North-west of the centre of Lijiang lies Shuhe Ancient Town, the former commercial district known for its leather and fur artisans. Known locally as Longquan village, Shuhe is thought to be the birthplace of the eminent Mu family of the Naxi minority ethnic group. A walk along it narrows streets and alleyways affords a glimpse into a previous era. The focal point is the broad street known as Sifangjie, to the west of which is the three-storeyed Kegongfang (Imperial Examination Archway), flanked by the western and central rivers. The old town area contains many stone bridges, one of the oldest being the Qinglong Bridge, built during the Ming dynasty (1368-1644). At the end of the street the Long Pool (Dragon Pool) is overlooked by the Sansheng temple.
Venture into some of the less-visited,
ethnically diverse regions of China, focusing