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Best things to do in Dali

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Where in the world: Asia  /  China  /  Yunnan  /  Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture  /  Dali

Top 15 things to do in Dali

1. Cangshan Mountain

A prime hiking spot in a biodiverse landscape, Cangshan Mountain boasts 18 peaks, all reaching an elevation of over 3,500 m (11,482.9 ft). Hike from the bottom or take the cable car up the side of the mountain to the popular Cloud Pass trail. A relatively flat, paved path running 12 km (7.4 mi) along the mountains, it offers striking views of Erhai Lake twinkling against the range's highest peak, Malong, some 4,122 m (13,524 ft) high. A temple provides a welcome rest stop, with refreshments and supplies to continue your journey. Look out for the many marble crafts available, extracted from the mountain's rich quarries.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
Tours from $175 › Learn more about Cangshan Mountain

2. Dali Ancient

Walk down cobblestoned streets and admire the ancient architecture of Dali Ancient, a well-preserved and restored urban core guarded by four turreted gates. Traditional Bai houses along old alleys add to the atmosphere of this picturesque area, with the Cang Mountains and Lake Erhai in the background. Observe craftspeople plying their trade, and browse shops and street stalls offering tie-dyed textiles, marble statues, and jade jewelry. Sample local food specialties and great tea in many family-run teahouses or restaurants in the central part of town--once an important gateway to the Silk Road.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
Tours from $140 › Learn more about Dali Ancient

3. Erhai Lake

Enjoy the mountainous vistas of Erhai Lake, sandwiched between the Cang Mountains and Dali City. Take a cruise on the calm waters for great photo ops, or rent a bike to explore the lakeside's array of restaurants and small waterfront towns. As you explore, take a moment to observe the local fishing methods, which involve the use of cormorants trained to capture fish and bring it back to their owners without swallowing or damaging the catch.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
Tours from $140 › Learn more about Erhai Lake

4. Eat Your Way Through Yunnan's Tea & Horse Road, from Dali to Lijiang, 8-day Trip

FROM $2,200
Eat and explore your way through Yunnan’s Tea & Horse Caravan Road, from Dali to Lijiang, plus a unique overnight stay in Tiger Leaping Gorge. Plentiful local meals, cooking classes, market tours, and hot pots galore – the perfect way to explore Yunnan’s diverse culture is through their equally diverse cuisine. Highlights Include: - Visit ancient old-towns and fairytale villages as you discover boutique cafes and the best local cuisine you'll only find with us. - All meals are included, plentiful, and include beer! Enjoy cured meats, fried cheese, hotpots, and dozens of plates every day. - Cycle through Shaxi and the surrounding countryside, stopping at a hidden-away hillside cafe and a unique book store tucked away in an ancient village. - Spend the night in Tiger Leaping Gorge, in your own private villa, with incredible balcony and poolside views. - Explore Lijiang's oldest market before preparing lunch in a private cooking studio with a local Naxi family.
Tours from $2,200 › More about this tour at viator.com ›
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5. Yunnan Shaxi Ancient Town

Cobblestone alleyways and traditional caravanserais form the trademark of Yunnan Shaxi Ancient Town, an important stopover on the ancient Tea Horse Road. The well-preserved urban core of this old trading settlement will transport you back in time, helping you will feel a blend of ancient trade and Buddhism. Walk across the precariously arched, 6 m (20 ft) tall brick and stone footbridge over the Yujin River, and admire its stone-carved turtle head. Climb the 700-year-old Chinese theater stage and expore Square Street, the heart and soul of the town. You can also visit Xingjiao temple, which has three separate sections for Buddhist, Taoist, and Muslim visitors.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
Tours from $205 › Learn more about Yunnan Shaxi Ancient Town

6. Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Temple (Northwest Gate)

Built over a thousand years ago, Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Temple (Northwest Gate) allegedly helped scare off the area's pesky dragons. The surrounding area is well maintained, with lots of greenery and a pond reflecting an image of the pagodas and providing an ideal photo op. There are quite a few steep steps to climb here, so wear comfortable shoes and bring plenty of drinking water.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
Learn more about Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Temple (Northwest Gate)

7. Mt.Cangshan and Erhai Lake Scenic Resort

Admire the scenic vistas of snow-capped mountains enclosing the vast ear-shaped lake of Mt.Cangshan and Erhai Lake Scenic Resort. Ride the cable car surrounded by lush mountains, villages, and the pristine lake reflecting nature. If looking for something more adventurous, hike to the top. The paved walking trails lead through forests of alpine azalea trees, Buddhist temples, and caverns. Find refreshments and snacks at stops along the way. The restaurants in the village on the lake serve delicious local food. Cycle around the pristine lake and discover villages and ancient temples. Rent boats for an even more memorable experience.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
Learn more about Mt.Cangshan and Erhai Lake Scenic Resort

8. Yunnan outdoor adventure trip

FROM $1,857
The "Lost Horizon, "in Shangri-la of James Milton's. It attract a lot hiking lovers to discover this area if you like outdoor sports you cannot miss this tour. Yunnan has a vast territory, magnificent mountains and rivers, and abundant natural resources. It is a very magical land. Welcome to open the adventure tour of Yunnan with us.
Tours from $1,857 › More about this tour at viator.com ›

9. Dali Foreigner Street

Find local products and reminders of home down Dali Foreigner Street, a commercial strip geared towards foreign tourists. Originally known as Huguo Road, the street earned its nickname for the abundance of foreign visitors here at all times, and the services and businesses that have sprung up to meet their tastes and needs. Dotted with tea houses and market stalls selling crafts, clothes, and trinkets with distinctly Bai-style designs, the street offers an easy, if not entirely authentic, route into the local culture. An array of Western-style restaurants offer a few home comforts for travelers who've been on the road for a while.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
Learn more about Dali Foreigner Street

10. Xizhou Town

Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
Tours from $184 › Learn more about Xizhou Town

11. Weibao Mountain

Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
Learn more about Weibao Mountain

12. Essential High Light · Due West

FROM $739
Let's get through tow ethnic minorities which are Bai and Naxi people in this time. Enjoying their local delicious, going to biggest ancient town in south west of China, discovering the history of a strong but short existed ancient kingdom which was called Nanzhao in Shibao mountain, walking through the ancient trading market which is called Shaxi on the old tea horse road, or just bathing in the sunshine at the foot of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain.
Tours from $739 › More about this tour at viator.com ›

14. Da Li Shi Kong Guo Shi Museum

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Learn more about Da Li Shi Kong Guo Shi Museum

15. Private tour to Xizhou old town local market Erhai lake three Pagodas from Dali

FROM $184
Meet guide in the lobby at 8:30 am and transfer to Xizhou old town in this old town you will see the traditional buildings and Ethnic minority Bai people who has their own clothes then you will visit Xizhou market to see locals are doing business, also you will enjoy cruise at Erhai lake , it the second biggest lake in Yunan province which is the Lung of Dali, it’s clear water and with beautiful Mountain in it’s surrounding, after tour we will drop you to city then visit the three Pagodas which is built in Tang dynasty with the history of more than 1800 years, it’s the symbol of Dali. Transfer to hotel in Dali city.
Suggested duration: 8h
Tours from $184 › More about this tour at viator.com ›