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4 Days Dali Leisure Vacation for Nature & Culture Savory (in Luxury Boutique Hotel)

Relax at Beautiful Historic Holiday Paradise


This 4 day Dali tour is great to have a relaxing holiday with best savory of Dali nature and culture. In the 4 days, you will not only have meaningful exploration of the famous Dali Old Town for a historical learning of the influential Nanzhao Kingdom period and Shaxi Old Town for a cultural seeking of the famous Tea-Horse Trail, but also, have fun time experiencing the brilliant culture, architecture, arts, and more of Bai ethnic group living in Dali and get close to their authentic life. Of course, you will please your eyes with the jade-like Erhai Lake by cruising around with far admiration of the emerald Cangshan Mountain. For your leisure vacation with special experience, this tour includes the top luxury boutique hotels - “Linden Centre” and “Yundu Shaxi Courtyard” redesigned from local old courtyards for your closer experience of Dali ethnic life as well as advanced comfortable relaxation. Take this tour to start your Dali discovery in leisure!

Highlights of this tour

  • Take the must visit to Dali Old Town for a classic historical savory of the large scaled of local old houses, streets, cultural sites to explore the culture of past Nanzhao Kingdom;
  • Extend to Shaxi Old Town to seek the quiet ancient charm of the famous living trading town on Tea-Horse Trail;
  • Get close to the interesting costumes, architecture, artistic skills, culture, etc. of Dali Bai ethnic people by visiting the featured Xizhou Old Town and Zhoucheng;
  • Enjoy 3 nights’ stay in local top popular boutique hotels (Linden Centre and Yundu Shaxi Courtyard) with delicate traditional decorations, high standard facilities and great service!

Basic Trip Information

from $685
  1. 1. This price is for one person, based on a group of 2 adults sharing one double-bed room in a 4-star hotel and traveling in low seasons;
  2. 2. This price is subject to change according to your traveling season, group size, hotel class, change of activities and possible fluctuation of currency exchange rate.
Travel Route:
Dali / Shaxi
Travel Length:
4 Days & 3 Nights
Tour Code:
Group Size:
You, your family, friends or group
Any day you want

Full Itinerary Day by day

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 the airport / train station in Dali New City (Xiaguan in Chinese). Then, you will be escorted to Linden Centre in Xizhou, which is the top best luxury boutique hotel there, held by an American and renovated from the traditional Yan Family Compound of a local famous businessman. The beautiful countryside sightseeing from the balconies, some interesting cultural activities provided as well as traditional Bai ethnic minority flavor in the rooms and surrounded Xizhou Old Town will let you enjoy a great stay there. After check-in, you are free to explore this old city which is famous in Chinese literature. (Ideals for Fun: There are some free or charged activities provided in Linden Centre for their guests, including the Yan Family Compound visiting, Dongjing Ancient Music & Bai ethnic dance, Xizhou cake cooking, calligraphy learning, etc. Join the activities for enjoyment according to your time arriving in Dali. If you are interested in any activity, please tell your travel expert to book.)

Arrival Ideas: Dali Airport has flights from Kunming, Jinghong, Chengdu, Chongqing, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Xian, Guilin, Guiyang, Nanjing, Wuhan, Changsha, Zhengzhou, Lhasa, Nanning, Nanchang and more cities. Also, you can take a bullet train to Dali Railway Station from Kunming (2 hours), Lijiang (1.5 hours), Guangzhou (10.5-11 hours), Guilin (10 hours), Nanning (6.5-7 hours), Puzhehei (3.5-4 hours), etc. 

Linden Centre Boutique Hotel at Xizhou Old Town Quaint Room of Linden Centre Boutique Hotel
Day 2 Dali (B, L)

After breakfast, your guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel. First, pay a visit 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…

Then, head to the famous Erhai Lake (Ear-shaped Sea), which is reputed as the "Immaculate Jade between Mountains". Normally, there are three ways to explore the lake. You can ride a sightseeing bus(default), enjoy a boat trip or try cycling. Please tell your best pick to your travel consultant before booking the tour, as the final prices will differ by activities you choose.

1) Erhai Lake Sightseeing Bus Tour (about 1 hour CNY 50/pp): There are sightseeing roads built around the lake. On the west bank of the lake, there is also a 27.5-kilometer-long Ecological Corridor with mini sightseeing buses offered. Hop on the mini bus, you will get the placid lake view while moving, with fresh air and gentle wind kissing your face.

2) Erhai Lake Boat Tour (about 2~3 hours from CNY 145/pp): 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.

3) Erhai Lake Cycling Tour (about 2 hours from CNY 50/pp): If your energy permits, you can choose a cycling tour along this picturesque Erhai Lake, which may give you a more exciting experience there than the cruise and bus.

Later, 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 in 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 historic streets with weeping willows dancing and colorful flowers blooming in the sunshine. You will visit the symbolic Wuhua Tower in a drum tower outlook. Continue to find Honglongjing (Red Dragon Well) with lovely view of clear water flow on layers of stone stages between the ancient dwelling houses and modern bars. Walk along Renmin Road to visit those bustling shops selling Yunnan specialties and some interesting items and then encounter the only Christianity church in this Chinese old town to feel the mixture culture there. As you feel the ancient flavor of the old site, stroll to the famous must-visit Foreigner Street to soak in the busy atmosphere along the old path and in those boutique shops and old coffee shops. Enjoy your time roam in this famous old town and feel like going back to the old times.

Dali Old Town Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Monastery Erhai Lake
Day 3 Dali - Shaxi Ancient Town (B, L)

After breakfast, you’ll start your exploration of Xizhou Ancient Town, an authentic old town where local Bai people really live and work. Set eyes on the local morning market - a place for local people in traditional costumes 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. 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 in bitter, sweet and mixed flavors and experience the tea ceremony to enjoy deeper of the artistic culture of Bai ethnic people. Then, visit Yan Family Compound where to appreciate the delicate courtyard houses, screen walls, colorful paintings, and more decorations to learn more about the fine Bai ethnic architecture.

Then, transfer to “Hometown of Bai People’s Tie-dye Art” - Zhoucheng Old Town 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.)

After the tour, be driven about 130 kilometers (about 2.5 hours) to Shaxi Ancient Town, a famous trading town on the Tea-Horse Trail. With a history over 2,400 years, Shaxi is the most authentic old town which is different from Lijiang or Dali old towns. Upon arrival, take a visit to Yujin Bridge from late Ming Dynasty and Xingjiao Temple which is the largest and most typical Acarya temple of Esoteric Buddhism and preserves over 20 pieces of wealthy Buddhism themed frescos. Slower your pace and find more hidden gems!

After the visiting, be escorted to Yundu Shaxi Courtyard for accommodation. This serene boutique hotel transformed from a precious building of over one century old and elegant design is great for your cultural enjoyment and mind releasing. Enjoy a good sleep!

Ancient Stage of Shaxi Ancient Town Xizhou Old Town View Zhoucheng Tie-dye
Day 4 Shaxi Ancient Town - Departure to Dali/Lijiang (B)

After breakfast, continue your discovery of Shaxi Ancient Town and enjoy a leisure walk along the old streets to the lively Sifang Square, the center of trading paved with red sand stone and surrounded by old locust trees for a seek of the traces of the Tea-Horse Trail and imagination of the past stories. The local market in Sideng Sifang Street is the only market well preserved till now along Tea-Horse Road. If you come on Fridays, you can attend the Friday Market running more than 1 kilometer, and local farmers sell daily goods ranging from dried goods, baskets, traditional Chinese medicine, shoes, and vegetables, etc. Looking around, you can see an ancient stage used to perform Dongjing ancient music and other traditional dance.

Later, be transferred by private car back to Dali or to Lijiang (about 97 kilometers, around 2 hours) if you plan to visit Lijiang Old Town and more highlights there. Service ends!

Shaxi Ancient Town Friday Market

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