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General Information: 
Dali Ancient Town dates back to the year 1382 (Ming Dynasty, 1368-1644) and has been among the top listed historical cities of China since 1982. It is an historical place with unique architecture and culture, situated in between beautiful nature as the Cangshan Mountains and the Erhai Lake. At the same time, Dali is one of Yunnan's most visited areas, with all its assets and drawbacks.
Suggested visiting time: 
1 - 2 days, all year round
Dali, Bai Autonomous Prefecture of Yunnan Province
Visit the Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Temple and stroll through the cobble stoned roads along cozy cafes and souvenir shops. Make sure to try some food specialities as Rubing Goat Cheese or Baba, the delicious local bread type. Take a cable car up to the peaks of Cangshan Mountains and join a lake cruise on Erhai. Dali is easily accessible by plane, high speed train and buses.

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About / Why Visit?

Dali is one of the 24 historical and cultural cities in China, nominated by the State Council on February 8, 1982. Its history dates back to the Nanzhao Kingdom in the 8th century. The walled ancient town, with more than 500 years of history  (it can be dated back to the year 1382 of the Ming Dynasty, 1368-1644) was the political, economic and cultural center of Dali. Today, it's the core visiting area with its 'Three Ancients' (Ancient City, Ancient Pagodas and Ancient Steles). Explore the traditional homes and towers from the Bai ethnic minority as well as the Three Pagodas of Chong Sheng Temple. of the 9th century.

The magnificent city wall has an overall length of 6 kilometers. It is 7.5 meters high and 6 meters thick and includes four city gates facing each direction: north, south, east and west. with each one gate tower. Four additiaonal towers were also placed at the four corners of the city wall.

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How to get there?

  • Dali Ancient Town is located 13 kilometers north of Xiaguan, also know as Dali New City, where all the trains and most of the buses go. 
  • Highway: Dali from Kunming, its about 360 km, this highway is used also by the bus lines. From Lijiang, the distance is around 175 km.
  • Airplane: The Dali Airport is located at the south eastern end of Erhai Lake, about 28 km / 30 minutes from the old town. Take a taxi or bus number 7 to get to Dali. Several flights from Kunming to Dali leave every day. Dali Airport is also reachable from Beijing, Shanghai and other metropolitan areas all over China.
  • Railway: Dali Railway Station is located in Xiaguan City. From Kunming you can take the high speed train to Dali, depending on the connection it takes about 2 and 2.5 hours. From the train station to Dali, it takes about 45 minutes (16 km). Take a taxi or bus number 8.
  • Rental car with driver: From Kunming, Dali Old Town is reachable within about 4 hours, depending on the traffic situation, prices can be found hereContact us directly for your personal transportation service and check whether can offer some special rates.


Suggested tours including Dali Old Town

For more inspiration, please visit our tours page.

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More important information

  • Old Town Maintanence Fee: 30 RMB per person, applicable when staying overnight. 
  • Dali Old Town is formed like a rectangle of about 1000 x 2000 meters with five main streets from north to south and eight main streets from east to west and marketplaces neatly arranged within the city.
  • The old town is nestled between Cangshan Mountains to the west and Erhai Lake to the east. The mountains rise up to over 4100 meters and are covered with snow during the winter months. Dali itself is located on an elevation of around 2000 meters.
  • Dali on Wikipedia
  • Dali Area Map