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Practical information on Shaxi

  • Encounters with locals
  • Nature, Adventure & Sport
  • Art & Culture
  • Essential
3 / 5 - 2 reviews
When to go
All year round

Reviews of Shaxi

Clara Favini Seasoned Traveller
97 written opinions

Mid-way between Dali and Lijiang, nestled between the fields and mountains of Yunnan, you'll find the wonderful village of Shaxi. Be prepared to step back in time.

My review

This ancient caravan path was an important staging post on the Tea Horse Road (a Silk Road trade link between Yunnan and Tibet) and has not lost its charm or distinctive, erstwhile ambiance.

Each Friday, locals including people from the Bai et Yi minorities, gather together for the huge Shaxi market. You can admire women in traditional dress and tour ancient streets, lined with wooden facades from another era. Around Shaxi you'll find numerous paths that lead from village to village, as well as mountain trails that you can follow by foot, bike or on horseback. Two must-sees are the amazing Buddhist frescoes in the Shibaoshan Mountain caves and the source of the Bailong Tan.

Clara Favini Seasoned Traveller
97 written opinions

Standing in a magnificent natural setting at the heart of the Shaxi Valley, Shibaoshan Mountain, or Stone Treasure Mountain, is one of the must-see places to visit when staying in Yunnan.

My review

Accessible by car or on foot (for the more daring) from the town of Shaxi lying below, it is the site of a vast collection of temples and grottoes of startling beauty.

Considered by some to be the pearl of Yunnan, the impressive cave grottoes are testament not only to the influence and spread of Buddhism in Yunnan Province, but also to life at the king's court during the time of the Nanzhao kingdom.

The mountain is also the site of the wonderful, Yuan dynasty Baoxiang Temple, which is built onto the side of the cliff. It is reached via a climb up 1000 stone steps, an experience enhanced by the wonderful spectacle provided by the pavilions built onto the rock and the presence of a number of colorful Buddha statues.