Shaxi Ancient Town Transportation

There are no direct bus to Shaxi from Lijiang or Dali. To reach Shaxi, first take a long distance bus to Jianchuan (剑川) from either Lijiang or Dali (Xiaguan). The trip from Lijiang to Jianchuan now takes approximately 1 hour owing to the new freeway completed in 2013. The alternative way is to rent a car, which takes less than 2 hours from Lijiang and around 2 hours and a half from Dali.

How to Get to Jianchuan County?

  • From Old Town Dali: 

Take a bus to Xiaguan Bus Station and then take a  Long-distance bus to Jianchuan Bus Station, which runs every 15-30 mins from 6:20am to 6:50pm, the cost of the ticket is ¥26 and it takes about 3 hours to arrive in Jianchuan (depending on traffic, road condition, and stops along the way).

  • From Lijiang Old Town: 

Purchase a ticket at the main bus station in Lijiang, which is now the place for departures to Jianchuan (NOT the small long distance bus station in northern Lijiang, which no longer serves Jianchuan). The ticket to Jianchuan will cost ¥25 and take about 1 hour.

  • From Shangri-la: 

Take any of the buses going to Dali and get off in Jianchuan.

How to Get to Shaxi from Jianchuan County?

Take a bus destined for Jiaohou (喬后) and tell the driver that you want to get off at Shaxi. Unfortunately there are not many of these buses, and a return trip by one of them may be difficult since they are small and fill up quickly. Alternatively, there are mini-bus services just outside of Jianchuan bus station that take about 45 minutes to reach Shaxi. The bus departs from Jianchuan whenever it is semi-full with passengers. Try not to arrive in Jianchuan too late in the evening or else there may not be enough passengers to fill up a bus to Shaxi. It should also be possible to catch a mini-bus at the junction for Shaxi (Diannan), 8km south of Jianchuan. Hitching should also be possible if not preferable!

How to Get around in Shaxi?

The main village of Shaxi (Sideng) can be easily toured by walking. It's also possible to visit the many other villages in Shaxi on foot, however, renting a bicycle would be a quicker and better option. Some of the guesthouses in Shaxi, such as Horse Pen 46 Guesthouse, the Dragonfly and 58 Yard, offer bicycle rental to Shaxi visitors. Hiking and horseback riding are the main options for a visit into the mountains around Shaxi.

How to Get out of Shaxi?

Catch the mini-bus (45 mins, ¥13) to Jianchuan from outside the Shaxi bus station. There are daily buses to many other cities in Yunnan from the Jianchuan bus station. Price and schedule subject to change so better confirm with the Jianchuan bus station when you first arrive in Jianchuan.

Getting to Lijiang or Dali is now much easier with the new Lijiang Dali expressway. On the road to to the express way, be prepared for white knuckle encounters with other slower moving vehicles and oncoming traffic. To go straight to Old Town Dali without getting stuck at the bus station, ask the driver to drop you off at the East Gate (大理古城东门; Dàlǐ Gǔchéng Dōngmén), as the bus will pass right near it. Ask your hostel to write this down in Chinese for you. You will save both time and money. If heading to Dali an interesting alternative with much better scenery is the X804 road down through Qiao Hou, Lian Tie and into Yangbi. Mini Buses leave Jianchuan at 7.30am and 1.20 pm everyday, arriving to pick up outside the stationary store in Shaxi Village about one hour later. The fare down to Yangbi is 25 RMB and the trip takes about four hours. From Yangbi Station, there are regular buses to Xiaguan (Dali New Town), Xiaohuayuan Qiqezhan every few minutes. The journey takes the old road and is about 40 minutes costing 10 RMB.

Destination Price (¥) Departures Duration Notes  

Dali 35.00 Every 15 mins from 6:30am to 6:00pm. 3.5 hrs approx.    
Lijiang 23.00 4 buses every day: 8:00am, 9:30am,11:30am,13:30pm,15:30pm 2.5 hrs approx.    
Kunming 127.00, 157.00 9:30am, 6:00pm 8 hrs approx.    
Zhongdian (Shangri-La) 46.00 9:00am 4 hrs approx. Tickets sold out quickly. Book it one day in advance if possible. J