Shigu Ancient Town in Lijiang

About Shigu Ancient Town

Shigu Ancient Town is one of the famous ancient town at the river bank of the upper reaches of Yangtze River. As there is a drum-shaped stone tablet carved with white marble, hence the name of the town. The diameter of the stone tablet is 1.5 m and the thickness is 0.7 m. It is said that if the society is unrest, the drum will craze, but when the society is peaceful again, the drum will close up.

Where Is Shigu Ancient Town?

Shigu Town is 70 km away from Lijiang. Bordering Jiuhe Township, Longpan Village, Shitou Village,Liming Village, it is also a strategetic area of each dynasty.

History of Shigu Ancient Town

Commerce and trade in here was developed, there were quite a lot of merchants came here for business and settled down here. Also there was a portion of people engaged in trade outside. After the founding of the People’s Republic of China, Shigu Ancient Town set up supply and marketing cooperative, food, food service industry such as state-owned and collective agency business. After the reform and opening, fair trade of Shigu Ancient Town was more prosperous. Near the Shigu Street, there is rich talcum mine, according to historical records, as early as the Yuan dynasty has been mined. In 1966, a talc factory was established in Shigu, the product sold in distant markets outside the county. Marble storage in here is also abundant. The “Red Army Long March Memorial” built in Jinsha river west bank. Mineral resources are talc, placer gold, manganese, zinc and sulphur. And Shigu Ancient Town produced traditional bamboo strip cap and pot cover. And it has specialty of orchids. It is one of pilot units of “national five hundreds of small towns construction”, in 2005, it has been listed as “one of the national 100 classic red tourism scenic spots”, was listed as top of the red tourism products lines.

 What to See in Shigu Ancient Town

● Yangtze River First Bay
Yangtze River First Bay is located between Shasongbi Village of Shangri-la County and Shigu Town of Lijiang City, 130 km from Shangri-la County. The Yangtze River runs from the “World Roof” Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. When it passes here, it suddenly takes a sudden turn for over 100 degree, and runs to northeast, forming a huge V-shaped bay. People called it the Yangtze River First Bay.

● Drum-shaped Stone Tablet
As there is a drum-shaped stone tablet in the town, hence the name. The tablet is carved with white marble. It is said that the stone drum was used to suppress Tubo during the Three Kingdoms. There were no words carved on the stone drum until Mu Gao, the chieftain of Lijiang defeated Tubo and engraved inscription on it.

● Tiehong Bridge
There is a cable suspension bridge named Tiehong Bridge (Iron Rainbow Bridge) in the town. The bridge has a long history and is of antique beauty.

● Red Army Monument of Crossing the River
The Shigu Town is located on a slope of a mountain and facing the Yangtze River. The Red Army Monument of Crossing the River is in a park at the west of the town.

● Jujin Ancient Ferry
70 km north to the Shigu Town, there is another ancient town, Judian. It used to be the cultural center of Naxi people. It was named Jujin in Yuan Dynasty. At that time, it was not just the only routes from Wexi to inland, but also the only ferry for the communication between Dali and Tubo.

● Lijiang Horse
At the market of Judian, you may see horses here. These horses are in gentle temperament, with not so big body, but they could load heavy goods. It is one of the 3 treasures in Lijiang.

Recommended Visiting Route

There are two ways of traveling Shigu Ancient Town, the first is to charter a car to Shigu Town directly, and the second is going to Liming Laojun Mountain via Shigu Ancient Town. Departing from Lijiang Old Town and passing Lashi Lake, and then there are two roads can lead to Shigu town, one is bypassing north side of Tiejia Mountain to Xionggu village, and going northward to the riverside then going upstream westward to Shigu; another is throwing over Tiejia Mountain from Tai’an to Baihanchang, going westward to Shigu. Two roads are all around 65 km, the first road condition is quite good, but the second road can give people a surprise that when you go the path winds along mountain ridges and suddenly Yangtze River First Bend appears. Since Qing dynasty, Shigu Ancient Town has formed quite busy market.

Shigu Ancient Town Accommodation

Stone Drum (Shigu) Town is just one of Lijiang’s many landmarks to discover. Usually the recommended time for a visit is about 1-2 hours. So most of the tourists will not choose to stay at Shigu Town for overnight but go back to Lijiang or continue to Shangrila city. You can browse the accommodation part of Lijiang or Shangrila to check the best hotels we recommend for you. Anyhow, there are some Shigu Town local guesthouses introduced to you.

Hotel Name



Five Six Seven Guesthouse(五六七客栈)

Liwei Road near Shigu Pier, Shigu Town, Lijiang, Yunnan


Lijiang Shigu Climbing Base Youth Hostel(丽江石鼓攀岩基地青年旅舍)

Daxin Village, Shigu Town, Lijiang, Yunnan


Lijiang Shihong Guesthouse(丽江石虹宾舍)

Shigu Street near Shigu pavilion, Shigu Town, Lijiang, Yunnan



Lijiang Jingufang Villa(丽江金谷坊山庄 )

Drifting Scenic Area, Shigu Port, Shigu Town, Lijiang, Yunnan


Yulong Jinwan Hotel(玉龙金湾酒店)

First Bend near 225 provincial Road, Shigu Town, Lijiang, Yunnan


How to get to Stone Drum Town

In the bus station or some main hotels in the Lijiang Old Town, there is special tour bus to Shigu Ancient Town (Yangtze River First Bend), or people can take bus to Weixi or Shigu Ancient Town.

1. Take regular bus from Lijiang Bus Station to Weixi. It passes by Stone Drum Town. The mountain where the town is located is one of the best view points to enjoy the First Bend.
2. Take private minivans from Jinkai Square in Lijiang. It costs around CNY 20 per person.
3. The bus from Lijiang to Shangri-La passes by several viewing platforms for the First Bend.

Travel Tips

The temperature difference is big between day and night, especially when it is rain. You should take some thick and long sleaves with you to prevent getting cold. Do not forget to prepare some Cold medicine and intestinal medicine. 

As Lijiang is located on plateau, the ultraviolet (uv) radiation is very strong that you should bring sunhat and sun scream with you.