Shaxi Ancient Town, Yunnan – Ticket, Opening Hours, Location, and Highlights

shaxi ancient town, yunnan

Shaxi Ancient Town (沙溪古镇), nestled in Dali, was once a significant stop along the Ancient Tea Horse Road. As the Tea Horse Road faded into obscurity, Shaxi gradually slipped from memory. However, this resulted in preserving Shaxi’s tranquil and authentic charm, retaining much of its original ambiance as a Tea Horse town. Here, earthy mud structures with weathered sand walls, cobbled pathways lined with pebbles, intersecting lanes, and meandering streams and rivers create an idyllic setting, offering a serene and immersive experience.

The ancient town of Shaxi boasts numerous architectural marvels dating back to the Ming and Qing dynasties, including temples, mansions, and ancestral halls. Among them, the Ancient Theater Stage stands out as a prominent landmark on Sideng Street. Situated centrally on the eastern side of Sideng Street, the stage divides the ancient street into north and south halves, serving as a physical marker delineating various business zones. The main structure of the Ancient Theater Stage is the Kui Xing Pavilion, with the theater serving as an adjunct function, revered by the local Bai people as a place of worship for Kui Xing, the deity of literature.

Another highlight of Shaxi is the Xingjiao Temple, one of the few remaining Ming Dynasty Buddhist temples of the Bai ethnic group. Visitors can admire the intricate murals and carvings within the temple free of charge upon presenting their identification. During ethnic festivals, the entire town comes alive with Bai men and women adorned in traditional attire, gathering on Sideng Street to dance and sing on the stage, creating a festive atmosphere. The most lively event is the annual “Prince’s Meeting” held on the lunar calendar’s second day of the second month.

Shaxi Ancient Town is relativley small. A leisurely stroll for an hour or two is enough to explore its charms. However, for those with ample time, spending a night here is highly recommended. Wander along the old streets, soak in the ambiance, and relish the tranquility that contrasts with the bustling Dali Ancient City. Accommodations ranging from youth hostels to guesthouses are available at reasonable prices. Roadside eateries offer delicious local cuisine, including specialties like wild ginseng, matsutake mushrooms, and dairy cakes, providing an authentic culinary experience.


Basic Information

Estimated Length of Tour2 hours
Ticket PriceFree
Opening Hours24 hours a day throughout the year
Telephone Number0086-0512-53221815

Location and Transportation

Shaxi Ancient Town is located in the southeastern part of Jianchuan County, Dali Prefecture, Yunnan Province, China. It is approximately 32 kilometers away from the county seat and sits between the major tourist destinations of Dali, Lijiang, and Shangri-La.

To reach Shaxi from Dali Ancient City, you can take a scheduled bus, which costs around 44 yuan, and the journey typically takes about 2 hours. If traveling from Lijiang Ancient City, the journey takes approximately 3 hours by bus.


Vlog about Shaxi Ancient Town


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