Charming cobbled streets, endless gift shops and Chinese style cafe culture. We are in Shuhe village which is like a mini reflection of Lijiang old town, itself the most popular tourist haunt in all Yunnan. The village is just 6km from Lijiang and can be reached on bike or using one of the constant stream of blue mini-buses. Sitting under an awning, listening to live music from a nearby bar, we seem far removed from mainstream China. The surrounding wood framed buildings have classical Chinese roofs, elegant proportions and pretty courtyards, unlike the typical concrete and white ceramic wall tiles of modern Chinese cities. Unfortunately a visit to the new part of Lijiang quickly reminds one that this casual charm is the exception rather than the rule in modern China.