Shaxi Ancient Town - famous ancient town along the Tea and Horse Road
Last Update: 20th October 2020
Located in the southeast of Jianchuan, around 130 kilometers east of Dali Old Town, Shaxi Ancient Town was originally built in the Warring States Period (475 BC – 221 BC). The town is surrounded by mountains. It is home to Bai, Yi, Han, and Lisu people for hundreds of years. The town offers not only the unique Bai buildings, customs and traditions but also its culture, such as ancient Dongjing Music, whip dance, etc.
Shaxi Ancient Town Fast Facts
- Chinese Name: Shaxi Guzhen (沙溪古镇)
- Area: 288 x square kilometers
- Things to do there: Photography, Architecture, Bai Customs and Traditions
- Who visits: Photographers, Adventure Enthusiasts, Architects, Chinese Culture Lovers
- Time required: 2-3 hour
Interested in visiting Shaxi Ancient Town On a Yunnan Tour?
What to expect at Shaxi Ancient Town
Sifang Street is the only one old market survived on the ancient Tea Horse Road. The street is a market as well. Around more than 1,000 years old, the street is a combination of an ancient temple, an old stage, shops, horse shops, old trees, ancient lanes and the gate of the village. The old red sand slate street will take you back into the time.
The gate of the village was built with adobe. The old theaters lie on the east end of Sifang Street while Xingjiao Temple is situated on the west. The houses close to the road are shops. The houses behind are transformed horse shops and the accommodations for the caravans in ancient times.
The main building of the old stage is Kuixing Pavilion. At the pavilion, the Bai people always worship the God Kuixing. The stage is a 3-storeyed building. The stage stands before the Kuixing Pavilion. During the local festivals, such as the Prince Fair on the lunar 8th of February, all ages of the Bai people in Bai costumes hold celebrations at the stage. If lucky enough, you will appreciate the old Dongjing music played at the stage. Locals always hold horses to walk through the town, paying no attention to visitors at all. They just do their daily life without being affected by the visitors.
In Shaxi Ancient Town, all the cafés and restaurants are always closed by 22:00. All the visitors are required to return the hotel by 22:00 as well. Thus, if you are planning to stay overnight in the town, you will experience the tranquil atmosphere there.
If you would like to explore local life, the town is good to explore all day long.
The best months to visit are from March to August.
You could take a bus from Dali North Bus Station (大理客运北站) to Jianchuan County first. Then, take a bus from Jianchuan to Shaxi Ancient Town. Or you could rent a vehicle from Dali to the town directly.
- Opening hours: 24 Hours
- As at 20th October 2020, the entrance ticket to the town is free of charge.
- Please wear the sunscreen cream and sunglasses.