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Erhai Lake nearby Dali - Yunnan province, ChinaVisit Dali Old Town for its traditional architecture, minority cultures and simply to relax. But there is actually much to do and see in Dali City well outside the Old Town. With the beautiful CangShan Mountains and the Erhai Lake in the neighbourhood, it has a perfect natural setting.


Dag 1: Transfer to Dali Old Town

It is unthinkable to travel Yunnan without having seen Dali. Its Old Town is situated in between the Erhai Lake and the CangShan Mountains.
In this module you start in Kunming, but of course we can arrange your transport to Dali from any other city.
The driver picks you up at your hotel in Kunming and brings you with a private car to the train station in Kunming. He helps you to change the reservation into real tickets with reserved seats for the fast train. Be on time, because the train leaves on schedule as well for the 377 kilometers' to Dali. The fast train drives about 200 km per hour.  Depending of the train number (number of stops) the fast train takes 1hour 48min to 2hours 35min the train arrives in Xiaguan, Dali New city. A driver will be waiting for you to drive you in around 40 minutes to your hotel in Dali Old Town. In the afternoon you have enough time to stretch your legs in Dali Old Town.

Day 2: Village tour

Without browsing Dali's surroundings, you actually haven't seen Dali. After breakfast you will be picked up to tour around villages. We will stop at various interesting points, to have time to 'inhale' Dali, for example at the Three Pagodas and farmers fields to see them at work. We visit the daily morning market in Xizhuo, towns, farmers and fishermen villages, and courtyard houses. A Chinese lunch in a village or the famous local dish Xizhuo Baba will refill our energy level. We may join a local Bai performance, walk at the shore of the Erhai Lake with beautiful old temples surrounding it and witness fishermen fishing in the Erhai Lake. In the afternoon we encounter the Bai village Zoucheng with it's intimate market and small scaled Tie-Dye ateliers, locals call it batik.
A local English speaking guide is advisable for this, since it will open many doors. You will be back in your hotel in Dali Old Town around 17.00 p.m.

Day 3: Discover on your own

You have time to do whatever you always wanted to do when visiting Dali....
Dali and it's surroundings have so much to offer that you actually can spend easily a week without getting bored. Take a look at 'Highlights Dali' and our suggestions below:

  • Exploring by bike: tour through farmers and fishermen villages near the Erhai Lake.
  • Bike and boat tour Erhai Lake: the village Wase and it's market, tofu factory and fisherman island with its temple
  • Explore the CangShan mountains: take a cable car up the height of 3,000 meters. Then, you can walk to the next cable car - about 15 km - to go down.

We can assist you with any of our suggestions. Feel free to ask!

Day 4: Travel to Lijiang or your next destination

By private car you drive to Lijiang. We pick you up at your hotel for an 180 kilometers drive, that will take about 2 hours. First we wind through the mountains, then you encounter a wide flat valley in which minerals are harvested. You won't be bored during this trip, since it is impossible to look at all interesting things happening around you. Of course we stop wherever you want. Just before crossing the last mountain, you leave the Bai Prefecture and you slide into the territory of the Naxi minority. Our driver will bring you to your hotel in Lijiang.

  • Or, you can expand your stay in Dali with a two days excursion to the Chicken Foot mountains (LINK) or a two days trip to Guanping, Yunlong and Nuoden.
  • Dali is reachable by plane from Jinghong, Chengdu, and Kunming, or by fast train, bus and car from Kunming.
    In this module we offer you the combination private car - fast train.

Hotels in Dali

We only suggest quality hotels, three to five stars. Here a selection of the hotels we propose for this module.
Would you like to spend the night in another hotel, please let us know, we can offer all hotels of good quality.

Villa Verde

Villa Verde hotel in Dali - Yunnan province, ChinaQuiet Boutique hotel in a Bai village, just 15 car minutes from Dali Ancient Town.
The hotel is surrounded by rice fields and faces Erhai Lake (www.VillaVerdeDali.com)

Villa Verde is located in Xiangyangxi, an authentic Bai village, 70 meter from Erhai Lake. The hotel is set in a peaceful atmosphere with a view on Erhai Lake, CangShan mountains and surrounded by rice fields. The ideal location to explore the area of Dali with her ancient Three Pagodas, Xizhou with the Bai minority market and old courtyard houses, the surroundings of Erhai Lake with the many farmers and fishermen villages. Villa Verde is air-conditioned and elegant rooms vary in style. The cosy lounge with fireplace, bar and small library promises an unforgettable experience. Villa Verde is well known for its friendly hospitality and its excellent cuisine. An extensive breakfast (included) is served in the restaurant or served outside on the Veranda in summer. Bai, Chinese and Western cuisine is available at lunch and dinner.

Landscape Hotel ****

Landspae hotel in Dali - Yunnan province, ChinaYu'er Road, centre Dali Old Town
Located in the centre of Dali Old Town

The four star Landscape Hotel is built in Bai architecture style. The rooms are spacious and equiped with internet (surcharge). Room service is available. You can find a business center, currency exchange, gift shop, massage and sauna in the hotel. The hotel has both a Chinese and a Western restaurant, and a coffee shop.
Tickets for a western breakfast are included.

Dali Garden Bed & Breakfast

Dali Garden Bed & Breakfast - Yunnan province, ChinaIn the centre of a farmers' village
15 car minutes km north of Dali Ancient Town and just 75 meters from the Erhai Lake (www.daligardenbb.com)

One km north of the B&B you will find the ancient town Xizhuo with its Bai morning market and traditional Bai courtyard houses. The nicely decorated guestrooms have modern Western facilities and an attached bathroom with shower. An extensive western breakfast is included.