Báishuǐtái is a limestone deposit plateau 108km southeast of Shangri-la, with some breathtaking scenery and Tibetan villages en route. For good reason it has become probably the most popular back-door route between Lìjiāng and Shangri-la. The terraces – think of those in Pamukkale in Turkey or Huánglóng in Sìchuān – are lovely, but can be tough to access if rainfall has made trails slippery.
A couple of guesthouses at the nearby towns of Báidì and Sānbà have rooms with beds from ¥50.
From Shangri-la there is one daily bus to Báishuǐtái at 9.40 am (¥24, three hours). One adventurous option is to hike or hitch all the way from Báishuǐtái to Tiger Leaping Gorge. A taxi from Shangri-la is ¥600.