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Dali Overview

Design your own private  Dali tour?Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture is located in the central western part of Yunnan Province. It has a territory of 29,459 square kilometers and a population of 3,400,000. Of them the most important nationalities are the Bai, who share the lowlands with the Muslim Hui and the Han Chinese, and the Yi who inhabit with some scattered Miao the uplands.

Where Dali Bai Autonomous Frefecture Is

Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture is situated in the west-central region of Yunnan Province, neighboringChuxiong Yi Autonomous Prefecture in the east, Puer City in the south, Baoshan City and Nujiang Lisu Autonomous Prefecture in the west and Lijiang in the north. The capital city of the province, Kunming is about 338 kilometers (210 miles) from it.        

‣Basic Information


Full Name:Dali Bai Autonomous Frefecture

Chinese Name:大理白族自治州

Area:29,459 square kilometers


Altitude:2,007 m

Time Zone:China Standard (UTC+8)

Annua Mean Temperature:15 ℃

‣Administrative Divisions of Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture

8 counties (Xiangyun, Binchuan, Midu, Yongping, Yunlong, Eryuan, Jianchuan, Heqing); 3 autonomous counties (Yangbi Yi Autonomous County, Nanjian Yi Autonomous County, Weishan Yi and Hui Autonomous County); 1 county-level city   

‣History of Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture

This region is one of the earliest cultural birthplaces of Yunnan. According to archeological discoveries, there are Neolithic Age sites widely spread around Erhai Lake and several other alpine lakes. Early ancestors of the Bai and Yi ethnic minorities were responsible for the creation of the area's civilization. It was during the Han Dynasty (206BC-220AD) that this prefecture was brought into the sphere of regime in Central China.  

‣What to Visit in Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture 

Dali Old Town:one of Yunnan's most popular tourist destinations with historic sites, ancient buildings and temples.

Jizu Mountain:one of the four sacred Buddhist mountains of Chinese Buddhism.

The Three Pagodas and Chongsheng Temple:the symbol of Dali.

Cangshan Mountain:a scenic spot and a good hiking area.

Erhai Lake:reputed as "Pearl of Plateau", the second largest highland lake of Yunnan.

Cangshan Mountain

             Cangshan Mountain 

Jizu Mountain

              Jizu Mountain

Erhai Lake

         Erhai Lake

‣Ethnic Culture in Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture

There are some twenty ethnic minorities now living in the region with the Bai as the largest group, accounting for sixty-five percent of the city's total population. More than 3,500 years ago, ancestors of the Bai created their own culture set at Erhai Lake. Folk oral literature and local ethnic traditions are outstanding features of the so-called 'Erhai Culture'. There are countless legends and myths about the Dragon King, old poems of ethnic favor, music, paintings, residential houses, religions, costumes and festivals. Although influenced by Indian and Chinese culture during Nanzhao and Dali periods, the ethnicity remained strongly unique, surviving today. 

‣Religions in Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture

Dali is regarded as an elysian Buddha land, an area in the southwest where Buddhism was introduced first a long time ago. Buddhism here was a hybrid of different Buddhist sects from India, Central China, and Tibet with local culture. After the middle period of the Nanzhao State, Buddhism became the state religion. 
There are many Buddhist sights in the area that include pagodas, grottoes, temples and Buddhist mountains. Buddhism reached its highest popularity in the city during the reign of Nanzhao and Dali. Nine of the entire twenty-two emperors of Dali State became monks in Chongsheng Temple.

‣Where to Stay in Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture




●The One Resort(古城一号院)

●Regent Hotel(风花雪月大酒店)

●Landscape Hotel(兰林阁酒店)

●Asia Star Hotel(亚星饭店)


●Royal Hotel(中和坊)


‣Transportation in Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture

Dali lies at the junction of the Yunnan-Burma Highway (320 National Highway) and the Yunnan-Tibet Highway (214 National Highway), which connects to other regions of western Yunnan Province. In addition, the Dali-Kunming Freeway has been open. Increasingly modern transportation system makes it easier than ever for people living ere to communicate with the outside world

‣Travel Tips In Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture

Design your own private  Dali tour?

1. A lot of festivals and events of Bai nationality focused on March to April each year, travel at this time you will feel rich ethnic customs. And there is a song: "March in Dali has good scenery", so in the spring, it is suitable whether it is traveling to Dali, or climbing Canshang Mountain, visiting Erhai Lake.
2. If you want to visit Erhai Lake, the ideal way is to go to Erhai pier to take cruise ship in the north side of Xiaguan. Cruise ships usually depart every morning at 8:30, suggest buying the ticket one day in advance.
3. The bus from Kunming to Dali, the terminal is to Xiaguan (Xiguan is the new city zone), not Dali Ancient City. After you go out of the Xiaguan Station you can take bus No.4 to Dali Ancient City directly (about 20 kilometers away from Xiaguan), 40 minutes drive.

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