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Dali Facts

Dali Location MapThe name of Dali is originated from that of a local regime in history called Kingdom Dali, meaning a state of great order. Many of the architectures of the city were built of marble from the ore nearby, and that is why it is also called a city of Dali Stone (marble). Both Chinese writing and pronunciation of 'great order' and 'marble' are the same. Marble buildings, marble streets, marble wall foundations and marble wells make the city so bright and limpid as if it is a tranquil fairyland. Each family loves door carving and wall-decoration; every household has a flower garden. While it is freezing season in the north, hundreds of flowers are in blossom here. Among them, camellia, azaleas and orchids are the most fascinating and enchanting ones.
Dali is also celebrated for its scenic beauties of Mt. Cangshan and Erhai Lake. And also, Dali enjoys a very high fame for its four grand scenes, namely, Xiaguan's wind, Shangguan's flowers, Mt. Cangshan's snow and Erhai's moon. Especially Xiaguan's wind, which impresses people so deeply, makes Xiaguan such a place that you should go if you pay a visit to Dali. It is the greatest delight to you to admire the full moon on a boat at the Erhai Lake. Under the moonlight, you can have an exceptional charming picture of Mt. Cangshan looking at the handsome shadow of itself. When the moon is hazy, the reflection of the Buddhist Temples looks even more mysterious, set off by the dark blue canopy of the heavens in the still of the night. When the moon is clear and bright, Erhai turns to be a unique fairyland, an integral whole of moonbeams, mountain pose and crystalline ripples. But, unless you are personally on the scene, you would not have any idea of its splendor. n spite of all, the summit of Mt. Cangshan, 4,000 meters high, perennially covered with snow offers a beautiful sight. Though it is in winter, you could feel the spring in the air, at the same time enjoy the translucent snowy summit, glittering under the moonlight.
The Bai nationality having lived there for generations is the chief inhabitant. Bright and cheerful in disposition, amiable and easy of approach, the Bai people are very hospitable and conversational. Their national costume looks neat and graceful. Both sexes have partiality for white color. A Bai man usually wears a short black gown over his white jacket with buttons down the front, whereas a woman, coiling up the hair over head, often wears a black or blue gown over her white jacket. The daily attire for a maiden is very attractive, i.e., a red close-fitting jacket without sleeves. The Bai girls like to wear one pigtail tied with red string with a colourful towel wrapped round and snowy teasels waving to and from on the right. Their artistic tradition is quite distinctive, too. They like carved doors and windows, and delicately whitewashed walls. Their national music sounds very sonorous, showing the nation's bold and uninhabited character.
Basis Information 

• Chinese Name: 大理
• Location: west of Yunnan middle area
• Dialing code: (+86) 0872
Zip Code: 671000
Area: Dali has an area of 28,536 sq km.  
• Main attractions in Dali: Erhai Lake, Mt. Cangshan, Dali Ancient Town
Administration Distribution

Map of Dali

Administrative Division:
Dali's newly finished administrative district that houses the newly opened Dali International Convention Center is in Longshan District. The Dali government's urban planning keeps its old and new districts separate, so those coming here for the first time often feel they have entered a time tunnel.
Population: It has a population of 3.1854 million. The population of Han covers 50.84 percent with 1.6196 million. Bai covers 33.22 percent with 1.0584 million.


Dali urban area is 46.3 kilometers from east to west and 59.3 kilometers from south to north. It covers an area of 1,457.27 square kilometers, of which 229 square kilometers, or 15.71 percent of the total area consists of irrigated territory; 978.927 square kilometers, or 67.27 percent of the total area is mountainous; and 249.343 square kilometers, or 17.02 percent of the total area is occupied by Erhai Lake. The city has Binchuan and Xiangyun to the east, Midu and Weishan to the south, Yangbi to the west and Eryuan to the north. Dali is also the juncture of the Yunnan-Myanmar and Yunnan-Tibet Highways. With these unique geographical conditions, Dali is a communication hub and distribution center of materials in western Yunnan Province.
Dali is one of the birthplaces of the earliest culture in Yunnan. According to the record, in the 4th century, Bai ancestors lived here and a lot of clan and tribe scattered here, and they created the splendid Neolithic culture. In Qin and Han dynasties, Dali is the only way that must be passed on the "Shu-Hindu Road" (the road lead from Chengdu city Sichuan province, the Dali city Baoshan city in Yunnan province into Myanmar, and then to India), is transfer station of "southern silk road" from Sichuan to India. In Kingdom of Shu-Han in Zhuge Liang’s Southern Campaign there was established Yunnan Prefecture in Dali, and in the Tang dynasty Kingdom of Nanzhao established capital here, in Song dynasty Dali kingdom established capital here. This city is the political, economic and cultural center of Yunnan in early. In the long history of the years, Dali has a prominent position and role. Long history and culture make Dali has won the laudatory title of "historical city with culture".
More history of Dali can click Dali History.
Capital of Sutras Collections
Dali is one of the earliest cultural birthplaces in Yunnan and is also center of the development of the early culture of Yunnan, which enjoys a reputation of “Capital of Sutras Collections ". As early as the period of Nanzhao kingdom, Dali culture was developed; Three Pagodas are the symbol of ancient culture. And Zhangshun, Wang Fengzong’s Nanzhao picture scroll, Zhang Shengwen Dali Landscape etc, fully illustrates the Dali is an ancient historic city.

The hometown of camellia
Dali camellia cultivation has a long history. Since Nanzhao and Dali kingdom period, camellia has become important cultivated varieties of garden, and in Yuan and Ming dynasty, it became more prosperous. Dali camellia is large evergreen trees, which can up to 10m tall. From December to April in the following year, each species gradually open.

The average temperature is 15.1 degrees Celsius. The coldest temperature is 8.7 degrees Celsius in February, and the hottest is 20.1 degrees Celsius in July. It is called the "Sweden of the East," and has 126 days during which the temperature is 18.7-20.6 degrees Celsius, the best climate for convalescence in the world. Moreover, 229 days are frost-free, providing a suitable environment for the growth of various kinds of plants. Flowers blossom all the year round.

Best Time to Visit

♦ Spring (March to May): In the spring, the wind season isn’t yet to come, and the local geographical location can hold back from the outside cold snap, so the temperature is just suitable. Spring in Dali is a season of sunshine. And each year during March to April, there are a lot of Bai ethnic festivals and events held here. So travel at this time tourists can feel the rich ethnic customs.
♦ Summer (June to August): Summer in Dali is in its rainy season. But due to the not obvious temperature difference in the spring time, it is heater in summer. It is better to pay attention to the strong sun light which may cause tourists discomfort on the skin.
♦ Autumn (September to October): It is a cool season and also a peak season for Chinese domestic tourist in autumn. During this period, tourists should be careful about the temperature difference in daytime and night time. Short-sleeve cloths in day and a jacket at the night will be better.
♦ Winter (November to next February): Winter in Dali is a dry season with the strong sunshine. There is no severe cold climate last for long time in Dali. It is rather a late autumn than a winter in Dali. And because of its geographic location, Dali may experience some sudden bad weather such as frozen, windy, etc.
• Dressing Tips 

♦ Spring (March to May): it is warm in spring and the temperature is moderate, but it is a little cool with rains. A thin coat is enough. In the beginning of March every year in the spring people can put on spring dress.
♦ Summer (June -August): Dali sunny day has strong ultraviolet; it is recommended wearing sun hat and sunglasses. In the beginning of May, summer dress has been popular in Dali. Since the rain after turn of the summer and fall (generally for July and August), the temperature drops quickly, suggest taking a few long-sleeve cloth in case of catch a cold.
♦ Autumn (September to October): The rain in Dali is more concentrated in the rainy season in May to October, suggest bringing rain gear when you go out, and wear thin unlined upper garment.
♦ Winter (November to February): In the middle of October and November, people in Dali can wear autumn dress, but after mid-November to Dali, people have better to bring winter clothing in their luggage for unexpected need.
Tips: travel to Dali, no matter what the season is, there can encounter a big difference in temperature change, so it is best to bring summer clothes, windproof clothes. Xiaguan Dali, where is the famous "windy city", if tourists need to stay in Xiaguan during the tour, windproof clothes must be taken and suggest taking a fleece jacket and gauze kerchief.

As one of the famous tourist destinations in Yunnan Province, Dali is rich in historical and natural relics. Dali has a brilliant and long history, unique national culture and great natural geographical scenery. It has become a popular tourist destination at home and abroad. It is also one of the main residences of Bai Ethnic Group. It has won the title "China Excellent Tourism City", "Best China Charming City" and "Chinese Culture Tourism County", "China Top Ten Leisure Tourist City", "International Cultural and Leisure Tourism Charming City".
• Best Places to Visit
♦ Erhai Lake –Erhai Lake, called Kunming pond, Er River, and Yeyuuze in the ancient time. Because of its shape is like a human ear, so it named Erhai Lake (Ear Lake in Chinese character). It is 42 km long from south to north, 3-9 km wide from east to west, and its coastline of 117 kilometers long and the area of 250 square kilometers. Erhai Lake water is clear, like a flawless jade which is beautiful, and Erhai Lake is famous plateau lake. "Erhai moon" is one of the Dali four big famous scenes. In August 15 of lunar calendar, raft boat in Erhai Lake, the moon exceptionally bright and round. In addition, why the Erhai Moon famous is the spotless white snow of Mt. Cangshan reflected in Erhai Lake, enhance each other’s beauty, which formed a wonders of Silver Mt.Cangshan and Jade Erhai Lake.

♦ Dali Ancient Town–Dali Ancient Town, briefly called Yeyu, is also called the Zicheng (purple city). Dali Ancient Town is in Yunnan province by west central, at an altitude of 2090 meters. It close to Chuxiong Prefecture in the east, lean on Pu’er city, Lincang city, and the west connected with Baoshan city, Nvjiang Prefecture, the north is Lijiang city. Across east longitude 98 ° 52 '~ 101 ° 03', north latitude 24 ° 41 '~ 26 ° 42', and Dali and Xiangyun, Midu, Binchuan, Yongping, Yunlong, Eryuan, Heqing, Jianchuan 8 counties as well as Yangbi, Weishan, Najian 3 minority autonomous counties, is one of the earlier development of southwest borderland areas in China.

♦ Mt.Cangshan–Mt.Canshang also called Mt. Diancangshan. Mt.Cangshan mountain chain consists of nineteen peaks extend 50km north to south in their column formation like a screen. The highest peak is 4122 meters above sea level (Malong peak), lowest altitude of 1360 meters (interchange of Yangbi River and Xier River), and there are 7 peaks that over 4000 meters.


In Dali, if you want to take a few chic small gift home, you can buy in Dali Ancient Town or Xiaguan where there are handicrafts like the “scholar’s four jewels” that made of natural marble, flowerpots, vases, lamps and lanterns, etc.
Rich national characteristics of the Bai batik and tie-dye are everyone's favorite handicrafts, and can be seen everywhere in the Dali ancient city and Xiaguan; Dali prefecture Dengchuan dairy fan is very famous, and it is available at many local shop and market; Xiaguan Tuo tea, shape like a mushroom cap, and it is not revert even you keep it for long time and it is available at many local stores; Dali snow pear, native to eastern Erhai lake, and it is white and delicious.
Huguo Road (Foreigners Street) is the must visit place where there are the concentration of various fabrics, crafts and Yunnan and Tibet ethnic minority local specialty. If you visit in numerous stores you will discover serendipity. There is a village near Butterfly spring called Zhoucheng, and you can take mini bus there from Dali or Xiaguan. The every villager here almost has their own special dye cloth or small workshops, might as well go and see. The price of batik can be appropriately negotiated. Local seal carving is also very good to buy.


Dali Airport
♦ Address: The junction of Fengyi Township and Haidong Village, at the north bank of Erhai Lake
♦ Official website: http://dl.ynairport.com/
♦ Tel: (0872)2428915
Dali airport is located in the The junction of Fengyi Township and Haidong Village, at the north bank of Erhai Lake and it is 12 km from Dali downtown. There are flights to Kunming, Xishuangbanna, Tengchong airport, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and other places.

From Dali to Kunming there are daily flights and duration is about 40 minutes; from Dali to Xishuangbanna, daily flights, sailing time is about 50 minutes. There is one flight from Dali to Guangzhou depart on every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, and the departure time is 12:40, about 3 hours, stopping in Kunming. And every day there are flights from Dali to Beijing, stopping in Kunming, the total distance about 5 hours.

Dali Railway Station
♦ Address: 261 Weishan Road, Dali city, Province
♦ Tel: (0872)3146161
♦ How to get: there are buses No.1 5, 8, 10 and 21 that can reach Dali Railway Station.
Dali Railway Station was built in 1999. It is the terminal of Guangda railway (Guangtong to Dali), 213 km from the Guangtong station. It belongs to the jurisdiction of the Kunming railway administration, currently is a first-class station. There are 4 trains to Kunming of the railway station every day; the distance from Dali to Kunming is 359 kilometers.

Dali currently has 3 long-distance bus stations and a departure place, and they are: Dali Passenger Bus Station, Xiaguan Passenger Bus Station, Dayun Bus Station and the Dali Passenger Bus Station ancient town departure place. Dali Passenger Bus Station is the largest one. The long distance bus passenger stations in Dali. There are buses to Kunming, Lijiang, Liuku in the province, at the same time also there are coaches for other provinces.

Xiaguan Passenger Bus Station is located in Jianshe road Xiaguan town. This bus station mainly operates coaches to suburban counties of Dali and Kunming, Lijiang, Shangri-la, Liuku, Tengchong, Ruili, and Jinghong. Every half hour a bus from Lijiang, the latest bus departs at half past six in the afternoon, three and a half hours to arrive in Lijiang.
Dayun Bus Station is located in the Jianshe road Xianguan town, beside the Dayun Hotel. The station mainly operates to Dali surrounding suburban counties in the province and Kunming, Lijiang. Dali Passenger Bus Station ancient town departure place is in Dali ancient town; there are buses to Kunming, Lijiang via Xiaguan.

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