Shuhe Ancient Town, Lijiang
● Chinese Name: 束河古镇
● Keywords: Ancient Tea Horse Route
● Location: Gucheng District, Lijiang, Yunnan,China
● Admission Fee: 50RMB
● Opening Hours: 24 hours
● Altitude: about 2690 meters
● Best Seasons: all year round
● Recommended Visiting Time: about 1 day
Overview of Shuhe Old Town
Shuhe is in the former commercial district known for its leather and fur artisans. Known locally as Longquan village, Shuhe is thought to be the birthplace of the eminent Mu family of the Naxi minority ethnic group. A walk along it narrows streets and alleyways affords a glimpse into a previous era.
Where Is Shuhe Old Town?
About five kilometers north from Lijiang Ancient Town, Shuhe Old Town, the geographical center of scenic spots of Lijiang, is one of the oldest habitats of Lijiang and well-preserved town on the Ancient Tea Route.
History of Shuhe Old Town
Shuhe was built along the mountainside and faces the river. There are two rivers on each side of it that go through the whole, village. Channels were dug so that the water would pass by each house. Rivers, channels and roads make a dense web and link the town in a tight structure just like a honeycomb. People use stones in the nearby mountains to make the walls of their houses. Compared to those in the ancient old town, the houses here are even more natural. Right in the middle of Shuhe, there is a square market, which is called Shuhe Square Market. Observing closely, you will find that the one in the old town was built totally according to this one. Walking in Shuhe, you will have the feeling that this ancient town of Shuhe is the model of the Old Town while the Old Town is tension and development of Shuhe.
Shuhe is also called Town of Springs. About one hundred meters north of the Shuhe Square Market, there is the waterhead of the streams here. It is “Jiuding Dragon Pool”. The water is clean and transparent; the fountains spurt out day and night. The Naxi hold the spring as holy. Beside it, people built a Longquan Temple (Dragon Spring Temple) to enshrine and worship the founder of cobbler handicraft.
What to see in Shuhe Old Town
Ambling along Sifang Street, you will feel time slowly flowing backwards. Though it is only 30 meters long (32 yards), the smooth flagstone remind you of their flourishing past. Listen carefully, you can even hear the light ringing sound of busy horses’ hooves from far away places.
Qinglong Bridge, built of stone pieces, measuring about 25 meters long (27 yards), 4.5 meters wide (4.9 yards) and 4 meters high (13 feet), was built during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Among the countless old stone bridges in Lijiang, it is regarded as ‘the First’. The deck has been pock-marked over hundreds of years, revealing the solemn passing of history.
Long Pool (Dragon Pool)
There is a deep pool at the end of the street, called Long Pool (Dragon Pool), from which the overflowing water winds through the village, and the bubbling sound can be heard miles away. Fishes in the pool are appreciated by every tourist, because they are close to people. When you throw food to them, they will fight each other for it. Beside the pool lies a broken stele. When knocked by a stone, it sends out a sharp and light ringing sound, which is very pleasant. Above Long Pool is a temple called ‘Sansheng Palace’. Standing against the wooden railings, you can have a bird’s eye view of the village presenting a poetic rural idyll.
In addition, the Old Town of Shuhe was once famous for its developed leatherworking and education.
The town is alive with the strong culture of primitive simplicity. If you are tired by the hustle and bustle of city life, come here, the tranquility of country life will certainly relax and revive you.
What are the features of Shuhe Ancient Town?
● Shuhe Ancient Town is an important constituent part of Lijiang Ancient City, a world cultural heritage site in China.
● The town shows multiple cultural landscapes, including unique folk customs, historical relics and beautiful natural scenery.
● Visitors can experience the simple and unsophisticated Naxi customs in the town.
How to get to Shuhe Ancient Town from Lijiang
1. Daily shuttle buses depart from Lijiang Ancient City to Shuhe Ancient Town, a great convenience for travelers.
2. Visitor also can take a taxi there, which takes about 20 minutes, or they can bike, which takes about 1.5 hours.
● Take bus no. 11, and get off at Shuhe Crossing. Then turn left and walk around 10 minutes.
● Take bus no. 6, and get off at Shuhe Shangcun Station.
●Take a taxi. The fare is around CNY 20.
● Ride a bicycle to reach there. It takes around 40 minutes from Lijiang Old Town.
‣ Best Time to Visit
● The peak period for visiting Shuhe Ancient Town is from May to October. Actually, Shuhe is worth visiting during any season, so if you do not want to experience a crowded scene, avoiding that period might be a good option.
Recommended Tour with
Shuhe Ancient Town Accommodation
Shuhe Ancient Town is an important constituent part of Lijiang Ancient City, a world cultural heritage site in China. There are many high-quality hotels in the old town although the quantity is not as good as that of Lijiang Old Town. Shuhe old town is much more tranquil than Lijiang Old Town, less crowded and less noisy, and the air is very good at the foot of the mountain. Follow Yunnan Exploration to discover the best hotels in Shuhe Old Town such as Banyan Tree Lijiang.
1.Lijiang Conifer Lishui Yangguang Hotel(康年丽水阳光酒店)
At Lijiang Conifer Lishui Yangguang Hotel, the excellent service and superior facilities make for an unforgettable stay. The hotel offers access to a vast array of services, including 24-hour room service, casino, facilities for disabled guests, Wi-Fi in public areas, car park.
Add: Entrance of Shu He Ancient Town, Suburbs, Lijiang, China
2. Lijiang E-Outfitting Boutique Hotel(丽江首译精品客栈)
Lijiang E-Outfitting Boutique Hotel also offers many facilities to enrich your stay in Lijiang. While lodging at this wonderful property, guests can enjoy 24-hour room service, free Wi-Fi in all rooms, 24-hour front desk, express check-in/check-out, luggage storage.
Add: No.35 Qingyun Village, Shuhe Old Town, Lijiang, China
3.Banyan Tree Lijiang(丽江悦榕庄)
Located in Shuhe Old Town, Lijiang, Banyan Tree offers a relaxing retreat away from the city. Surrounded by fresh mountain air and green landscapes, the property features luxurious accommodations with traditional Naxi-style décor and free Wi-Fi in all areas.
Add: No.1, Yuerong Road, Shuhe Old Town, Lijiang, China
4.The Bivou Lijiang(佖屋酒店)
Only a short 1-minute stroll from Shuhe Ancient Town, The Bivou features accommodations in local and modern styles combined together. Blending in by making use of the barbecue facilities, lazing in soothing massage, going horse riding or enjoying a fun time with your children at kids’ club seems like a nice getaway. Free Wi-Fi is available in all areas.
Add: 16 Zhonghe Cun, Shuhe Old Town, Lijiang, China
5.K2 International Youth Hostel(束河K2国际青年旅舍)
K2 International Youth Hostel Lijiang offers a comfortable setting while in Lijiang. It also provides luggage storage, a 24-hour reception and wireless internet. Lijiang Sanyi Airport is a 55-minute drive from K2 International Youth Hostel Lijiang. Black Dragon Pool and the Dongba Culture Museum are just a short drive from the hostel.
Add: No. 1 Guailiu Lane Kangpu Road, Shuhe Old Town, Lijiang, China
Shuhe Ancient Town Travel Tips
The altitude is about 2,400 meters or about 7,800 feet. Some people may get some altitude sickness. So take it easy the first day or two.
What to Pack
Travel light when strolling in the old town. Bring a camera with you that you can take photos along the way. Sunlight is very strong in Lijiang, wear sun protection such as hats, sunglasses and use sun block, etc.
Do not miss the bars in Lijang. They are a part of life. The bars in Shuhe Old Town is more quieter than Lijiang old town.
In Shuhe Old Town, some small restaurants are also surprising. The famous local dishes includes Chickpeas Bean Jelly, Lijiang Salted Pork Ribs, Naxi barbecue and other Lijiang delicacies.
Just like Lijiang Old Town, Shuhe Old Town has many high-qualify hotels or hostels for you to choose from. The recommended hotels are Banyan Tree Lijiang, Lijiang Conifer Lishui Yangguang Hotel, etc.
1. If you plan to travel to Lijiang during the peak tourist season (Spring Festival, May Day, Summer holiday, and National Day holiday), be sure to reserve a room in advance.
2. There used to have carriages getting in and out of this town, so be careful.
3. It is best to wear cloth shoes or sneakers when walking in the old town, because they are all slabstone path, it is easy to twist your feet with high heels.
4.Take rain gear when you visit in the rainy season, and the slabstone path are slippery after the rain. Pay attention to that.