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Introduction & Highlights

Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture is in the west central part of Yunnan Province at the edge of the magnificent Erhai Lake and near Cangshan Mountain. With its pleasant weather and beautiful natural scenery in the land of great mountains and crystal clear water, Dali Bai is a popular destination for visitors.

With a well developed transportation system Dali is a transportation hub for the western part of the province. From Dali it is easy to travel to Sichuan province, Tibet, India or Vietnam.  

Dali is the ideal place to experience the Bai culture, which is especially pronounced in some old towns like the Xizhou Town and Shuanglang Town.


Dali's most popular attractions include The Dali Ancient City, Cangshan Mountain, Erhai Lake, Butterfly Spring, Shaxi Ancient Town and the Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Temple are the top scenic spots.

Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Temple

Dali Ancient City dates back to the year 1382 at the time of the Ming Dynasty. Standing between Canshan Mountain to the west and Erhai Lake to the east, Dali Ancient City is one of the top attractions in China. Its great city wall, traditional houses of the Bai ethnic minorities and fascinating scenery make it a strong draw for visitors.

the Old Town of Dali

In ancient times Dali Ancient City was a gateway to the Silk Road in Southwest China. It also served as a seat of government and a major military base for Yunnan Province.

Its magnificent city wall is nearly four miles long, 25 feet high and 20 feet thick and it is a wonder to behold. With its traditional Bai houses with their green-gray tile roofs Dali is unique among all cities of China. Walking the cobblestone streets and old houses of the ancient city creates a feeling of being transported through time to a much simpler world of the deep past. Traditional arts and crafts are available for purchase in shops along the ancient streets.

What is known as Cangshan Mountain west of Dali Ancient City and Erhai Lake is actually comprised of 19 peaks and 18 streams. The highest of the peaks is Malong Peak at an elevation of 13,524 feet. In May and June the mountain is carpeted with brilliantly colored flowers, with the bright pink azaleas dominating the show. In the winter the dazzling display of snow on the mountain is as thrilling as the flowers in summer.

Erhai Lake

From March 15 to 21 of the lunar calendar the Third Month Fair, a grand festival of Bai, is held at the foot of Cangshan Mountain in the west of Dali. It is a good time to visit Dali. But Dali is a must-see destination at any time of year.

the Third Month Fair