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Old Mar 31, 07, 9:57 am   #1
 
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Suggestions for gifts to bring Chinese hosts?

A number of people we've never met (friends of a colleague) are doing all sorts of favors for us for an upcoming trip to Beijing, Xi'an, yangtze cruise and Shanghai. They're booking train tickets, providing us with cars/drivers/student translators, booking hotels, etc.

We live in NY, so finding things isn't difficult, but are clueless about what to bring as gifts. Ninety percent of things seems to be 'Made in China!!" OUR colleague says bring nothing but yourselves, but of course that isn't an option.

Any locals (or regular visitors) with good ideas of what might make for nice gifts? maybe $20-50 range each... and hopefully not TOO bulky or heavy as our trip to Beijing is on four different flights, though first class so weight not too much of an object.

Any suggestions welcome!

thanks
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Old Mar 31, 07, 11:56 am   #2
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Here are a couple things I routinely take as gifts that are compact and lightweight:
  • calendar with great pictures of local area
  • CDs with music that is considered American - blues, jazz, gospel
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Old Apr 1, 07, 8:16 pm   #3
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Believe it or not, American Ginsing seems to highly prized...at least according to my Chinese wife. It is a different variety than what they get in China, and is apparently considered to be premium grade stuff.

When we went to China last year to do some genealogy research, we met with several people that had been helping my wife. We gave them all gift boxes of American ginsing, and they all seemed quite pleased.

A quick google search found it here.
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Old Apr 1, 07, 11:08 pm   #4
 
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I'd recommend multivitamins & fish oil, I usually bring few bottles of Costco's Kirkland brand nutritional supplements with me for my trip to China.

Last edited by rdchen; Apr 1, 07 at 11:16 pm..
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Old Apr 2, 07, 4:31 am   #5
 
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Gee... traveled to about 1/2 the courntries in the world, and still can barely tell if you folks are kidding or not. Kirkland Fish Oil? Multivits.

Maybe a bit of clarification. One host is the chair of Neurosurgery at major medical school. one is chair of Psychiatry at another....

i'd been thinking things like Tiffany Key ring..., bialys from local bakery. American ginseng not a bad idea, and easier than getting to Tiffanys!
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Old Apr 2, 07, 9:31 am   #6
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Gee... traveled to about 1/2 the courntries in the world, and still can barely tell if you folks are kidding or not. Kirkland Fish Oil? Multivits.

Maybe a bit of clarification. One host is the chair of Neurosurgery at major medical school. one is chair of Psychiatry at another....

i'd been thinking things like Tiffany Key ring..., bialys from local bakery. American ginseng not a bad idea, and easier than getting to Tiffanys!
I don't think the multi-vitamins suggestion was meant as a joke. My Taiwan in-laws ask us to bring them bottles of Centrum every year.
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Old Apr 2, 07, 11:05 am   #7
 
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I don't think the multi-vitamins suggestion was meant as a joke. My Taiwan in-laws ask us to bring them bottles of Centrum every year.
Curious, are Western brand vitamins unavailable or very expensive in China and Taiwan?
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Old Apr 2, 07, 11:32 am   #8
 
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Curious, are Western brand vitamins unavailable or very expensive in China and Taiwan?
Western brand vitamins are available in China. However, just like any other products, the market is full of counterfeited nutritional supplements. Therefore, people prefer vitamins bought overseas as they are more reliable.
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Old Apr 2, 07, 12:22 pm   #9
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Western brand vitamins are available in China. However, just like any other products, the market is full of counterfeited nutritional supplements. Therefore, people prefer vitamins bought overseas as they are more reliable.
Bingo. What he/she said.
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Old Apr 2, 07, 12:26 pm   #10
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The hardest part for us in buying gifts for our Taiwan in-laws is finding something that was NOT made in China. You may think you've found the perfect gift for someone, only to see the "Made in China" label and it is automatically DQ'd.
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Old Apr 2, 07, 12:46 pm   #11
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Originally Posted by rdchen View Post
Western brand vitamins are available in China. However, just like any other products, the market is full of counterfeited nutritional supplements. Therefore, people prefer vitamins bought overseas as they are more reliable.

I have had requests to bring over Vitamins from Costco before. Also many times have brought boxes of things from other people who want to save
on shipping ( meaning I take them over to China for free). I always checked the package to make sure there isn't anything I am going to get busted for
and the packages seem to always have vitamins and skin lotions among other things.
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Old Apr 2, 07, 8:21 pm   #12
 
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Curious, are Western brand vitamins unavailable or very expensive in China and Taiwan?
Centrium, other name brands sold in Taiwan (costco is good place, watsons also) and HK without fear of being fake. China...not sure???
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Old Apr 3, 07, 12:20 am   #13
 
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I used vitamin pills as gift before but only for close friends. I think the proper gifts are alcohol or tobacco if they drink or smoke. A bottle of nice scotch or some Davidoff cigars is highly appreciated in China.
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Old Apr 3, 07, 10:08 am   #14
 
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Western brand vitamins are available in China. However, just like any other products, the market is full of counterfeited nutritional supplements. Therefore, people prefer vitamins bought overseas as they are more reliable.
Unreliable and very expensive. I'm a GNC Gold club member for a 4 years running. If GNC had Global Services, I'd be there.
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Old Apr 3, 07, 10:27 am   #15
 
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in general, western-branded luxury goods are appreciated. the chinese are not great whisky drinkers, but cognac, especially hennessy xo, goes down well. for women, lv purses or well-known brands of perfume are very acceptable. since u live in new york, u have additional options, as many famous brand names have strong associations with ur city, which is considered to be a prestigious brand in itself.

ian.
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