Dali City in China

Wednesday, 16 November 2022 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General
Reading Time:  5 minutes

The Tree Pagodas © panoramio.com - 江上清风1961/cc-by-3.0

The Tree Pagodas © panoramio.com – 江上清风1961/cc-by-3.0

Dali City is the county-level seat of the Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture in northwestern Yunnan. Dali City is administered through 12 township-level districts, two of which are also commonly referred to as Dali. Xiaguan formerly known as Hsia-kuan, is the modern city centre and usually conflated with Dali City by virtue of being its seat. This town is the destination of most long-distance transportation heading to Dali and is sometimes referred to as Dali New Town to avoid confusion. Dali Town formerly known as Tali, is another division of Dali City, located 10 km (6.2 mi) north of Xiaguan. This town, commonly referred to as Dali Old Town to distinguish it from the city seat in Xiaguan, is usually the Dali referred to in tourist publications. The old town is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Yunnan, known for its natural scenery, historical and cultural heritage, and vibrant nightlife.

The Dali area was formerly known as Xiemie. The old town was the medieval capital of both the Bai kingdom Nanzhao (779-902) and the Kingdom of Dali (937–1253). That city was razed and its records burnt during its conquest by China‘s Mongolian Yuan Dynasty. The present old town was organized in the late 14th century under the Hongwu Emperor of the Ming Dynasty. The area became significantly Muslim (Hui) under the Yuan and Ming and was the center of the Panthay Rebellion against the Qing from 1856–1863. It was severely damaged during a massive earthquake in 1925. Rail and then air transport have permitted the area (particularly Dali Old Town) to become accessible to tourists in the 20th century. It is now one of China’s official tourist cities and, along with nearby Lijiang, one of the most popular towns. In order to preserve the appeal of the old town, industrial development is restricted to newer townships such as Xiaguan. Building codes mandate that new construction in the old town and surrounding countryside must conform to the traditional Chinese style, with tiled roofs and bricks, plaster, or white-washed walls.

Night view of the old town © chensiyuan/cc-by-sa-4.0 Old town © Brücke-Osteuropa Old town © Brücke-Osteuropa Old town © Brücke-Osteuropa Old town © Brücke-Osteuropa Old town © Brücke-Osteuropa Old town © Brücke-Osteuropa Old town © Brücke-Osteuropa Old town © Brücke-Osteuropa Old town © Brücke-Osteuropa Old town - Antique Street © Brian Dell Old town © panoramio.com - Ma Martin/cc-by-sa-3.0 The Tree Pagodas © panoramio.com - 江上清风1961/cc-by-3.0 Tibetan Cafe © panoramio.com - Pavel Špindler/cc-by-3.0 Xiaguan Town © Brücke-Osteuropa © Kcx36/cc-by-sa-4.0 Cityscape of Dali beside Erhai Lake © NeonHD/cc-by-sa-4.0
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The Tree Pagodas © panoramio.com - 江上清风1961/cc-by-3.0
Much of the local economy now revolves around tourism and services catering to travelers. Historically, Dali was able to control some of the trade between India and China and independently famed for the woodworkers of the town of Xizhou and for its high-quality marble, used both for construction and decorative objects. It was so prominent in the latter that the modern Chinese word for marble is literally “Dali stone”. There is also local tea. Dali is one of Yunnan’s most popular tourist destinations. Sights include:

  • Dali Municipal Museum: This centrally located museum houses permanent exhibitions on archaeological findings from the region, on paintings and on Buddhist sculptures.
  • Three Pagodas and Chongsheng Temple
  • Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils film city
  • Xizhou: a historical town famed for its architecture and woodwork
  • Shuang lang: on the east side of the lake, once a small fishing village, now a rather high-class tourist destination, most buildings and businesses having overtaken the village since 2012. The coast is now completely built up by tourism estates.
  • Cang Mountain, west of the Old City and the Three Pagodas
  • Stele in memory of Kublai Khan‘s conquest of Yunnan, erected on top of a large stone tortoise in Sanyue Lane at the foot of the Cang Mountain, west of the Old City.

Read more on Wikivoyage Dali and Wikipedia Dali City (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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