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3 Days Dali Highlights Tour with Bai Culture Experience

Stories between Cangshan Mountain and Erhai Lake


Dali can be called a "miraculous land" in Yunnan Province where travelers can both enjoy breathtaking mountain & lake scenery, Nanzhao Kingdom ancient history, interesting and unique Bai culture...All are in and around Dali Old Town, the ancient capital of Nanzhao Kingdom and Dali Kingdom with Cangshan Mountain to the west and Erhai Lake to the east. I have never seen a place as so harmonious as Dali, just like a paradise most suitable for people live in and travel. In this 3 days' trip, you can experience the essence of Dali - all highlighted attractions and featured activities, as well as get under the skin to learn more about Bai people's culture.

Highlights of this tour

  • Take cableway up to Cangshan Mountain to appreciate its peaceful scenery;
  • Cruise on Erhai Lake and be marveled at its intriguing lake view;
  • Stroll leisurely to explore this time-honored Dali Old Town and feel the bustling life in Foreigner Street;
  • Visit Xizhou Ancient Town to immerse in Bai people's daily life and enjoy Three-Course Tea ceremony;
  • Observe or even follow local Bai people to learn how to make tie-dye works.

Basic Trip Information

from Request
  1. 1. This price is for one person, based on a group of 2 adults sharing one double-bed room in 4-star hotel and traveling in low seasons;
  2. 2. This price is subject to change according your traveling season, group size, hotel class, change of activities and possible fluctuation of currency exchange rate.
Travel Route:
Travel Length:
3 Days & 2 Nights
Tour Code:
Group Size:
You, your family, friends or group
Any day you want

Full Itinerary Day by day (Can Be Customized)

Day 1 Dali Arrival

Welcome to Dali, the Kingdom of Bai ethnic group! Upon arrival, your private tour guide and driver will meet you at airport / train station in Dali New City (Xiaguan in Chinese) and escort you to your hotel which is usually located in Dali Old Town, a stunning place sandwiched between Cang Mountain and Erhai Lake! After check-in, you are free to explore this old city which is famous in Chinese literature.

Arrival Ideas: Dali Airport has flights to Kunming, Jinghong, Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Chongqing, Guiyang and more cities. While, Dali Railway Station has normal trains linking with Kunming (about 8.5 hours) and Lijiang (about 2 hours).

Dali Old Town
Day 2 Dali Old Town (B, L)

After breakfast, you’ll first take a visit to Cangshan Mountain, the national geological park in China with 48 km from north to south and 18 km from west to east, just like a painted screen hanging magnificently around the elegant Erhai Lake. You’ll explore the essence of Cangshan Mountain by taking Gantong Cableway up and enjoy a walk around Qingbi Stream, Jade Cloud Road and Gantong Temple. It is a very relaxing way to enjoy the breathtaking scenery of Cangshan Mountain at the halfway. (Note: when the azalea blossom in spring, it is recommended to take Ximatan Cableway up to the highest point of Cang Mountain to enjoy changeable and breathtaking scenery.)

Later, transfer to the symbol of Dali - Three Pagodas and Chongsheng Temple. Built in 10th century in Nanzhao Kingdom, Three Pagodas is made of one big pagoda and two small pagodas forming a symmetric triangle. If you look at it from a distance, the pagodas are like three giant ballpoint pens breaking up the landscape of the never-ending mountains. Here, you’ll get close to look at the pagodas to know more history and stories, visit the royal temple in Dali - Chongsheng Temple, take awesome photos of Three Pagodas and the reflections…

Afterwards, be followed a trip to explore Dali Old Town. Used to be the ancient capital of Nanzhao and Dali Kingdoms, Dali Old Town is formed the square-shaped structure, laid out on a typical north-south, east-west axis with five north-south and eight east-west streets. Wander leisurely through the elegant streets with weeping willows dancing and colorful flowers blooming in the sunshine, if you like have a cup of coffee when visiting the famous Foreigner Street, visit the bustling shops selling Yunnan specialties, get on the city wall or gate tower for a bird’s eye view of the large old town area. You will feel like going back to old times.

Three PagodasCangshan Mountain with Mist and Clouds
Day 3 Dali Old Town / Xizhou Ancient Town / Dali Departure (B, L)

After breakfast, you’ll be driven 18 kilometers to Xizhou Ancient Town, an authentic old town where local Bai people really live and work. Walk into the “the Museum of Bai Architecture” and appreciate the exquisite residential complexes decorated fabulous sculptures, paintings, pointed eaves and wall screens. Taste Bai’s Three-Course Tea and experience the tea ceremony. Set eyes on the local morning market - a place for local people trading daily supplies, including fresh vegetable, fruits, meats, and many kinds of food and daily necessities. It is a great opportunity for getting close to local living conditions.

Then, transfer to “Hometown of Bai People’s Tie-dye Art” for an appreciation of Tie-dye. Tie-dye is a typical feature to present the Bai’s excellent handcraft with various colors and elegant designs. You’ll visit local Indigo workshop in Zhoucheng and know the way of making. (Optional experience: If you are interested, you can follow the local Bai people to learn some traditional skills of how to knot and view your works to be dyed into different colors with beautiful designs. This whole experience takes about 1.5 hours.)

Later, it will be a relaxing boat trip on the vast Erhai Lake (Ear-shaped Sea) with crystal clear water and charming landscape. On Erhai Lake cruise, you’ll enjoy the green Cangshan Mountain and Three Pagodas from afar as well as lots of birds and seagulls flying over the lake. Enjoy an excursion to one of the famous islands for an in-depth look at the peaceful Bai fishing village and other sites on island.

After the tour, you are free until be escorted to airport/ railway station for your flight or train to next destination.

Erhai LakeZhoucheng Tie-dye

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