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Xizhou Overview

Plan your tour to Xizhou?

Just north of Dali Old Town the cozy town of Xizhou can be found right at the shores of Erhai Lake and the Wanhua Brook. Historically, it was a military fortress of Nanzhao Kingdom and a temporary palace of the King of Nanzhao. 

Where Xizhou Is

Xizhou Town(喜洲镇) is a county in the Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture located in western Yunnan Province, China. Located at only 18 kilometers north of Dali, Xizhou faces Erhai on the east and rests on Cangshan in the west.The whole city covers an area of 165 square kilometers and about 353 kilometers away from Kunming.

‣Basic Information


●Chinese Name:喜洲

●Key Words:Happy Town


●Time Zone:China Standard (UTC+8)

●Annua Mean Temperature:15 ℃

‣Xizhou History

In this area, protected by the lake and the mountain, the Nanzhao and Dali Kingdoms had the capital of their extensive territories. These kingdoms were accomplished in architecture and engineering as can be seen from the still standing Three Pagodas located between Xizhou and Dali and other sites nearby. Later, during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), Xizhou prospered on the southern silk road, and the area’s tea and marble products were traded all over Asia. Bai merchants traveled all over Asia. Through the long era of trade in tea, horses, marble, and other goods between this part of China and Tibet and Burma, Xizhou was an enclave for prosperous merchants, officials, and scholars. Bai families emphasized academics, and during the Ming Dynasty scholars who passed the national examinations were publically honored by having their names written in the public square at the center of town.

‣Xizhou Architecture

Many of the houses are beautifully constructed and decorated and are some of the best examples of traditional Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) architecture in China. But they have a distinctive Bai touch of more decorations including colorful pictures, gardens, more use of marble decorations, upturned eaves, and brighter colors. The wooden structures with their tiled roofs and upturned eaves are somewhat reminiscent traditional Japanese houses. This may be because traditional Japanese architecture was derived from ancient China.

Bai people generally decorate the gate to their gardens and houses. A traditionally styled Bai house has a wall called the “shining wall.” When the sun sets, the sunlight shines on the wall and then reflects into the yard, making the whole yard bright. So the wall is called the "shining wall." There are four big Bai clans named Yan, Dong, Yang and Zhao. Each clan builds and decorates their houses distinctively.

‣What to Visit In Xizhou

●Yan Family Compound in Xizhou Town,Dali:the most representative of Bai-style residences

Xizhou Old Town,Dali:the typical town with Bai's characters

Haishe Park of Erhai Lake

Yan's family

                    Yan's family

Xizhou old town

                     Xizhou old town

Haishe Park

                                   Haishe Park

‣Where to Stay in Xizhou

●Linden Center (喜林苑):a pristine Bai style courtyard manor

●Wawu Hostel(瓦屋客栈):a typical Bai hotel

‣Xizhou Transportation

Get to Xizhou Old Town:

you can take the minicars from Xiaguan to Lijiang along the Yunnan-Tibet Highway, and get off in Xizhou Town. The travel will cost you 5-8 yuan and take you 1 hour. You can go back in the same day if you want.

‣Xizhou Travel Tips

Food in Xizhou Old Town:

Xizhou Cake is the most famous food in Xizhou. It is made of leaven flour, knead with vegetable, and added spring onion, Chinese prickly ash, and salted for a salt taste, or ham, diced meat, pork scraps and brown sugar for a sweet taste. Toast for ten minutes and it is served.

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