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Address: No.1 Jinlong Street, Shangri-La County, China
Name/address in local language
Phone Number:
+86 887 822 7742
10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Closed now
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Sun - Sat 10:00 am - 6:00 pm

Who We Are

The YMHC Shangrila Handicraft Center is a community based...

Who We Are

The YMHC Shangrila Handicraft Center is a community based organization founded to support local cultural heritage, handicrafts and eco-tourism in Diqing Prefecture, Yunnan. The Center projects include handicraft development, preservation of cultural heritage, poverty alleviation and sustainable and ecologically balanced development. The fragile eco-system of small villages, highland wetlands, and snowcapped mountains is home to 250,000 Tibetans. Most of the population lives in mountain villages. Their traditional livelihood includes agriculture, herding yak and sheep, craft production and harvesting and selling herbs and mushrooms from the nearby forests. The region was once part of the tea-horse caravan trade route stretching from Yunnan, Burma, and India to Tibet. It is home to a colorful legacy of Tibetan hand crafted wooden implements, leather goods, decorative architectural detail, pottery, silver jewelry, Tangkas, weaving and carpet making. Many of these products gained fame on this ancient trade transit corridor. Our mission is to support this community of artisans, students, and friends to popularize local tradition and culture as tourism grows and to encourage heritage crafts and lifestyle based business so that this the flavor of the Tibetan highlands in this corner of Yunnan can become a prominent feature of the tourist markets.

What We Do

YMHC Handicraft Store opened in 2006 in the heart of the Old Town of Shangrila features iconic crafts from Nixi potters, Benzilan wood carvers, Naxi Dongba paper makers, weavers in the Shangrila valley and local silversmiths. We source the work of local artisans to sell to visitors from China and abroad, the artisans often live in small remote mountain villages. We help the artisans network into larger markets and buyers outside the area.

Shangrila Library and Learning Center was founded in 2008 and houses our 5000 volume library for children, middle and high school students and adults. It is open to the public and contains Chinese, English and Tibetan volumes. English Conversation classes are offered free of charge to students and entrepreneurs throughout the year. We organize free lectures and workshops to the community on a variety of topics including health care, developing business skills, beekeeping, marketing and branding, tourism development and Tangka Painting

Beekeeping as Family-based Micro Enterprise: Training farmers in bee keeping provides a new source of income in the villages. Started in Shangrila in 2008, the beekeeping program has become well established in Weixi and Dongwang counties. We work with professional Chinese and international beekeepers who train Shangrila farms in the art of hive management with the goal of producing honey to sell locally.

YMHF Volunteers National and international volunteers participate in our year round program activities in Beijing and Shangri La. Teaching English, helping in the Shangri La Handicraft Shop and Library, marketing and designing crafts, helping in village based projects

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 10 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 6
  • 1
    Very good
  • 0
  • 1
  • 0
Lovely atmosphere

As to right now the road is under construction so the place is pretty much closed. But it consists of two parts, a lovely shop with above local quality souvenirs, and a lovely... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed September 9, 2016
Eilat, Israel
via mobile

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10 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 8: English reviews
Eilat, Israel
Level Contributor
31 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 9, 2016 via mobile

As to right now the road is under construction so the place is pretty much closed. But it consists of two parts, a lovely shop with above local quality souvenirs, and a lovely English library with a very respectable variety of books (taking in account that it's in North china....) Nice people. The people there basically teach chinese children English.

Thank ristlin
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 6, 2016

Hidden away in an alley, this center is incredible! Upon arrival you will be greeted by one of many volunteer staff and taken in to the handicrafts showcase. You are not pressured to purchase anything, but it is nice to know that all proceeds go towards the local producers. It also helps that they have a great selection of organic... More 

Thank Larissa M
hong kong
Level Contributor
114 reviews
51 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 6, 2015

Bags, coffee, honey, soaps......lots of affordable gift ideas for you and friends back home. Hand-made and locally produced goods, with profits going back to local artisans. The shop itself is interesting, in a traditional wooden house.

Thank hkannie27
Level Contributor
28 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 11, 2014 via mobile

Not a "sanctuary" as others mentioned. Interesting to browse but I felt like I was being taken for a ride. I wouldn't go out of my way but if you're passing by then check it out.

Thank Jelly_bean_candy
Level Contributor
30 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 19, 2013 via mobile

Hidden down an alleyway on the edge of the old town, cosy handicrafts centre with little library attached. Really nice selection of local goods incl coffee, honey, jewelry, pottery, clothes etc. Centre supports local producers, who get all of the profits.

2 Thank aliceontheroad
Level Contributor
57 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 5, 2012

If u looking great escape from lousy car/motorcycle/traffic jam/ stress work and need a quite while wonderful place to go then this is the perfect place to escape. With the landscape of mountain and living among local residents with their traditional living way this place was the most amazing place that i ever went.

Thank Huttonty
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 4, 2011

If you are looking for a meaningful adventure then come to Shangrila Heritage and Handcrafts for volunteer. Shangrila is a beautiful place with magnificent views and people. I volunteered teaching English to Tibetan kids during the day. At night time the old town turns into a world of happiness. I’ve learned Tibetan dance, and enjoyed Tibetan music performance every night... More 

1 Thank wolalajam
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
36 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 18, 2011

Craft center selling minority groups for fair prices and paying wages. Center also provides free library for local community to learn English and to improve native tongue language reading. Supported through purchases, donations, and volunteer/internship experiences. Very supportive environment.

2 Thank ChinaTraveler67

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