Shuhe Ancient Town
Four kilometers to the northwest of the Lijiang Old Town, at the foot of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain lies the Shuhe Ancient Town, which has been listed as a world cultural heritage site by UNESCO.
Shuhe Ancient Town is the earliest habitation of the Naxi ancestors, an important and well-preserved post of the Ancient Tea Horse Route, which was an international trade route in Southwest China that uses the horse as its main vehicle. The town presents multiple cultural scenes, including unique folk customs, historical relics and beautiful natural scenery. Visitors can experience the simple and unsophisticated Naxi life in the town.
Qinglong Bridge, built of stone pieces, measuring about 25 meters in length and 4.5 meters wide, was built during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The deck has been pock-marked over hundreds of years, revealing the bustling past of history.
Sifang Street, a market in the center of Shuhe Village, covers an area of about 250 square meters. The market is lined with shops, all of which have archaic wooden facades. Travelers can buy some leather products and various handicrafts in the market, such as stylish embroider and costumes reflecting ethnic styles.
There is a deep pool at the end of the street, called Long Pool (Dragon Pool), from which the overflowing water crawls through the village, and the bubbling sound can be heard miles away. You could appreciate all kinds of fish in the pool. Beside the pool lies a broken stele. Above the Long Pool there 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.
The best season to visit Shuhe Ancient Town is from May to October. To get the Shuhe Ancient Town, you could take a daily shuttle buses from Lijiang Ancient City. If you want to go by taxi, it always takes about 20 minutes. Besides, another convenient way favored by tourists is by bicycle, which takes about 1.5 hours from Lijiang Ancient Town to Shuhe Ancient Town.