Dali was once an important trading centre located on the meeting point of the Southern Silk Road, Tibetan Highway and the infamous Burma Road. The backdrop of Erhai Lake and jade Green Mountains coupled with the fact that it is inhabited by the colourful Bai and Yi minority groups make Dali one of our favourite towns in China.
The easily explored “old town” has retained a lot of its charm and is still home to old cobbled streets and ancient shop houses. Huguo Lu (aka Foreigner's Street) is a great place for a coffee or drink whilst people watching or just letting the world slowly pass you by - it's also a good place for dinner with many of the small restaurants serving both western and Chinese food. Other attractions include San Ta Si (the Three Pagodas) built around 820, make sure you check out the view to the lake from behind the pagodas and the lively morning markets in the nearby Bai village of Xizhou.
Dali is located at the same altitude (2000m) as Kunming.