Dali City is a county-level city and the seat of the Dali Bai(minority) Autonomous Prefecture, northwestern Yunnan province of Southwest China.
Dali is the ancient capital of both the Bai kingdom Nanzhao, which flourished in the area during the 8th and 9th centuries, and the Kingdom of Dali, which reigned from 937-1253.
The Dali government's urban planning keeps its old and new districts separate. The "new city" is known as Xiaguan and is south of the old city. The old city was built during Ming Dynasty emperor Hongwu's reign (1368–1398). Owing to the distance between them, the old city is still peaceful and quiet. Those coming here for the first time often feel they have entered a time tunnel.
The Erhai Lake is named after its ear-like shape. It is the second largest lake in Yunnan Province.
The lakeshore can be explored by hiking. Highlights include Erhai Lake Park and the Butterfly Springs on the Western bank. Islands on the lake – including Guanyin Ge, Jinsuo Island ("Golden Shuttle Island"), Nanzhao Fengqing Island and Xiaoputuo Island – are also available for visits, via a boat cruise on the lake.
Shaxi is a historical market town in Jianchuan County, Dali Prefecture, Yunnan province. The town is located roughly in between Dali and Lijiang. The Sideng market square of the town of Shaxi was added to the World Monuments Watch List of 100 Most Endangered Sites in 2001.Shaxi started as a trading point for tea and horses during the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907). The prosperity of the town was at its height during the Ming and Qing dynasties (1368–1912). Nearby Shibao mountain contains Buddhist rock carvings and temples of over 1300 years old with, amongst others, images of the bodhisattva Guanyin. The two main ethnic groups of Shaxi are the Bai and Yi people.
Three Pagodas of Chong Sheng Temple
The Three Pagodas of Chong Sheng Temple are an ensemble of three independent pagodas located about 1.5 km (0.93 mi) north of Dali City, Yunnan province. They are at the east foot of the tenth peak of the massive Cangshan Mountains and face the west shore of the Erhai Lake of the ancient Dali town.
The Three Pagodas are made of brick and covered with white mud. As its name implies, the Three Pagodas comprise three independent pagodas forming a symmetric triangle. The elegant, balanced and stately style is unique in China’s ancient Buddhist architectures, which makes it a must-see in the tour of Dali.