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Shuhe Old Town, Lijiang

Shuhe is also one of the first settlements of Naxi ancestors. It is not only a very important town in the Tea-horse Road that leads to Tibet, but also a famous cobbler town. The cobblers here are as skillful as those in Italy. The leather products that they make are the best seller in Tea-horse Road. Because of trading activities along this road, the Naxi people gradually gave up the nomadic life and settled for farming and later started to do business.

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.



1. Go to Shuhe Lukou station by bus number 11.
2. Go to Shuhe Shangcun Wenmingcun station on bus number 6.
3. Use a cab. The cost is about 20 CNY.
4. To get there, take a bicycle. The travel time from Lijiang Old Town is about 40 minutes.

CNY 40

The best months to visit Shuhe Ancient Town are May through October. In reality, Shuhe is worthwhile visiting year-round, so if you don’t want to encounter a busy environment, avoiding that time of year can be a good choice.