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For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni
For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni 

Things to do in China

A sustainable stay in an ancient village near Lijiang

Created from two farmyards that have stood for over 100 years, The Bivou is a boutique hotel located in the ancient village of Shuhe…

By Malcolm Holcroft
Asia Travel Expert for Alfred&

Created from two farmyards that have stood for over 100 years, The Bivou is a beautiful boutique hotel located in the ancient village of Shuhe. With just 18 rooms the eco-friendly hotel Bivou hotel, powered by solar and growing much of its own produce, enjoys a relaxed and intimate atmosphere with plenty of cosy communal space to unwind. It’s located in the ancient village of Shuhe outside Lijiang, whose people who come from 56 different ethnic minorities.

There are tonnes of things to do here from cycling and cooking lessons to cocktail and lip balm making. My favourite was the tile cat making where you make your own little cat out of clay. These tile cats are believed to be good luck charms and are used by many of the ethnic minority groups in Yunnan to protect against bad luck and bring good fortune. You’re invited to donate your creation to the gift shop, where a proportion of sales goes to helping the Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys. Tatami, the in-house cat is sure to give you some inspiration!

The village is home to a mix of 56 different ethnicities and every person you meet will tell you what mix they are which is very charming, even if it does go completely over your head! Dozens of streams run through the cobbled streets and you’ll find plenty of local restaurants and craft making shops to peruse. The best bit for me is the view of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in the distance- it’s truly remarkable.


  • Culture
  • Places to stay

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Alfred & Malcolm Holcroft

Malcolm has always been fascinated with the far east, especially China and has visited five times so far. While he loves exploring the big cities, he also loves getting off the beaten track immersing himself in the local culture. He admits there can be challenges when it comes to things like language but relishes in how beautiful and untouched China still is, in our modern globalised world. One of his favourite activities is people watching in the public parks and he can quickly become absorbed as he observes how differently the people go about their day to day lives. This is a country that will at times throw you out of your comfort zone but will also teach you so much if you let it.

Plan your holiday withAlfred&

Your journey will start with one of our UK team – someone like Suzanne, who's travelled extensively in China. They’ll shape your ideas into the trip of a lifetime. But they won't do it alone. They'll draw on the expertise of our contacts on the ground, connecting you to the people who'll make your holiday one you'll always remember - the guides who can take you to The Great Wall’s quietest spots, the villagers who can show you how to create your own lucky clay cat and the cooks who can rustle you up breakfast pancakes, Shanghai-style.

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