Dali, A Historically And Culturally
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.