Shuhe Ancient Town - early settlement of Naxi ethnic minority group in Lijiang
Last Update: 19th October 2020
Located around 8 kilometers northwest of the Old Town of Lijiang, Shuhe Ancient Town is one of the earliest settlements of Naxi people and the birthplace of Mu’s chieftains in Lijiang. It offers natural beauty, strong folk customs, historic ruins and various cultural landscapes. The town plays a significant role in the Ancient Tea-Horse Road. The Tea-Horse culture, farming culture, Naxi culture and eco-culture are completely preserved in the town.
Shuhe Ancient Town Fast Facts
- Chinese Name: Shuhe Guzhen (束河古镇)
Old Town Central
- Area: 3 x square kilometers
- Things to do there: Photography, Architecture, Tea-Horse Road Culture and History, Naxi Culture and History
- Who visits: Photographers, Adventure Enthusiasts, Chinese Culture and History Lovers
- Time required: 3 – 4 x hours
Compared to the Old Town of Lijiang, tourism in Shuhe Ancient Town was developed later. Therefore, it is much quieter with fewer visitors than the Old Town of Lijiang.
The town offers several old bridges to explore. Among them, Qinglong Bridge originally built between 1563 and 1620 is the most famous and the best-preserved one. The central axis of the biridge faces Jubao Mountain, which is the design of Mu’s chieftains. Qinglong Bridge is the landmark building during the period of great prosperity under the governance of Mu’s chieftains. Entirely built with stones, the bridge is 25 meters long, 4.5 meters wide and 4 meters high.
Walking across Qinglong Bridge, you will find a pond with crystal water from the melted water of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. The pond is called “Jiuding Longtan”. Many rainbow trouts enjoy themselves in the pond. Longquan Temple is situated beside the pond. The statue of Sun Bin (? – ?) – the strategist in the Warring States Period (475 BC – 221 BC) and the pioneer of leather goods at that time is worshiped at the temple. The hill behind the temple overlooks the whole town.
With a length of some 30 meters, Sifang Street Square was one of the eldest markets in Lijiang in the ancient times. People enjoyed delicious food at the night market on the square at that time. During the daytime, it was the site where leather goods were exchanged in the ancient times. Nowadays, a variety of shops stand on the street.
If interested in Tea Horse culture and history, it is suggested that you visit Tea Horse Road Museum. You will get acquainted with the origin of business of tea and horses, business of leather goods and the history of Shuhe Ancient Town. The museum offers exquisite frescoes to appreciate as well.
If you would like to take a break during the tour, you could have a good time at one of cafes or bookstores. If you are lucky enough, the owner of the café or the bookstore will play an instrument or sing live. Bonfire party is always held on the Tingyin Square at 20:00 on fine days. Local Naxi people in their costumes dance and sing happily there. They also invite the visitors to join them.
You could visit Shuhe Ancient Town at any time during the daytime.
The best months to visit the town are from April to October.
You could take Bus 6 to the Stop of Shuhe Wenming Village (束河文明村) from the Old Town of Lijiang or rent a vehicle to Shuhe Ancient Town.
- Opening hours: 07:30 – 17:30
- As at 19th October 2020, the entrance pricing to the town is 40 CNY per person; children under 1.2m tall (1.2m tall not included) are free of charge. For the latest pricing information, please contact us via email (email@example.com)
- It is not allowed to ride a bike in the town.
- The bonfire party is always held from 19:30 to 20:30 on the Tingyin Square.
- Please take care of your valuables.
- Please take an umbrella with you.
- Please wear the sunscreen cream.