What are the Best Places to Visit in Dali? As one of the famous tourist destinations in Yunnan Province, Dali is rich in historical and natural relics. It is also one of the main residence of Bai Ethnic Group. Where to visit in Dali? Travel with us, you will have chance to experience its unique Bai Ethnic Culture, appreciate the well-preserved architectures that built hundreds years ago, and also to visit the graceful deep blue Erhai Lake.
About 13km away from Xiaguan County, Dali City, Dali Ancient Town is the spotlight of the area. Backing on evergreen Mt. Cangshan, facing light blue Erhai Lake, Dali Ancient Town is a walled place with a history of over 1,200 years. Within the guarding walls, old houses, bluestone paved paths and wrinkle faced elders are created a peaceful atmosphere.
Unlike any other Chinese town, the traditional Bai ethnic folk houses and blooming flower gardens they cared, give the town distinctive feel. The town's layout was uniform, with five main streets from south to north and eight main streets from east to west, while marketplaces were neatly arranged within the town, which has remained unchanged to this date.
Dali is also famous for the many types of marble it produces, which are used primarily in construction and for decorative objects. Marble buildings, marble streets, marble wall foundations and marble wells make the city so bright and limpid as if it is a tranquil fairyland.
Three Pagodas site is located about 1.5km north of Dali Ancient Town. They are standing at the east foot of the tenth peak of the massive Mt. Cangshan and facing the west shore of the Erhai Lake. Three Pagodas are made of brick and covered with white mud.
As its name implies, the Three Pagodas comprise three independent pagodas forming a symmetric triangle. The elegant, balanced and stately style is unique in China's ancient Buddhist architectures, which makes it a must-see in the tour of Dali. The Three Pagodas, visible from miles away, has been a landmark of Dali City and selected as a national treasure meriting preservation in China.
There is a lake named Reflection (Juying Chi) behind them. The lake is known to be able to reflect images of the Three Pagodas.
Three Pogadas' mother building was known as Chongsheng Monastery and used to be the royal temple of the Kingdom of Dali and one of the largest Buddhist centers in south-east Asia. It was originally built at the same time as the first pagoda but was destroyed in a fire in the Qing Dynasty reign period.
Located in the northwest part of Dali City, Yunnan Province, Erhai Lake is a plateau lake that stretches 42km from north to south and 3.9km from east to west. As the lake has a shape of an ear, it gets the name Erhai (Ear Lake). Reputed as the pearl on plateau for its beautiful scenery, it is also one of the most attractived sits in Yunnan.
Three Islets, four lands and nine caves are the famous sites in the lake. Besides these spots, the lake also has some other attractions such as Shadows of Three Towers, Nine-Arched Stone Bridge, and Jade Dragon Playing in the Water, etc.
Looked from Mt. Cangshan, the lake like a crescent lying between Mt. Cangshan and Dali City. In a sunny day, the crystal water of Erhai Lake and the snow mantled Mt. Cangshan radiate with each other forming a beautiful picture.
Bai minority are much in evidence at Xizhou, 18 km north of Dali Ancient Town. Green mountains, winding creeks and fertile land make here a lyrical and carefree life.
People nowadays regard Xizhou as a town that is famous for the Bai minority culture. The old houses and streets are well preserved, through which visitors may still find some traces of past glory.
The houses of local residents are characterized by a traditional Chinese rectangular courtyard with a screen wall facing the gate. On the screen wall there are usually four Chinese characters, reading 'Qingbai Shijia' (innocent family) or 'Ziqi Donglai' (Auspicious air comes from the East). Around them are landscape paintings and decorations with profusion of colors. The doors and windows are full of grills with auspicious paintings.
In Xizhou, visitors also have the opportunity to appreciate the genuine tea ceremony of the Bai minority. Sandao Tea is a must-drink. It consists of bitter tea, sweet tea and aftertaste tea, indicating the whole life of the people.