Dali Ancient City of Dali 大理古城

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Ancient City of Dali 大理古城

The Ancient City of Dali is widely known among both foreigners and locals alike for its picturesque scenery and its famous history and culture. With the verdant Erhai Lake at its center, Dali’s scenic spots constitute one of the major points of interest in China. Dali lies 3 kilometers north of Xiaguan, the capital of Dali Prefecture. The city embraces Erhai Lake in the east and the adjoining Cangshan Mountain in the west, and was once the capital city of the ancient Nanzhao and Dali kingdoms.
This ancient city was once a vital communications hub that boasted a dense population and prosperous markets, and as a result, many trade caravans gathered here. On both sides of the city streets there were numerous bustling shops, inns, tea houses and restaurants.Yet another impressive feature of Dali is the city wall. The city wall was 8 metres high and 7 meters thick, with a moat surrounding the city. Rocks filled the inside of the wall and the surface was smoothly bricked over. On the wall there are 45 battlements with 1560 crenels. The circumference of the Ancient City of Dali was 6 kilometers long.
In modern-day Dali, the wall still stands, and streets and avenues in the city crisscross each other, forming a charming pattern that is reminescent of a chessboard. The buildings are all covered with dark blue tiles and cobbled walls, and the residents all like to plant trees and flowers. The famous Dali camellia, azalea, and orchids compete to show their pristine and delicate beauty, blooming against the snow on Cangshan Mountain. 
Dali is known as a “backpacker’s paradise”, attracting many foreign visitors. Some of them live there for months or even years to observe and study the culture of the fascinating Bai people, an ethnic minority group living in Dali. In the heart of the city, the "Yangren Street”, (Foreigner's Street) is always full of foreign visitors since there are dozens of cafes, western style restaurants, and clothing shops offering services to foreign guests. Mostly, the shops sell locally-made handicrafts: Yunnan marble decorations, weaving, embroidery, and tie-dyed clothing in addition to other small souvenirs.
Tips: The ancient city is a pedestrian-only place free of any vehicle disturbances.
Bus Route: No 4, No 8, from Xiaguan.
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