Dali, the gateway to Yunnan, is a mystical and idyllic ancient city in the northwest of Yunnan Province. Many people begin their trips here before heading to more remote places like Lijiang, Lake Lugu and Shangrila, or retreat to comforts away the harsh travels.
With a history of one thousand year, Ancient Dali Town is one of the most popular tour destinations for tourists at home and abroad. Unlike any other cities in China, Dali is endowed with the distinct feel by traditional Bai's houses, grand city wall, wonderful scenery and brilliant red camellias.
The Symbol of The City
The Three Pagodas are the symbol of the city. With more than 1,800 years history, Three Pagodas are made of three ancient independent pagodas forming a symmetrical triangle. This is unique in China. Three pagodas are a must see for any tourists who visit Dali.
Costumes of Bai People
'Feng (Wind), Hua (Flower), Xue (Snow), Yue (Moon)', the Chinese phrase used for romantic, are the four outstanding characteristics of Dali scenery. Beautiful Bai women embroidered all of them on their costume. The white fringe on the side of their hat presents the wind. Bai people call the color of Camellia-red as 'Head of Lion' which they like to decorate in front of their hat, on their belt, sleeves and pants. The white tassels on the top of their hat symbolize the snow of the Cangshan Mountains. The crescent moon shaped of the hat symbolizes the moon on the Erhai Lake.
Unique Bai Style Architecture
The famous example is the Yan Family's Big Courtyard in the central part of Xizhou. The house is of the typical Bai design known as "Sanfang Yizhaobi" (a courtyard rooms on three sides and a screen wall on the remaining side) and "Sihe Wutianjing" (one big courtyard with four smaller ones at the four corners of the main one). The house puts great emphasis on designing the front gate of the compound, because it shows the owner economic status and also is the symbol of bringing honor to its ancestor. The doors and windows are engraved with the figures of different birds and flowers. The walls are decorated with wash paintings. Here you will see the unique Bai national characteristics in their painted roofs and pillows, upturned eaves, and "dougong" systems (double bow-shaped brackets on columns supporting upturned eaves).
The Three-Course Tea
The Three-Course Tea of the Bai ethnic minority is a dramatic tea ceremony. This ceremony was originally held by the senior members of a family to express best wishes to juniors when they were going to pursue studies, learn a skill, start a business or get married. Now, to drink Three-Course Tea has become a temporary ceremony when people of the Bai ethnic minority greet guests.
The first course smells a little bitter; the second course is a bit sweet (adding candy and walnut pieces in it); and the third course is memorable (with condiments in it). One will find a flavor of sweet, sour, bitter, and pungent in the tea which reminds the taster of bitter comes first, sweet comes second. Drinking this kind of tea reminds you of the experience of the life.
Recommended Yunnan Tours including Kunming, Dali, Lijiang:
Arrival at Kunming, "the Spring and Flower City", our local guide will meet you and escort you to your hotel.
Today, you will have a city tour to the Stone Forest which is about 90km to the south of Kunming.
After breakfast, take the morning flight to Dali. The sightseeing today in this lovely city includes cruise on Erhai, Xizhou Bai Minority Village, Three Pagodas and the Dali Ancient Town.
In the morning, drive to Lijiang (3-hour drive). Along the way, you will stop by the Heqing County and pay a visit to Heqing Villages.
Visit the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and the Baisha Mural Paintings, the Black Dragon Pool Park and Museum of Naxi Dongba Culture inside the park.
Enjoy your free time before you are transferred back to Kunming by flight.