With reference to Dali, many people will have an impression of the famous Three Pagodas. It is a popular place for film makers in China. As one capital in the ancient time, it is a historical city famous for its cultural heritage and ancient architectural buildings. Located in the northwest of Yunnan Province, 300 km. (186 mi.) away from Kunming City, it is a settlement of 25 ethnic groups which leave a unique ethnic custom and religion amidst the picturesque natural landscape on this land.
The history of Dali City can be dated back to the Han Dynasty and it is the oldest city in Yunnan. It was an important transportation node connecting China and other southeastern countries and had played an important role in the economical and cultural communication of these countries. Dali became the ancient capital of both the Bai kingdom Naizhao during the 8th and 9th century and the Kingdom of Dali (937-1253), because of which there leaves many historical buildings, palaces on this land today. The most famous one is the Dali Ancient City, which are still well kept as its once glory and is a witness of thousands of years' vicissitude of the old city.
Dali is also featured by its incomparable natural scenic spots, which become perfect decoration of the old land. The main scenic areas in Dali are the Cangshan Mountain and the Erhai Lake, surrounding which there are many other attractive tourists destinations, such as the Butterfly Spring, Three Pagodas, Shaxi Ancient town, Shaping Monday Market and so on. The Canghai Mountain is snow- capped all the year round and Erhai Lake is crescent- shaped, which are two typical landscape in Dali. Moreover, after you have seen all the scenic spots, you can come to Shaping Monday Market to select some unique and precious souvenirs for you families.
Just as I mentioned before, there are many ethnic groups living in Dali City with Bai people taking up most of its population (65%). Different groups has their own custom, lifestyle and culture, which present tourists a colorful mingling of ethnic atmosphere in their daily lives and architectural buildings. If you come here, one sure thing you can't miss is to see the residence of Dai people, which are the most outstanding feature in Dali. The Yan's Compound of Bai Minority in Xizhou, ZhouCheng Tie-dye Family Workshop, Xizhou Ancient Town are three representatives of Dai people's unique architectural style, which enable you to learn more about the lives and cultural of them.
Dali City is a great combination of history and modern elements, composed of not only the Ancient City but also the New Distract (known as Xiaguan). In the New Districts, you can find all kinds of modern architectural buildings, hotels, public squares, and shopping centers, which add great convenience for your tour and enable you to entertain and enjoy yourself. There is even a Foreigner Street where bars, clubs, handicrafts and local culinary delicacies are available, which attract tourists from home and abroad.
Nowadays with the booming society and economy, Dali City was developing quickly in its all aspects and tourism industry has been put on high value by the government. The living standard, transportation and public facilities has improved a lot, which provide more convenience for tourists. If you are traveling in Yunnan, this ancient historical city is definitely one of your destinations.