In Jiuzhaigou it almost all about natural and cultural experience, so don’t expect too much regarding shopping. There are no shopping malls or super market, so the shopping is usually performed in small shops and markets. Bargaining is highly recommended, no matter where you go shopping.
What to buy in Jiuzhaigou
The most interesting things for buying are souvenirs and handicrafts made by Tibetan people, and by other minority ethnic groups. Handcrafts include Tibetan knives, scarves, painted silk, traditional costumes, paintings, and others.
Jiuzhaigou is at height of over 3,000 m, which favors the development of rare medical herbs. With dozens of species of medical herbs, which are rarely found in other parts of the world, Jiuzhaigou is a true herbal paradise. Popular medical herbs from Juzihagou are rhizoma gastrodiae (or tianma; Chinese: 天麻; tiān má), caterpillar fungus (Latin: ophiocordyceps sinensis; Tibetan: དབྱར་རྩྭ་དགུན་འབུ་; Chinese: 冬虫夏草; Dōng ChóngXiàCǎo) often wrongly referred as aweto, angelica sinensis (or dong quai; Chinese: 当归; dāngguī or tong kui) also known as “female ginseng”, saffron (藏红花; Zàng Hóng Huā), fritillaria (Latin: bulbus fritillariae cirrhosae; Chinese; 川贝母; chuān bèimǔ), but there are many others. Unless you are absolutely sure of what you are buying, avoid shops with medical herbs, because they are often scams. In this case it is better to buy from the official drugstores, where prices are slightly higher, but buying is safer.
If you like strong taste of yacha tea don’t forget to bring your own supplies back home.
You should avoid buying souvenirs around the entrance to the Jiuzhaigou National park, because the prices are higher than in other places. The most popular place for buying is Bian Bian Street (or Biān Biān Jiē; 边边街), about 1 km north east from the park entrance. There are many markets in this street where you may find some interesting and unique handicrafts, and besides that, visit some folk art exhibitions of calligraphy and paintings. However, not just traditional and Tibetan goods are sold here, but you may also find small products from other countries, such as India and Pakistan. This street is a touristic bazaar, so it is usually crowded, but definitely worth visiting.
In Pengfeng Village (彭丰村; Péng Fēng Cūn) and Zhangzha Town (漳扎镇; Zhāng Zhā Zhèn) there are also some stores and small souvenirs shops.