Visitors to Lijiang sometimes ask, which is better Lijiang or the old town of Shuhe?
These days, many Chinese prefer to go to Shuhe, because it is less crowded than Lijiang old town, but remember this:
there is an entrance fee to Shuhe, which is sometimes enforced at the main gate, depending on how you arrive and if you look like a tourist
shopping at Shuhe is reputed to be a little cheaper than Lijiang old town, but the price to eat is a little more expensive
Shuhe is largely a new town, owned by a large company, and while on the far side of the river it is more spacious, it is being developed at a fast pace with new guesthouses and cafes going up every day