Dali, A Historically
And Culturally Famous City
a historically and culturally famous city of China,
is renowned for her historical interest. During the
Tang and Song Dynasties, it was the capital of Nanzhao
and Dali Kingdoms, the political, economic and cultural
centre of Yunnan, an important gateway of cultural exchange
and trading with southeastern Asian countries, and an
important pass of the ancient "Silk Route of the South".
It has long enjoyed the reputation of "a land of letters".
Dali is situated in the southwest
of Yunnan and at the intersection of the Yunnan-Burma
Highway and Yunnan-Tibetan Highway. It is 400 km. away
from Kunming and one day's bus ride will bring you to
Dali via Chuxiong Prefecture. Dali municipality covers
an area of 1,457 square km. and is inhabited by 400
thousand people, composed of the Bai, Han, Hui, Yi,
Lisu and other nationalities, among whom the Bai nationality
makes up 64% of the total.
City stands against Cangshan Mountain in the west and
adjoins Erhai Lake in the east, and is embraced by undulating
hills around. The elevation of the city proper is 1,974
metres. Dali is a highland city in low latitudes and
its climate is of subtropical highland monsoon type.
The weather is temperate, the annual mean temperature
being 15 C and rainfall 1,078 mm. The monsoon season
falls on June through October, and there is no marked
seasonal changes in a year. Abundant sunshine makes
the weather warm, but the wind is very strong, so Xiaguan
of Dali is known as "A City of Wind."
As "a land of letters", Dali was the
cradle of the Bai culture. In the long history of the
past, the ancestors of the Bais and the Yis had created
the brilliant Erhai Culture and left numerous illuminating
historical and cultural relics. Within the boundaries
of Dali, there are many ancient pagodas, steles, places
of historical interest and frescoes. The ancient Dali
City is still standing there elegantly and toweringly.
The most outstanding places of interest in Dali are:
the ancient city proper of Dali, the Three Pagodas on
the ruins of Chongshengsi Monastery, Nanzhao Stele,
the Tablet Commemorating Kublai khan's Conquest of Yunnan,
the remains of Taihe City, the Tomb of Du Wenxiu, the
scroll of pictorial history of Nanzhao (Tang Dynasty),
Pictures on Buddhist themes Painted by Zhang Shengwan
of Dali (Song Dynasty), and the Frescoes in Xingjiaosi
Temple of Shaxi (Ming Dynasty). All these are the witnesses
of the brilliant history of this ancient city.
Mountain and Erhai Lake are the best scenic spots in
Dali, which are reputed as the "Snow-covered Cangshan
Mountains and Jade-Green Erhai Lake". Cangshan Mountain
stands erect like a huge screen. Its snowcapped pinnacles
and the streams in between under fleecy clouds make
a beautiful picture. The placid and crystal clear Erhai
Lake comprises the following famous scenic spots: the
Three Islets, the Four Sand Bars, the Five Miniature
Lakes and the Nine Curvatures. The magnificent Three
Pagodas, the Lofty Cangshan Mountain and the Colourful
Butterfly Spring add lustre to what is already beautiful.
The Wind, Flowers, Snows and the Moon make a perfect
natural picture that renders this ancient city even
more attractive. So, people adorn it as "A Corner of
Mother Nature" and "Switzerland in the East."
The folk ways of the minority nationality
are richly colourful. The architectural layout of "Sanfang
Yizhaobi" (a courtyard with rooms on three sides and
a screen wall on the remaining side) and "Sihe Wutiangjing"
(one big courtyard with four smaller ones at the corners
of the main one) of the Bai nationality is elegant yet
unsophisticated. "Every household has a water well and
every family owns a number of potted flowers" are the
tradition and common practice of the Bais. The attire
of the Bai girls are brilliant and graceful, simple
yet harmonious. The national minorities in the Dali
area have many traditional festivals and gatherings,
namely: the Benzhu Festival (worshipping the guardian
saint or the local god of a Bai community), the Flower
Festival, the March Fair, Raosanling Festival, Torchlight
Festival and Lake Tour Festival. Among them, the March
Fair is the most magnificent of all.
today is full of vitality and prosperity in both the
urban and rural areas. With the development in machinery,
electricity, textile, chemicals, papermaking, tea processing,
marble products and so on, it has now become an industrial
base in the west of Yunnan Province. The mainstay in
the economy of the city is the production of cigarettes,
tea, marble articles, clothing, cement and electric
power. The Dali marble, Tuocha (white tea), furniture,
tie-dyed cloth, straw woven hats, and plywood are well
known both at home and abroad. In agriculture, Dali
mainly produces rice, wheat, broadbeans and maize. The
species of rice "Dianyue No. 1" turns out 1,014 kilograms
per mu (1/15 of a hectare) creating the highest record
in China. And one crop of broad beans ranked the first
in our country, yielding 514 kilograms per mu. In recent
years, medicinal and perfuming crops are popularized.
In sum, both in the city and around the countryside,
Dali has become wealthy and prosperous, indeed a land
of "fish and rice" in the west of Yunnan.
tours: We offer flexible
tailor-made Yunnan & Kunming tours to Dali City.
We are always ready to customize a private trip for
you. Just send us an email to get our travel expert
help planning your tour package.
Cloth with Wax
In Hongshengsi Temple
In Memory Of Kublai Khan's Conquest Of Yunnan