Shuhe ancient town is one of the first Naxi settlements and it’s just a few km away from Lijiang ancient town. If you are passionate about historic places, you will like it.
How to get there?
I took a local bus from Lijiang ancient town. It takes under 1h and it costs 1 yuan. The buses are quite frequent, but you will need to have a note in Chinese ready to show to the bus driver. Otherwise, it’s quite difficult to tell the right station to get off. From the bus station, it’s a 10 min walk to the main gate.
Alternatively, you can bike from Lijiang to Shuhe, and from what I saw on the way, the roads are really good and straightforward.
What to do in Shuhe?
I went there for a day trip and for me it was enough. Maybe I had too many expectations, but Shuhe seems like a smaller version of Lijiang. At the entrance, you can have a free map of the ancient town, and it’s all walkable and easy with directions.
Explore the town
The ancient town is all pedestrian. By walking around you will encounter blue ponds with orange fishes, pebble bridges and colourful flowers decorating the wooden houses. The map has all the attractions, which are linked by main roads.
You will also see Chinese tourists and you can follow them, they are on the way of visiting one of the attractions. And the same, if you don’t see any, you’re probably away from the main attractions.
There is also a small temple nearby, it looks like a bit of a walk, but it’s such a pleasure to get there. You walk by a big pond on the way, reflecting the sky and the green trees. And if you get tired, there are lots of benches on the way. At the temple, you will see a small shrine and blossom trees at the entrance.
Shuhe is very touristy, considering its size. There are lots of shops everywhere and street vendors, which can be a bit tiring.
So after exploring the town, I went to relax in a beautiful teahouse. It was all quiet, and the teahouse was located in the middle of the garden. On the way in, the lady invited me to try the ripe cherries from one of the cherry trees. Pure joy.