Located northwest of the Yunnan Province, Dali is one of China's ancient and historical cities and the economic and cultural center of the Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture. Here you will find 25 ethnic minorities, which have created a unique cultural heritage amidst the area's picturesque surroundings.
Dali is beautiful and charming with the lofty Mount Cangshan as its magnificent decorative screen and the Crystal Erhai Lake a vast mirror. Numerous historic and scenic spots are scattered about the green mountains and around the lake. Each of it is connected with historical events or beautiful legends.
Dali is a place inhabited most by Bai people. Bai nationality's architecture is characterized with its simple and classic elegance as well as delicate carvings. Most houses have courtyards with natural running water and bonsai (the art of growing dwarfed, ornamentally shaped trees or shrubs in small, shallow pots) on display. The Bai women dress themselves in colorful and well-matched costumes. Various traditional festivals are celebrated each year with rich and exciting activities.
Dali has a long history. As early as 4,000 years ago, the ancestors of the Bai people settled in the Dali area. In the Second Century AD, it was brought into the territory of the central government of Han Dynasty (206 BC-220AD). Two ethnic states, the Nanzhao State (738-937) in Tang Dynasty (618-907), and the Dali State (937-1253) in Song Dynasty (960-1279), were once established here as well. Throughout the ages, Dali remained an intermediary area linking economic and cultural communications between ancient China and other countries via India. The remains of Dali Tai He City and the Dali Ancient City bear witness to thousands of years of historic changes in Dali. Together with the Xizhou Town and the Zhoucheng Village, the ancient towns in Dali show the best of historic customs of daily life within the Bai Minority.
Tourists are usually fascinated by the town's enchanting scenic spots in Dali, in Southwest China's Yunnan Province, Mount Cangshan, Erhai Lake, Butterfly Spring and Dali's well-preserved ancient architecture such as the Three Pagodas and the Chongsheng Temple are always on the tour itinerary. But they may also be deeply impresses by the folk artifacts-and the craftsmen and women who create them.
Throughout its years of development, local endeavors for advancement have been rewarded with a great rise in area living standards. At present, it turns out more than 1,500 kinds of industrial products, such as Dali marble, compressed tea lumps, marble inlaid furniture, straw weaving, and tie-dye cloth which are world famous. It is called "the land of fish and rice of western Yunnan." Nowadays, Dali is a tourist destination replete with every convenience in transportation and public facilities, making it accessible for visitors from home and abroad.