalize the senses with a bottle of luxurious perfume. Head to the nearest Sephora for a classic scent, like Chanel No. 5, or peruse Demeter Fragrance Library for everyday smells transformed into unique fragrances, such as Baby Powder, Grass or Crayon.
Complement her outfit with some jewelry or silk scarves. Try Panjiayuan antique market or trusty Silk Street for silver necklace charms, jade bangles and silk items. For a sophisticated silk shirt, or a Chinese pijian (RMB 480), visit Woo Scarf & Shawl. These trendy silk tops can be worn in more ways than one.
Branch out from generic gift options. Manicures and massages aren’t just for women, so pamper the man in your life with a certificate to Spa de Feng, a spa exclusively for men.
Give him a new wardrobe and pick up a hip graphic tee or track jacket from Plastered 8. For more formal wear, go to Silk Street or Yashow for a tailored shirt, and don’t forget the cuff links.
If he’s a bookworm, choose from a variety of e-readers to satiate his intellectual craving. Apple iPad (price TBD) can connect to the web and has a large touch-screen LCD display. At RMB 4,800, Founder Wefound handles Chinese and English text, includes a three-year 3G connection package and has a handy text-to-speech function. The popular Kindle DX (RMB 4,100) has hundreds of titles available at Amazon.com. Inquire at the Apple store for the iPad and scour Zhongguancun’s electronic market or Taobao.com for other top gadgets.
WHERE TO FIND IT
Lisa Tailor Shop
Daily 11am-10pm. Unit 3006, 3/F, 3.3 Mall, Sanlitun Lu, Chaoyang District (139 1079 8183) 朝阳区三里屯路3.3服饰大厦3层3006商店
Daily 9.30am-9pm. Unit 3128, 3/F, Yashow Market, 58 Gongti Beilu, Chaoyang District (6415 1726) 朝阳区工体北路58号3层3128商店
Daily 11am-9.30pm. Rm C301, 3/F, North Bldg, Nali Patio, 81 Sanlitun Beilu, Chaoyang District (5208 6068) 朝阳区三里屯北路81号那里花园北楼3层C301室
Mon-Sun 10am-9pm. 2/F, Clubhouse at River Garden (across from The Ice Zone), 7 Yuyang Lu, Shunyi District (8046 6558) 顺义区榆阳路7号裕京花园会所2楼(入口在裕京路)
1) Daily 10am-10pm. SA31, Solana, Chaoyang District (5905-6200) 朝阳区蓝色港湾国际商区SA31店铺; 2) Daily 10am-10pm. Shop NB 128A, China World Trade Center, 1 Jianguomenwai Dajie, Chaoyang District (6505 6726) 朝阳区建国门外大街国贸商城NB128A
Woo Scarf & Shawl
Daily 9.30am-midnight. 110-1 Nanluogu Xiang, Dongcheng District (6400 5359) 东城区南锣鼓巷110-1号
The Apple Store
Daily 10am-10pm. Building 6, Sanlitun Village South, 19 Sanlitun Street, Chaoyang District (6419 8900) 朝阳区三里屯北路19号院三里屯 Village 南区6 号楼
Spa de Feng
1) Daily noon-midnight. C306 (east side of Bonjour supermarket), Sunshine 100, 2 Guanghua Lu, Chaoyang District (5100 1330) 朝阳区光华路2号阳光100 C座306室(法宝超市东侧入口内); 2) A204, Binduyuan, 15 Zaoying Beili, Nongzhanguan Beilu, Chaoyang District (6501 6639) 朝阳区农展北路枣营北里宾都苑204室
SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE