Introducing Shuhe Ancient Town
China’s Yunnan Province is home to several well-preserved old towns, yet amongst this cluster of UNESCO listed treasures, Shuhe reigns supreme. Shuhe is about 4km northwest of Lijiang Old Town, and feels like Lijiang did ten years ago, before it became excessively touristy. Compared with Lijiang Old Town, Shuhe old town is a miniature version of its much more commercialized cousin. Smaller, quieter, and perhaps much more enjoyable, Shuhe old town is one of just a handful of historic towns still left standing in all of China.
Shuhe Ancient Town Fast Facts
• Chinese Name: Shu He Gu Zhen 束河古镇
• Best Time to Visit: All year around
• Recommended Visiting Hours: About 3 to 4 hours
• Things to Do: Photography, Naxi Culture & History, Tea-Horse Road Culture & History
• Opening Hours: 07:30-17:30
• Entrance Fee: CNY 40
• Address: Shuhe Town, Lijiang, Yunnan,
What to expect at Shuhe Ancient Town
Nestled deep in a forested landscape at the foothill of the imposing Jade Dragon Snow Mountains, Shuhe old town is a postcard-perfect gem and an idyllic place in which to spend a few days. The compact, walled village is devoid of cars and comprising cobblestone alleyways traversed by picturesque canals. Shuhe old town is an absolutely intoxicating mix of authentic Han, Naxi, and Nakhi architecture, art, culture, and cuisine.
While the majority of the country has undergone tremendous modernization, a few rare gems like Shuhe, Shaxi, and Shangri-La, have been maintained in their former glory. Although the trade you’ll find in Shuhe old town is solely aimed at tourists, it still grants a rare glimpse into a bygone era which has all but disappeared.
The streets of Shuhe Ancient Town are lined with shops and restaurants, all built of rocks from the surrounding mountains. These buildings also house the owner’s families, transforming it from a theme park like Lijiang, into a working town.
How to get to Shuhe Ancient Town
• Take tourist bus 111 to Shuhe Ancient Town.
• Rent a car/bus from GGC to enjoy a hassle free private transfer from hotels in Lijiang to Shuhe Ancient Town.
Additional travel advice on Shuhe Ancient Town
• Please wear sunscreen, hat and sunglasses to prevent sunburns.
• It often rains with thunder in summer. Please prepare an umbrella or a raincoat along with you.
• It is not allowed to ride a bike in the town.