Located in the southeastern part of the Three Parallel Rivers in Yunnan Protected Areas, the Shaxi Old Town has (aka Shaxi Ancient Village) a long history that can be traced back to the the Spring and Autumn and the Warring States Periods (770BC -221BC), and it is the only one surving market town in the Tea Horse Road.
Shaxi has agreeable climate, beautiful natural scenery and rich natural resources, which make it a place where the temperature is never too high or too low, and the water is greenish-blue and bluish-green. Shaxi Old Town, as one of the world's 100 most endangered sites listed by the World Monuments Fund is a place where you can breathe in fresh air around-the-clock.
Stone Treasure Mountain and the Friday Market are the two most popular tourist attractions in Shaxi Town.
Stone Treasure Mountain, a fantastic nature reserve and religious site that was designated as one of the first officially protected sites by China in 1982. There are numerous temples and grottoes as well as some fantastic views there.
Shaxi Town was built on the remains of an ancient market town and was once an active trade stop on the Southern Silk Road that connected southwest China's hinterland with Southeast Asia and on to Europe, which is actually older than the more famous Silk Road (in the North), predating it by at least 300 years. The Bai ethnic people from all the villages in Shaxi Valley and the Yi people from the surrounding mountains come here to trade everything from fresh produce to supplies and horses.
In the market day, you can see Minority women dress in colorful traditional costumes, and men will often lead pack mules to carry supplies back to their mountain villages, which much like in the days of the Tea Horse Road hundreds of years ago.
Remarks: It is 150 kilometers from Lijiang and takes around 3 hours driving to be there.