Dali Travel Guide

  • Dali
    Dali
    by Merebin
  • Traditional Bai architecture, Dali
    Traditional Bai architecture, Dali
    by Merebin
  • The Three Pagodas, Dali
    The Three Pagodas, Dali
    by Merebin

Dali Highlights

  • Pro
    Ines28 profile photo

    Ines28 says…

     good and inexpensive food and accomodation 

  • Con
    kpyam2000 profile photo

    kpyam2000 says…

     Not Much To Do 

  • In a nutshell
    raraavis profile photo

    raraavis says…

     A world of a difference from its replacement destination, Lijiang 

Dali Things to Do

  • Visit Chongsheng Temple and the Three...

    The Three Pagodas are pretty much a 'must see' if you visit Dali - the are one of the iconic images of the region. Located approximately 1 kilometer from Dali's Ancient Town, the history of the Pagodas extends back over 1800 years, a time in which they have survived several earthquakes.Once you have walked past the Pagodas, there are a range of...

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  • Shopping in Dali Ancient Town

    The cobbled streets of Dali's Ancient Town are lined with an array of shops in which you can buy just about anything. That said, the area is famous for its silver and marble, as well as Bai minority handicrafts. Bargaining is a must in most shops, as is checking to make sure what you are getting is the genuine article. If a shop allows bargaining,...

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  • If you need a great guide I recommend...

    We recently returned from a trip to Dali. Zhao was our guide and he did a great job. He took us to some great places, was very caring and an excellent guide. You can contact him at gochina@hotmail.com

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  • Dali Museum

    Dali Museum is located on the main street that runs north-south through the old town, just inside from the South Gate. It was originally the mansion of the Qing governor and later served as the headquarters of Du Wen Xiu, leader of the Muslim Uprising of 1856. Inside are Buddhist figurines from the Nanzhao Kingdom, statues of serving girls and an...

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  • Views from Zhonghe Shan

    These are the views over Dali from Zhonghe Shan in the Cangshan Mountain range. You can see everything in the old town itself such as the walls, gates and reservoirs, the three pagodas and Chongsheng Temple and Er Hai Lake.

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  • Zhonghe Temple

    This temple lies on Zhonghe Shan which is a mountain peak in the Cangshan Mountain range, to the west of the old town. It was originally built in the Ming dynasty and serves both Taoists and Buddhists. I was virtually the only visitor at the temple so it's a nice peaceful spot and the views over the town are superb.Take the chairlift if you don't...

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Dali Hotels

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Dali Restaurants

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  • Sometimes you just need cake!

    Sometimes you just need cake - and when you do, Bakery 88 is well worth a visit. With a good range of decent coffee and a display cabinet full of cakes, its an easy place to spend a laid back hour or so. Cakes include: tiramisu, cheesecake, raspberry cream cake and lots of other daily specials. The bread is really good too!

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  • Best Coffee in Dali

    I don't know about you, but being a foreigner I love coffee. I also love it when I find a place that serves delicious, Yunnan Coffee. At Tower Cafe, I stumbled upon a great Americano. The owners told me they brew Hani Coffee. You can buy bags of it in the store or check out their website (hanicoffee.com). This company not only has great coffee but...

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  • German Bakery Rules!! Highly Recommended

    The German Bakery 88 in Dali is one of the best bakeries I've come upon in my travels around the world. Karine, the German Baker began selling loaves of bread out of a house equipped with ovens in 2006, and eventually grew into her own place on Bo Ai Lu.Bakery 88 is simple, neat and charming, by far the best breakfast option in Dali. Breads are...

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Dali Nightlife

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  • Foreigners Street

    You won't go short of any nightlife in Dali. The main area of bars, cafes and restaurants isn't that large and is located on or around Huguo Lu, which is more commonly known as "Foreigner's Street". There is a small courtyard off this street which features some mock wooden-style buildings, such as the Sakura Cafe, where there is the odd disco and...

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  • Old City Restaurants and Bars

    When night falls, the most fun thing is to just sit outside a little restaurant or bar and watch the life go by you in the Old City. I wouldn't call it a lively nightlife, but it certainly has pizzazz and an odd cast of characters.

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  • Taking a Walk

    The city gate of Dali in the night looks very different from the day. There are four gates of four directions.

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Dali Transportation

  • Yunnan Transport

    There is a comprehensive list of time-tables and schedules for the whole of Yunnan, but also Dali in particular, at http://www.yunnanexplorer.com/transport/That site gives you a number of maps with detailed locations of bus and train stations and photos of the time-tables posted at these stations. Great if you want to find out a bit how frequently...

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  • From the new Dali bus station to old...

    Even though we arrived in Dali with my Mandarin speaking son, the taxi drivers seems united in asking for a taxi fare about three times the amount indicated in the guide books to take us from new Dali to old Dali. My son who had visited Dali previously and thought that even the guide book price was high, was not going to accept this special price,...

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  • From the new Dali bus station to old...

    Even though we arrived in Dali with my Mandarin speaking son, the taxi drivers seems united in asking for a taxi fare about three times the amount indicated in the guide books to take us from new Dali to old Dali. My son who had visited Dali previously and thought that even the guide book price was high, was not going to accept this special price,...

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Dali Shopping

See all 9 Shopping in Dali
  • Kids clothes

    In Dali old town you will find tons of shops selling handicrafts, clothes, any sort of bracelet or necklace.Actually the only thing a bit hard to find are postcards you'll find them just in the post office or in a travel agency of old town, at least I did not find them anywhere else. The only thing that really caught my attention were kid's...

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  • Tie dye

    Street vendors Dali is the home of Bai people. And Bai people are the very skilled tied dye makers. They produce these amazing tied dye in variety of colours and patterns. Even if you don't buy, it is fun just to look at. The tie dyes are made into different products for sale too. varies

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  • Bai embroidery

    On the street Bai people are so artistic. They make these amazing embroidery and sell them as souvenirs. They are so exotic to me! But don't forget to haggle with them. Don't forget this is China! varies... depending on what you buy

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Dali Local Customs

  • Dali Festivals

    Ever wondered when all these festivals are happening in Dali and around Yunnan?On YunnanExplorer.com you can find an accurate festival calendar that will give you the western dates for all the festivals in the coming year together with quite a bit of information on some of the events.

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  • The Bai

    The main inhabitants of the region in and around Dali are the Bai, who number about 1.5 million. In Dali they make up 65% of the population and the best place to go and witness their daily activities is in the market that lies in a street straight outside the West Gate. The Bai people favour white clothes and decorations. White in Chinese is...

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  • Vida en el Campo / Farmers

    La vida de la gente que trabaja el campo no es fácil ya que los métodos de producción que utilizan son los tradicionales , con muy poca ayuda de las máquinas y son las mujeres la que en su mayoría lo trabajan El terreno es del estado , pero asignan a las familias , dependiendo del número de miembros , ciertas zonas donde se puede sembrar En el...

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Dali Warnings and Dangers

  • Do you want to play with me ?

    I got hustled.I was walking around killing time up near a bus station waiting for the bus to take me to Lijiang. A girl comes up and asks would I like to play with her. 21, slim, not bad looking. Why not, I thought. She brings me up into an apartment building with a barely furnished room. Her English is not bad. she talks all the time. She is slow...

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  • Ignore them!

    When I was in Dali, I saw many Bai ladies who tried to ask me to buy the handcrafts that they were selling. They held a few in their hands. If I didn't want what they were holding, they asked me to follow them to their shops. Once I started talking to them, they followed me wherever I went eventhough I told them I didn't want anything. I was...

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  • Taoist Rituals

    In the Taoist Temple we were approached by an English speaking taoist (monk? Priest?) He showed us around and invited us to some rituals. Based on our horoscopes we were a good match - no news after 25 years of marriage. Our daughter would succeed in her studies and our son would become wealthy. We expected to pay, but he insisted at 300 yuan,...

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Dali Tourist Traps

  • luciano's Profile Photo

    by luciano Updated Apr 17, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Three Pagodas are near Dali (30 min. on foot) and they are truly old and venerable. Anyway, the information I had is that it is not worth the 20 yuan entrance fee. I came to take a look, and the kitschy gate convinced me to follow the advice.

    Fun Alternatives: The alternative is to walk into the town along the wall encircling the complex. There is a part where you are very near to the pagodas, and you can take a good look at them and take pictures too.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel

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Dali Off The Beaten Path

  • Hongsheng Temple

    Hongsheng Temple lies about 500 meters outside the west wall of the old town and features a 16-storey 44m high pagoda that is in the same style as its more famous cousin at the Three Pagodas further down the road. The temple buildings are not in a good state and in fact the whole area was closed off but I sneaked in under the post barrier and took...

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  • Fields

    When the bus driving on the road, i took this pic of Dali field. Different from north China. The weather is not very good at that day.

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  • Architecture Style

    This is the special architercture from Dali. Many local people like to paint their house. The beautiful eaves seem have special lucky meaning. Just the harmonious colors show the talent of local people.

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Dali Sports & Outdoors

  • Ines28's Profile Photo
    Me on horseback

    by Ines28 Written Apr 20, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Not everyone would consider this as sports, but for someone as unfit as we are...
    It took us two hours until we reached the Cangshan temple. The path is narrow and sometimes steep, but provides nice views of Dali. It is a peaceful and quiet way to climb the mountain, the only sounds you hear are the horse´s bells and the guide´s commands.
    We paid 100 Yuan for the two of us.

    Related to:
    • Horse Riding
    • Backpacking

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Dali Favorites

See all 16 Favorites in Dali
  • Foreigner street

    Dali old town seems to be widely acknowledged as "Backpackers' Paradise" in China. Foreign visitors like to stay in Dali ancient city. Some backpakers of them live there for months or even years, to observe and study the fascinating culture of Bai nationality. In the so - called " Yangren Street (foreigner's street) " in the heart of ancient city...

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  • Brusselse wafels

    For our Dutch and Belgian friends: Brussels' Waffels!Dali heeft de eerste echte Brusselse Wafels. ' De Hoop' gaat van start in 2008, maar draait al proef. En de wafles vallen in de smaak bij de chinezen. Ze zijn in verhouding duur: 10 Rmb. Maar, zoals Jan zei, 'ik verkoop niet aan alle chinezen, alleen aan de chinezen die het kunnen betalen om hier...

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  • Dali Beers

    Dali has a few choices when it comes to the local brew. I drank them all but have trouble remembering all the names. There's Lan cang and Geng Hua Xue Yue (English name is Rose Love) beer. And then there was some rose flavored beer. It was a little too aromatic for my taste. Anyhoo, they are all worth trying.

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Explore Deeper into Dali
Bike hire
Transportation
Market on the way to chairlift
Things to Do
Zhonghe Shan Chairlift
Things to Do
Chongsheng Temple - Hall of Sakyamuni
Things to Do
Chongsheng Temple - Palace of Eleven-face Kwan-yin
Things to Do
Chongsheng Temple - Palace of Maitreya Bodhisattva
Things to Do
Chongsheng Temple - Hall of the Guardian Kings
Things to Do
Chongsheng Temple - Nanzhao Jianji bell
Things to Do
Chongsheng Temple - Museum
Things to Do
Chongsheng Temple
Things to Do
Three Pagodas
Things to Do
Nice atmosphere
Restaurants
Lovely internet cafe
Restaurants
A river runs through it
Things to Do
Drum Tower
Things to Do
Gates
Things to Do
Church
Things to Do
Fuxing Lu
Things to Do
Courtyard performance
Things to Do
Huguo Lu
Things to Do
Bus to Dali/Lijiang
Transportation
Chongsheng Imágenes / Figures
Things to Do
Chongsheng Guardianes / Gurdians
Things to Do
Chongsheng Depósitos de Agua / Water Vat
Things to Do
Chongsheng Los templos / The temples
Things to Do
Las Tres Pagodas / The Three Pagodas
Things to Do
Comer como Monjes / Eat Like Monks
Restaurants
Lago Oreja / Ear Lake
Things to Do
Chinos / Chinese
Local Customs
Zi Shou Mercado - Market
Things to Do
Xi Zhou Ventanas _ Windows
Things to Do
Xi Zhou Sus patios / The "Patios"
Things to Do
Iglesia Católica /Catholic Church
Things to Do
Un paseo por Dali / A walk in Dali
Things to Do
Cuevanos
Local Customs
Torta de camarones/Srimp cake
Restaurants
Contrastes / Contrast
Transportation
De/From Dali a/to Lijiang
Transportation
Alrededor del Lago Er Hai/ Around the Er Hai Lake
Transportation
Señálalo / Point it
Restaurants
Map of Dali

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