1. Houses of Bai People in Xizhou
The Bai people are one of the 25 ethnic minorities in the Yunnan province. The town, Xizhou means “happy town.” These houses are evidence and display the Qing Dynasty Bai architecture in China. Visiting this place gives you a better understanding and appreciation of the history of the creative people. This place alone grounds you and reminds you of the importance of culture in the history of China.
2. Ancient City of Dali
There are several historical sites, antique temples and buildings in this city. Very close to this town is the Erhai Lake and the breathtaking Cangshan Mountain. Now listen to this: really old architectural buildings and temples that are as old as 1,000 years can be seen! Mind blown! You will also come across countless beautiful souvenirs. This City was the seat of power to the Kingdom of Nanzhou around 738 AD. Also, the popular Three Pagodas of Dali are just about one kilometer from the Old Town. This leaves you with no excuses, they are too close to be missed.
3. Three Pagodas
The Three Pagodas are well-known in China due to their beauty, size, and antiquity. They have been preserved for a long time with the middle one being more than 1,100 years old (as mentioned above) and it is among the tallest pagodas in China! Pretty cool right? The pagodas are located between the Erhai Lake and Cangshan Mountain. Again, a skip hop and a jump and you are there.
4. Butterfly Spring
Dieser Park (Hudie Quan 蝴蝶泉) befindet sich am Fuße des Cangshan etwa 20 Kilometer nördlich von Dali. Jedes Jahr zur Frühlingszeit (April, Mai) treffen sich hier tausende von Schmetterlingen verschiedenster Gattungen um sich zu paaren. Es ist und bleibt ein faszinierender Anblick.
5. Shaping Mondaymarket
A really popular market among the locals. It is taking place every Monday in Shaping, a small village on the northern riverside of the Erhai; about 19 miles from Dali.
6. Tianlongbabu Filmstudios
Many popular Chinese TV-Series are being shoot here. It is most popular though for soap opera and Martial-Arts-Movies.
7. Hike through Cangshan-mountain-range
Take about half a day off to go on a hike on the Cloudpath in the Cangshan-moutain-range. The mid-level high route is at 2600m above sea level. Geographically the Cangshan is the southernmost foothill of the Himalaya. Another option is to take the cable-car to the Seven-Dragon-Daugthers-Lake (2600m) or to the Horse-Lavation-Lake (3900m). For advanced mountaineers the hike among the 19 peaks of the mountain-range is awarding. You should calculate a night stop, because the whole peaktrail takes about 11 hours.
8. Lake-village Caicun and a boatride on the Erhai
From the idyllic Caicun towards the small Island Xiao Putuo with the Putuo-Temple from the Ming-Dynasty dragonboats take off. Also Haidong at the opposite riverside is worth a visit.
9. Motorbike Tours
If you are seeking a bit of fun and adventure, you need to go on a Dali motorbike tour. And naturally if you are a lover of the enthralling motorbike world, you will find your Dali experience as one of the most memorable ones that will live with you forever. Travelling right from Dali Old Town to the Three Pagodas, Erhai Lake, Cangshan Mountain, Taihe City Nanzhao, and Shaxi Town, your motorbike ride will be packed with exploration, perfect postcard moments and cultural enrichment.
10. Shaxi Town
This gorgeous trading town is also located at the Tea-Horse-Road. A hike from Shaxi to the Shibao-Shan-Caves is also worth the time.
11. Onward journey to Lijiang, Shangri-La and Tibet
Dali is a very good place to get on the road towards Tibet. By motorcycle or jeep it takes about five hours. The journey brings you to places like Lijiang, Shangri-La and Degen.