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China: Dali

China: Dali

story by: Inspire Hong Kong & China

At a high elevation in the Yunnan Province, between the Cangshan Mountains and Lake Erhai area, the old city of Dali is home to the Bai people who settled there 3000 years ago. Dali’s countryside, architecture, cool climate and the culture and dress of its people contrast greatly with those of the tropical south. With narrow, cobbled streets and tile-roofed stone buildings, the tiny area is surrounded by walls and entered only by the impressive North or South Gates.

Within the ancient walls of this fascinating lakeside city are courtyards of an old town centre dominated by interesting open market places, and converted into shops, cosy cafes and popular restaurants. Enter through one of the wall’s gates and you step back to an era when horse-drawn carriages were commonplace.

Standing behind Dali are the city’s symbols – the three towering pagodas of San Ta Si, considered the oldest man-made structures in south-western China. Learn about the traditions and customs of the Bai people on visits to nearby townships Xizhou and Zhoucheng.

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