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Old Town of Shuhe, Yunnan

Shuhe two miles northwest of Lijiang's old town. Accessible by taxi, bus or via a 25 minute bike ride it's the Carmel, Taos or San Juan Islands to its bigger city neighbor. Real cobble stone streets, 200 year old tea houses, idyllic ponds and beautifully detailed guesthouses convey an authenticity that is rapidly disappearing from China's "Old Towns". The best way to directly enter the real part of Shuhe and avoid the admission fee and slightly depressed feeling of it's new faux front end is to make the first right after the Sinopec gas station on your left as you head down the road to the town. After that make the first left about a quarter mile down the road and follow it to Sifang Street which is the central part of town. Nice handicrafts, leather goods, tie dyed textiles and enjoyable restaurants will greet you as you walk down the 100 foot long stretch of Sifang Street. As you pass over Qinglong Bridge built during the Ming Dynasty you will begin to see many guesthouses and the very beautiful Long Pool.

There is a great bike ride from Shuhe to Baisha along the path that cuts through the farm fields or choose the almost empty main road. Even less touristed then Shuhe, Baisha is a surprisingly welcoming little town with a number of good restaurants. Try "Just Here", make a right into the towns main road and it is half way down the block on the right side. The food is good, the couches are comfortable. And for NO Tourism at all, at least not yet take a taxi or van ride out to Yu Hu village for beautiful views, lakes and fish pools with emerald colored clean water that you are not likely to see anywhere else in china.
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