Shuhe Ancient Town (or city) is located in the city of Lijiang and less than 10 minutes by taxi from the ‘Old Town of Lijiang’ which is at the center of the city. It’s a place where you can easily find yourself forgetting what year you are in, as you walk along the original cobblestone streets and admire the old architecture while quite often running into locals still dressed in traditional clothing.
Lijiang Ancient City (Old Town) is very well marketed and well known, so it’s very busy and very touristy. Shuhe Ancient City has a far more authentic feel than the Old Town, as it is not so commercialised and not so busy. It’s an easy place to relax and stroll around while really taking in the China of old.
Walking around the many streets of Shuhe you can find lots of local crafts, and the locals here are well known for their leather skills.
The photo below is of the village center where a large stream passes through featuring cafes either side.
There is plenty of great places to eat here, and at night there are several bars with live music going late into the night. Look for the place with a Lavazza sign and a long walkway through the front yard for a place where the owner makes an awesome coffee! The people here are friendly, and I was often surprised by occasionally meeting some locals who spoke great English!
Shuhe Map featuring hotels and hostels