The ancient town of Shuhe (束河古镇) is located just a few kilometres from the bustling old town of Lijiang and offers a quiet escape from the tourist crowds. Although it is a newly built town, Shuhe is a perfect example of traditional Naxi architecture, as most of the buildings are no more than 10 years old. The charming cobblestone streets, flowing streams, small gardens with vegetables and traditional wooden buildings nevertheless give the town a timeless feel.
Located just a few kilometres from the bustling Lijiang Old Town, Shuhe Ancient Town (束河古镇) offers a peaceful escape from the crowds. Despite being a newly built town, Shuhe is a perfect representation of traditional Naxi architecture, with most buildings not older than 10 years. However, the charming cobblestone streets, flowing streams, and traditional wooden buildings give the town a timeless feel.
My first visit was over a decade ago
I had the pleasure of visiting Shuhe Ancient Town over a decade ago, and I remember it being a charming and peaceful escape from the busy Lijiang Old Town. The cobblestone streets, flowing streams, and traditional wooden buildings made me feel as if I had stepped back in time.
At the time of my visit, there were fewer tourists and a greater sense of authenticity in the town. I remember walking the charming cobblestone streets and admiring the traditional wooden buildings, which added to the peaceful atmosphere of the town. I also recall visiting the original town, which was a cultural heritage site and a beautiful example of ancient Naxi architecture.
Has Shuhe Changed?
It was a surreal experience to see the town in its “early” stages of development and to witness how much it has grown and changed over the years. I am glad that the charm and beauty of Shuhe Ancient Town have been preserved and are now accessible to more visitors. It is a “hidden gem” that should not be missed, and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a peaceful escape or a glimpse into the local culture.
The old part of Shuhe is the original town, which dates back centuries, and is now preserved as a cultural heritage site. Visitors can stroll through the historic streets, admire the ancient architecture, and learn about the rich history of the Naxi people.
Shuhe Ancient Town is located approximately 7 kilometres from Lijiang Old Town and can be easily reached by taxi or private car. If you’re arriving by bus, the bus station is located in Lijiang, and from there, you can take a taxi to Shuhe. You can also jump on one of the Hello Bikes on the way and cycle to or from Shuhe back to your hotel.
Shuhe is a small town and easily explored on foot. Walking is the best way to take in the beautiful architecture and peaceful atmosphere of the town.
How Much Time to Spend There:
A half-day trip is sufficient to explore Shuhe Ancient Town, but you can spend the whole day if you wish. With its peaceful atmosphere, you can easily spend a few hours here, taking in the sights and soaking up the local culture.
What to Do:
- Stroll the charming cobblestone streets and admire the traditional wooden buildings.
- Visit the original town, a cultural heritage site, and admire the ancient architecture.
- Visit the local market to pick up souvenirs and sample local foods.
- Walk along the streams and enjoy the peaceful scenery.
- Cross the famous Moon Bridge (月亮桥) to take in the views of the surrounding hills and mountains.
- Explore the city on the back of a horse or a carriage ride.
- Visit the local Naxi Museum (纳西博物馆) to learn more about the local culture and history.
In conclusion, Shuhe Ancient Town is a hidden gem that offers a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of Lijiang Old Town. With its charming cobblestone streets, traditional Naxi architecture, beautiful scenery, and stunning views of the surrounding hills and mountains, it is the perfect destination for anyone looking for a peaceful escape or a glimpse into the local culture. Whether you spend a half-day or a full day here, you will surely leave with cherished memories and a newfound appreciation for the beauty and rich history of Yunnan. So, pack your bags and make Shuhe Ancient Town your next adventure – you won’t regret it!
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Have you had the opportunity to visit Lijiang Old Town or Shuhe Ancient Town? I’d love to hear your thoughts and impressions. Share your experience with me on Instagram and let’s discuss it further.