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Shuhe Ancient Town

Shuhe River (束河) is called Shao Wu in Naxi language. It means a village located at the foot of a very high peak. You can see the towering Ju Bao Shan Peak (聚宝山) when you are in the town near the river. Located four kilometers to the northwest of Lijiang Ancient Town, Shuhe is one of the earliest living places of Naxi People in Lijiang River area. It is also one of the best protected ancient towns along the famous Tea and Horse Road (茶马古道, Cha Ma Gu Dao). Shuhe is a town where clearly testified Naxi People developed their agricultural society to business society, and a classic example for opening-up and the forming of the ancient horse hordes. As being a part of the Lijiang Ancient Town, Shuhe has been listed in UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage in 1997. 

Shuhe Ancient Town: an important stop along the Ancient Tea Horse Road

Shuhe ancient town is located on a 2,400-meter-high plateau, the town center area covers about five square kilometers with 3,000 inhabitants. Yearly average temperature is 12.6 degrees Celsius, big temperature difference between day and night; the hottest recorded is 32.3 and the coldest is -7.5 degrees Celsius. The rainy season is from July to September, in other months it is quite dry.

Shuhe Ancient Town

There are two crystal-clear springs in the northern part of the Shuhe ancient town. They beautifully formed part of great Shuhe landscape. Leather goods are famous in the town. Because the development of the old Tea and Horse Road, people required a lot of daily commodities, of which leather was important for people who rode horses. Local hired leather artisans from eastern China during the Ming Dynasty. A leather craftsmen village was there, produced shoes, saddles and leather coats etc. The site of the Tea and Horse is interesting to see. Its smooth and reflecting stone pavement, luxury old houses, totems about agriculture, everything about riding horse and commodities from India, Nepal and Tibet Autonomous Region, all that will take you back to ancient time.

Shuhe Ancient Town

Shuhe Town's Sifangjie Street (Square Street) has many special snack stalls. Locals call it the Rice Vermicelli Street, just because it has the delicious rice vermicelli pot, which is very famous all over China. Naxi People's favorite snacks and Islamic beef products are worth to try. Some bars will provide Chinese food like Lijiang style dumplings and some family dishes. There are pizza, Korean food and sandwich restaurants too.

Shuhe enveloped by flowers

Accommodations in Shuhe are mostly ethnic Naxi style guesthouses, which they have been refitted from old local residential houses, wooden structure with pretty courtyards. If you would like to experience the hospitality of the Naxi People, you must stay in a hotel in the ancient town. Because the tough competition in travel industry in recent years hotel services and basic facilities have improved greatly and the price is reasonable, standard rooms range from 70 to 200 RMB per night. The best hostel in Shuhe is the Zhengfu Thatched Cottage (正福草堂, Zheng Fu Cao Tang). It is well decorated with traditional furniture and elegant layout.

Take a Bird's-eye View of Shuhe

Travel Tips

Entry Fee: 70RMB

Location: 4km northwest of Lijiang Old Town, one hour’s walking distance from Baisha

Advised Tour Time: One day

Traffic: it is accessible by direct bus from Lijiang Old Town.  You can take bus No. 6 at Lijiang Fuhui Market that will as far as Baisha Old Town, and then walk or transfer to a passenger van, fare about 2 to 5 RMB. Bicycle renting provided, if you have time it is worth to ride one with you to tour the beautiful landscape, it just takes about half an hour.

Best Travel Season: Shuhe Ancient Town boasts nice weather all year round, thus is suitable for travel any time in the year. Try to avoid the peak season which lasts from May to October if possible.

Temperature: the annual temperature here is 12.6 degrees. 32.3 and minus 7.5 is two extreme figures till now. July to September is the rainy season.

Shopping: Shuhe boast the same variety of local specialties like Lijiang Old Town, but with cheaper prices.

Tie-dye: it is local specialty.

Leather: Shehe is famous for leather products. 

Miao Ethnic Girl


Hongzun Fish: nourished by Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, this fish features fresh and yummy flavor.

Xiangyuan: it is a local fruit of Naxi people. The biggest one will grow into 2kg. They can hang on the branches for years. The older they are, the more delicious they will be.

Butter Tea: originated from Tibet, Butter Tea was introduced through the Ancient Tea Horse Road into Yunnan.

Mi Guan Chang: it is made of rice and pig Visceral. Pig blood and medium cooked rice are poured into clean pig visceral before stewing into the black color. It is the main dish of Naxi people.

Local people call it Longquan Village rather than Shuhe Ancient Town; the best photography site is Jubao Mountain behind Nine Dragon Pool.

Accommodation: numerous traditional Naxi residences are adapted into hotels, thus you can experience the naxi people’s life by yourself. Shuhe is more quite than Lijiang. You are advised to book hotel in advance during Spring Festival, May Holiday and National Holiday.

Hongzun Fish

Butter Tea


Mi Guan Chang

Shuhe Snack




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