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Shaxi Overview

Design Your Shaxi Tour?Shaxi Ancient Town was once an important stopover station on the Tea Horse Road. Located between Dali and Lijiang, it is an overland wharf on the Yunnan-Tibet Tea Horse Road.In the Tang-Song period, the kingdoms of Nanzhao and Dali rose in the south-western regions, and became a buffer area between the Tang Dynasty and the Tubo Dynasty. They connected the two strong dynasties, and this area was one of the main places that the Tea Horse Road passed through which was used for economic and cultural exchanges.

‣Where Shaxi Is 

Shaxi Ancient Town is situated in the south-west of Jianchuan County of Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture in Yunnan Province. It is 139 kilometers (3 hours' drive) away from Dali and 107 kilometers away from Lijiang (2 hours and 45 minutes' drive).

‣Basic Information


●Chinese Name:沙溪

●Key Words:Typical Bai Style

●Altitude:2,007 m

●Time Zone:China Standard (UTC+8)

●Annua Mean Temperature:15 ℃

‣What to Visit in Shaxi

Square Street:a plaza covered with red sand bricks, with two centuries-old Chinese scholar trees standing in the center.

●Yujin Bridge:The meandering Heihui River runs through Shaxi from north to south in the east. There is a crescent-shaped ancient bridge, Yujin Bridge, across the river, which is set off by distant towering green mountains.

● Ancient Stage:unique architectural structure and exquisite craftsmanship. It is the most distinctive building on Square Street.




‣Shaxi Culture

The last Tea Horse Road market a town on this road, Shaxi played an active role. Perhaps God has a special liking for this town; after the Tang Dynasty, salt wells were dug in its vicinity. It was the nearest Tea Horse Road bazaar to those salt wells and consequently the salt trade began there.Salt mining, like icing on the cake, added fuel to the fire for the development of Shaxi. As the nearest Tea Horse Road bazaar to the salt wells, Shaxi became the salt capital on this road as well as a distribution center of table salt for Tibet and north-west Yunnan.Salt is one of the necessities of people's lives. It gradually became another important commodity after the tea and horse trade in Shaxi.It is an important trading hub on the Yunnan-Tibet Tea Horse Road, which was included in the protection list of 101 endangered sites as early as 2001 by the World Monuments Fund (WMF). Pompeii in Italy and the Great Wall in China are also on the list.Shaxi is an ancient town integrating business and Buddhist culture, where the old ancient stage, ancient temples, ancient shops, ancient alleyways, ancient houses, ancient village gates, ancient trees, ancient wells, ancient bridges and fairs all remain intact.As there is no large-scale commercial development yet, the only surviving ancient bazaar, once a bustling caravan stopover station on the Tea Horse Road, remains the same as before.

‣Ethnic Groups in Shaxi

It inhibited by 18,000 people and over 6 ethnic groups live in Jianchuan County, including  Bai(92%), Han(2%), Yi(1%), Hui(2%), Lisu(1%), and Naxi(2%).Only few local Bai people live in Shaxi.

‣Ethnic Festivals in Shaxi

The major festivals around Jianchuan County include the Torch Festival, Corban Festival, Lesser Bairam,and Taizihui Holiday.

●The Torch Festival is a traditional festival celebrated among some ethnic groups in southwestern China, such as the Yi, Bai, Hani, Lisu, Naxi, Pumi and Lahu etc. The festival features lighting up torches, hence its name. It usually falls in early June of the lunar calendar or on the 24th or 25th of the month, with three days of celebrations. The origin of the festival may have something to do with the worship of fire by ancestors, who believed fire had the power to repel insects, drive away evils and to protect crop growth. For some ethnic groups, it is a tradition in the festival for elders to share farming experience with young people and educate them on taking care of crops.

‣Featured Guesthouses in Shaxi Old Town

●Shaxi Cultural Center and Guesthouse(沙溪文化中心客栈)

●Old Theater Inn(戏台会馆)

●Shaxi Laomadian Lodge(沙溪老马店客栈)

●Shaxi Damao Inn(大猫驿站)

‣Shaxi Transportation

The trip from Dali to Shaxi takes about three-and-a-half hours via the bus to Jianchuan. As there are no large buses to Shaxi itself, the final leg is traveled via minibuses, which wait at the intersection of the roads to Jianchuan and Shaxi.
‣Shaxi Travel Tips

The Sideng Friday market in Shaxi is one of Yunnan's finest. On this day, minority peoples of the Yi and Bai come down from their mountain villages dressed in their finest attire. The market serves as both a meeting place for friends and family as well as a place to trade for goods hard to come by in the mountains. The animal market is one of the most interesting features. Pigs, cows, goats, sheep, ducks, and chickens are traded openly in a large field adjacent to the main road.

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