Dali is located in the northwestern part of Yunnan Province and borders Erhai Lake to the east and the Diancang Mountains to the west. Dali was the capital of the Nanzhao Kingdom during the Tang Dynasty’s and the Dali Kingdom of the Song Dynasty With such a long history and culture, the phrase as it’s known by in China, “the ancient city of flowers and snow,” cannot completely depict the entire picture of Dali, which has a lot to offer tourists.
There are 10 district towns under the jurisdiction of Dali. Dali’s transportation hub and Dali Ancient Town, the area most frequented by visitors, are both located in Xiaguan Town. The Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Temple, Butterfly Spring, and the Erhai Moon are the famous attractions in Dali. The ruins of Nanxun Ancient City also help you to learn more about the history of the city. Cangshan Mountain is home to 18 peaks and 19 streams, the most picturesque being Qingxi River. In the suburbs of Dali, Shuanglang Town has the best view of the lake. Wei Mountain, located west of Dali, is the birthplace of Nanzhao Kingdom 1300 years ago. Wase town is a religious and cultural center on the east coast of the lake. There are also many caves with excellent natural scenery.
If you’re heading to Dali, make sure you have at least 4 days to spare. Attractions in Dali’s Ancient Town, including Foreigner’s Street, take about a full day to visit. Another day can be spent taking the longest cableway in China at Cangshan Mountain. Another two days can be spent cycling around Erhai Lake and the Shuanglang area. If you’re interested in the history of Dali, then the ruins of Lushan and Nanxun Ancient City are also worth spending a couple of days at too. Visitors can also head to the village of Nuodeng to try out Nuodeng ham, which was recently introduced to the country on the popular television show, A Bite of China.
Dali's climate is relatively mild throughout the year, and the temperature difference between the four seasons is not obvious. It is rainy in summer and relatively dry in winter. Spring is the best season for visiting Dali when there is still snow on Cangshan Mountain. Whether you’re going to ancient city of Dali, climbing Cangshan Mountain, or traveling around Erhai Lake, there’s always something to do. In addition, many of the Bai ethnic group’s festivals and events are concentrated around the month of March each year, such as the famous March Street. The festivals are considered to be unique, even in China, so visitors may want to check them out. Summer is the second best time to visit Dali. At that time, visitors can sit inside traditional teahouses and listen to the rain, drink tea, and relax by Erhai Lake.
The accommodations in the ancient city and outside the ancient city have their own advantages. Within the city, there are many places to eat, as well as bars and places to shop. Outside the city, hotels in Dali are relatively cheap and cost-effective. Inside and outside the ancient city, there are scattered more than 100 inn houses, most of which are built with local architectural characteristics in mind. During the Chinese golden week (the first week of October), the prices of hotels in Dali may be up 3 times the normal rate. Prices are also known to increase during the summer.