Destination: Shaxi, China
Number of Days Spent: 1 day
Where we stayed: We stopped in transit between Lijiang and Dali (stopping at the hot springs enroute for the night, if you’re interested ask the family at Mu’s Garden Inn in Lijiang for the hotel information).
Best restaurant: It’s the only one in Lonely Planet and it’s connected to a Bed & Breakfast. I think it was called the Laomadian Lodge and the restaurant called the Karma Café. We thought about staying the night but the rooms were rather pricey. However, the food was worth the splurge, the beer was icy cold and the food, well it was DELICIOUS, including the yak meat!
Best of: We were invited into an old couple’s home for a tour (no English spoken of course) of their house complete with wood carvings and a room dedicated to ancestor worship.
Worst of: Transport connections to Shaxi were quite slow. We had to wait for quite a while for the shared van to depart (60-90 minutes on the way back). We nearly missed our connecting bus, but as with nearly all things in China it just works.
Most Memorable: We ate yak meat and it was actually good!
Crumbling facades, wall to wall souvenir stalls, and the sudden absence of hawkers make the little village of Shaxi seem lost in time. Once an important stop on trade routes, the village is now a shell of its former glory receiving little more than a trickle of visitors, but that’s for all the better. The government has went to great lengths to promote this part of Yunnan and the ability for Shaxi to hold on to the past is a feat in itself.
The place was nearly deserted on the day that we visited, just a handful of old men and kids. After seeing the hoards of tour groups and buses in Lijiang, it was nice to see this place left alone . . . at least for now.
After leaving Shaxi, we stopped one more time on our way to Dali at what was billed as a ‘hot spring’. While the place had more of a ‘Bates Motel’ feel than ‘Treasure Island’, it wasn’t all that bad and the pool was welcoming enough. It was a nice way to break up an otherwise rough journey.
Next stop, Dali!