Welcome to Shaxi Yunnan China, a cultural treasure of the ancient Tea Horse Road
Located halfway fromn Lijiang to Dali, Shaxi Yunnan is home to a beautifully preserved traditional way of life that offers a glimpse into a forgotten era. Shaxi has been protected from mass tourism due to its relative distance from popular destinations in Yunnan. But a new highway has made the driving distance to Shaxi just 90 minutes from Lijiang to Dali. The local government, keen to protect Shaxi's unique cultural heritage, is working with a conservation team that aims to create a sustainable travel strategy for the valley, encouraging activities that provide ownership opportunities for local families. Go now!
A pristine valley in Yunnan China
Nestled deep in the Himalayan foothills, halfway between the tourist hot-spots of Dali and Lijiang, lies the tranquil Shaxi valley, a sun drenched, fertile plain that follows the gentle Heihui River, a lesser known branch of the Mekong. There is no pollution, no airport and no traffic jams, but these are more than made up for by quiet cobbled streets, spectacular local architecture and impressive courtyard homes.
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Shaxi Old Theatre Inn ranks 8th among all B&Bs in China
Shaxi temple restaurant now open
Enjoy authentic Shaxi organic cooking at the Pear Blossom, located in the Pear Orchard Temple in Diantou Village, Shaxi. The restaurant features an outstanding wine collection and amazing views of the valley from the upper terrace. Enjoy our Buddha's Hand Shaxi pizza, home made dumplings, traditional baba and other delights.
Winterized and soundproofed rooms at Old Theatre Inn
The Old Theatre Inn is Shaxi's premier boutique hotel, and is a registered historical landmark. It's unique theatre temple performances, homemade meals and friendly village staff make for an unforgettable China experience. From 2015, all rooms will be supplied with radiant heat and complete soundproofing - a first among Shaxi hotels.
Shaxi Pear Orchard Temple restoration complete
American conservation group, the Ginkgo Society recently completed a major restoration of historic Ci Yin An (the Pear Orchard Temple) in Diantou Village, Shaxi. The temple continues to serve as a community and religious centre as well as the Shaxi Visitor's Centre, with a teahouse, cooking school, meditation center, Yoga terrace, classrooms and vegetarian dining. Ginkgo Society Founder, Chris Barclay, recently spoke at the Courtyard Institute in Bejing on the restoration process and how to balance sacred and secular issues in the management of the temple. Thanks to China Building Restoration for sponsoring and supporting heritage conservation in China.
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New expressway now open!
The new expressway from Lijiang to Dali has cut travel time between cities to 2 hours, and only 90 minutes from either Dali or Lijiang to Shaxi. For those who prefer an off-the-beaten-path approach, we recommend getting here with Insiders Expeditions unique tours. You can see their YouTube video here.
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Boston University students enjoy a day at the Shaxi temple
Best Yunnan mushroom hunting
If you're a fan of mushroom hunting, Shaxi is your paradise. Check out this beautiful piece on the wonders of Yunnan mushrooms by Beth Kracklauer and Anna Lindquist in Saveur Magazine.
Esoteric Buddhism in the Dali region of Yunnan
Shaxi English guide Apple Li, a local Bai woman writes on the history of a unique blend of ancient Buddhism found in Shaxi.
The Monkeys of Shaxi Shibaoshan
The best Italian pizza and pasta in Shaxi!
Tom Fischbach's Tumu Kitchen is a delightful hideaway in Shaxi Old Town, featuring the most authentic Italian pizza and pasta in Shaxi.
Shaxi Market listed by World Monuments Fund
The Shaxi Market Area, located in China's Yunnan Province on the historic Tea and Horse Caravan Trail that links Tibet with Southeast Asia, is the most complete surviving example of a trading center along this route. The Shaxi Market contains an intact theater, guesthouses for merchants, a temple precinct, and is surrounded by protective gates
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Preserving a way of life in Shaxi Yunnan
Shaxi's recent temple and market square restoration by architect Jacques Feiner with funding from the Swiss government, has breathed new life into this ancient caravan town and won a Unesco Award of Distinction for cultural heritage preservation. >> Read more
The Tea Horse Road Yunnan
The vestigial cobblestone path lasts only 50 feet, climbs a set of broken stairs, then once again disappears, swept away by years of monsoonal deluges. I carry on, entering a narrow passage where the sidewalls are so steep and slippery I have to hang on to trees to keep from falling into the bouldery creek far below. >> read more
Take a vacation that respects natrual habitats and helps improve the local community.