Dali Ancient City is the one of the most attractive destinations in Yunnan Province, boasting its historical sites, ancient architectural buildings, old temples, local crafts and the Foreign Streets. Its history can dated back to the early Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and was once the capital of two ancient kingdoms. Located 13 km. (8 mi.) away from Dali City, it is nestling between the Cangshan Mountain to the west and Erhai Lake to the east, being regarded as the national cultural heritage which attracts many tourists from home and abroad.
As a capital in the ancient time, Dali Ancient City was also a gateway to the ancient Silk Road in Southwestern China. It is featured by its magnificent momentum and looks like a grand imperial palace. It is surrounded by ancient protective city walls with high towers placed at each corner. The city wall was originally over 6 km. (4 mi.) in length, 7.5 m. (25 ft.) high and 6 m. (20 ft.) thick, but after so many years vicissitude and some renovation, only the northern and southern city wall towers remains there to offer visitors a glimpse into the ancient wall’s grandeur.
When entering the Ancient City, you are presented with architectural buildings of traditional Bai ethnic style, which give this city a distinct atmosphere. Unlike other Chinese house, the Bai ethnic houses are featured by a main room and two wings with one wall called the Shining Wall facing the main room. When it comes to the sunset, the sunlight shining to the wall will be reflected to the courtyard, leaving a whole yard a bright place. Moreover, the Bai houses also stand out by its unique traditional decoration such as colorful pictures, woodcarvings, marble craft objects and traditionally dyed cloth, which can truly reflect the status of the house owners.
Taking a stroll along the cobble paved streets in the Ancient City, you will surely be fascinated by the elegance of architectural buildings and numerous gardens. There is even a Foreign Streets with western-style restaurants, bars and English-speaking shop owners, which appeals to both foreigners and Chinese. If you come here, you can also have a taste of the local Bai Snacks and there are lots of marble decorative objects, marble art objects and local crafts for sales, which you can buy anyone you want as souvenirs.
The Dali Ancient City is a great place for sightseeing and an enchanting famous ancient heritage. It is also a popular destination for film makers and the best place to savor the beautiful landscape of snow- capped Cangshan Mountain. The entrance fee is free and you can take cars or No. 4 and No. 8 bus to get there directly. If you come to Dali, here is definitely one of your first stop of your tours.