The ‘star’ attraction of Báishā is Dr Ho Shi Xiu, a legendary herbalist who was propelled to fame by the travel writer Bruce Chatwin when he mythologised him in a 1986 New Yorker story as the ‘Taoist physician in the Jade Dragon Mountains of Lìjiāng’.
A sprightly 94 at the time of writing and still treating the ill every day with herbs collected from the nearby mountains, Dr Ho is very chatty (he speaks English, German and Japanese) and is happy to regale visitors with the secrets of good health and longevity. One result of his advanced years is that sometimes he delegates his 58-year-old son to speak to people. His 'surgery' is on Báishā's main street.
There are a couple of frescos worth seeing in town and the surrounding area. The best can be found in Báishā’s Dàbǎojī Palace, and at the neighbouring Liúlí Temple (琉璃殿; Liúlí Diàn) and Dàdìng Gé (大定阁). Note that you'll have to show the ¥80 Lìjiāng town entrance ticket to gain access to the Palace.