Its initial name was Wentunyan,which indicated enough sunshine and comfortable climate. Now, the name in Chinese, means peace and harmony. Such name derived from a verse, which reads "the rising clouds herald auspicious future and the gentle breeze brings peace and harmony". The name shows local people's wishes for a happy life. The river running through the town named Sanhe River and there is an archway inscribed "和顺顺和", which means Heshun enjoys harmony and peace.
Heshun Old Town is surrounded by a river and built along the slope of a hill. The town extends about 3km horizontally. Since the early of Ming dynasty, ethic Han-Chinese from inland migrated to this place for military presence. Later, the town got prosperous from international trade business as it was the must-go-through site on the old Silk road. To the east of the town lies the Hengduan mountain range, which rolls on for hundreds of kilometers, and to the west is Myanmar. Many dormant volcanoes dotted around the village, and on misty days, their peaks are shrouded in dense cloud.
As a small town, Heshun boasts many unique characteristics. Its roads are paved with paving stones whose luster after a rainfall bears witness to their antiquity. There is a terrace at the entrance of each alley, with a crescent-shaped screen wall intended to prevent good fortune and wealth from flowing away. A camphor tree usually stands on the terrace, with stone tables and benches beneath.
Clothes-washing pavilions make up another special scene in Heshun. Due to the unique topography in Yunnan Province, its rivers and streams are sometimes calm and at other times turbulent. The local men built a series of pavilions in the town that provide shelter for the women when they wash dishes or clothes in the stream. Women, with rolled up sleeves, squatting in a pavilion, wash their clothes in the gurgling stream. That is a pleasing sight in harmony with their natural surroundings.
In 1980, the Heshun Library was included in the national library administration system, and listed as a provincial cultural relic.