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1. Dali Ancient City

the Old Town of Dali
the Old Town of Dali

Dali Ancient City, also known as Yeyu or Purple City, dates back to the Tianbao Period in the Tang Dynasty, with Yangxiemie City (a place near Xisan Tower) as the new capital of Nanzhao Kingdom.

The ancient city was built in the 15th year of the Hongwu Period in the Ming Dynasty (AD 1382). There was a six kilometre long, 8.30-metre-high and 6.7-metre-thick city wall, with four gates in the east, west, south and north separately, each gate has a tower and there is a watchtower at each corner.

The walls were destroyed in the early days after liberation. But, in 1982, the south gate was rebuilt, the "Dali" characters on the south gate are the calligraphy work of Guo Moruo. Walk into the city from the south gate, along the Fuxing Road direct to the north gate, and you will find stores along the bustling streets, selling marbles, tie-dye products and other ethnic handicrafts and jewellery. Some old curtilages retain their looks from the old days, with flowers and trees in the courtyard, birdsong in the air and flowing streams outside the house. It is the scene of "one well for three families, several flower pots for one family.”

Huguo Road, heading east to west in direction, is known as "Foreigner Street.” There are Chinese and Western restaurants, cafes, tea houses and gift shops along the street. Shop signs and advertisements are written in foreign languages, attracting "Laowai" (foreigners) to linger here to experience Chinese charm and unique scenery.

Dali Ancient City was listed into the first batch of 24 historical and cultural cities by the State Council on 8 February 1982.  

2. Xizhou Ancient Town

Xizhou Village
Xizhou Village

Xizhou Town is located to the north of Dali City, west of Cangshan Mountain, east of Erhai Lake. Known as “Dali Town (Li here is another Chinese character)” in the Sui and Tang Dynasties, it was “one of ten faces” during the reign of the Nanzhao Kingdom. Nowadays, it is the hometown of the film "Five Golden Flowers.” It is also one of the famous historical and cultural towns in Yunnan and one of the major homelands for overseas Chinese. A famous Bai ethnic historical and cultural town with a history of more than one thousand years. 

It has been a strategic place as the political, economic and cultural centre for Bai people on the west bank of Erhai Lake since ancient times. It has a long history in business as the cradle for Bai nationality's industrial and commercial development. The famous "Xizhou Group of Commerce" was established in the Guangxu Period of the Qing Dynasty. A lot of capitalists led by "Yan Family, Dong Family, Yin Family and Yang Family" were in this group, along with "eight middle-sized families" and "twelve small-sized families.”

3. Shuanglang Ancient Town

"First Town with Scenery of Cangshan Mountain and Erhai Lake," a famous historical and cultural town in Yunnan. Blue water and sky reflect with mountains, "two islands and two melodies" embrace with the Bai nationality town, creating a beautiful backdrop of man and nature. It is a pleasant town with a saying of "Dali scenery lies in Cangshan Mountain and Erhai Lake, while scenery of Cangshan Mountain and Erhai Lake lies in Shuanglang.”

4. Zhoucheng Village

Zhoucheng is known as the "hometown of Bai tie-dye." It is located 23 km north of Dali Ancient City, 38 km from Xiaguan, on the Yunnan-Tibet Highway. It is the largest natural village in Yunnan, with an area of 4.7 square km, and a population of almost 9,000. The village has 1,500 households of Bai people, making it the largest Bai nationality village in Dali. It is an open Bai custom tourism village.

Zhoucheng is famous not only for its Butterfly Spring. There are still traditional customs of Bai nationality visible today. It is also honoured as the "living fossil of Bai folk customs." Stone roads and springs flow along curved lanes with a sense of primitive simplicity and quietness. White-wall grey-tile houses standing beside lanes are traditional stone-wall civil engineering structure buildings of the Bai nationality, so there is a saying of "Dali has three treasures, stones to build wall that will not fall" to describe this building structure.  

5. Wase Town

Wase, with its ancient name of Luchuan, is located on the east bank of Erhai Lake and east of Dali City, adjacent to Shuanglang Town in the north, Haidong Town is to the south and Jizushan Town, Binchuan County, is to the east.

 It is 42 km from Jizushan and Xiaguan, respectively, 158 km from Lijiang. It faces mountains from three directions, and sea from one direction. Facing Cangshan Mountain to look over Dali Ancient City from a western direction, and Jizushan Mountain to look over Jinding from a eastern direction, it is a beautiful land of plenty on the east bank of Erhai Lake. It is the source place of Bai nationality local culture, with a long history.