Was it The Pogues or some other Celtic band who wrote Dirty Old Town? Jin, Yak and I rented some cool dragster? style bikes and free-wheeled it to Shuhe Old Town. The only thing dirty about it is the scoundrel entry fee. Luckily for us, Yak has a knack of finding a way around some barriers.
Just 4 kilometres from Lijiang's old city area, this more humble version is barely touristed. Somehow Shuhe's look and feel is more authentic - it's more rustic. If you're ever down in this neck of the woods, you owe it to yourself to spend an afternoon there.
Artists, artisans, crafts and markets line every corner along with cafes and more lodging, all set with the Yulong Xueshan (Jade Dragon Snow Mountain) poking into the clouds in the background.
It's back to Lijiang for the hustle and bustle and the beautiful view of rooftop lights after sundown. Also in the hostel, now that I have just polished off a roasted spaghetti, absolutely scrumptuous, I believe I have eaten everything on the menu.