Dali Travel Guide

Last updated by wendysong at 2014/4/16

Dali Overview

Dali's location between the Cangshan Mountain and the alpine lake-Erhai Lake, makes it one of the most beautiful and relaxing places in China. It is a great place to escape the congested traffic, stress, work and pollution. People in Dali seem to live in an ideologically isolated world and they keep their traditional way of lifestyle. They work from dawn to sunset, live in their traditional houses, celebrate their own festivals and never worry about being fired.

Many travelers like staying at Dali's ancient town to explore the small alleys, enjoy cheap beer, pizzas and cappuccinos. Others may prefer excursions to its stunningly beautiful surroundings or biking in the countryside to Xizhou to appreciate the ornate traditional Bai architecture or taking a boat on the gemstone-like Erhai Lake or enjoying a climb up the lofty Cangshan Mountain. Dali is also quietly gaining recognition for the plethora of outdoor activities it offers such as hiking, biking, kayaking, and even rock climbing.

Historically, Dali was the political and cultural center of Yunnan and is therefore endowed with many cultural sites and historical heritage.  The ancient town itself and the Three Pagodas, a religious site dating back to China's ancient Tang Dynasty over 1,000 years ago, are great evidence of the city's historical importance over centuries. The reflection of the three pagodas in the nearby lake is considered to be a most beautiful scene for photographers. Do not miss it, if you have a chance to visit.

Dali is a region which the Bai ethnic people inhabit, and thus it has distinguishing features of the Bai people: profound Bai buildings, the unique tea ceremony "Three Cups of Tea" and their traditional shining dress.

Minorities: Han, Bai, Yi, Hui, Lisu, and so on
Administrative Regions: Dali City, Jianchuan County, Midu County, Yunlong County, Eryuan County, Heqing County, Xiangyun County, Binchuan County, Yongping County, the Autonomous County of Weishan for Yi and Hui people, the Autonomous County of Nanjian for Yi people, the Autonomous County of Yangbi for Yi people.
Tel for tourist complaint: 96927

Top Things to Do in Dali

See the full list of things to do in Dali.

Dali Travel Guide

How to Travel in Dali: Suggested Itineraries

  • Travel to Dali in Two Days
    Day 1: Arrival
    Day 2: Dali Ancient City –Cruise on Lake Erhai on Small Boat – Departure
  • Travel to Dali in Three Days
    Day 1: Arrival
    Day 2: Dali Ancient City –Cruise on Lake Erhai on Small Boat - Houses of Bai People in Xizhou
    Day 3: Departure

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There are 5 comments on this topic

posted by "cbonnal" at 3/27/2011 4:54:00 AM

Dali, just like Lijiang, is a beautiful city with gorgeous architecture, but... it's way too touristic. At least as much as Praha or Venice, if not more. Every single house is a souvenir shop, cafe or restaurant - in the center of the town at least. Old ladies wearing traditional dress kept asking me in english if I wanted marijuana... Thanks tourism over-exploitation. If you can focus on the beauty of the city and forget this, you will like it. If you want to enjoy a real village, you might like to go to the outskirts of the city or any other village in the area.

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posted by "lovechina" at 2/1/2009 11:10:00 PM

The countryside around the old town is awesome.

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posted by "hcf122" at 10/24/2008 4:22:00 AM

Dali is the cleanest place I have ever been to.

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posted by "doreen" at 7/24/2008 10:42:00 AM

It is a wonderful place to buy ethical product.

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posted by "lavender0108" at 3/18/2008 4:51:00 AM

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Dali Facts

  • City Name: Dali (大理, dà lǐ)
  • Population: 0.61 million (2010)
  • Location:Southeast China
  • Features: One of the perfect place to relax in Southern China.
  • Area Code:0872
  • Zip Code: 671000

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