Travelled to 32 countries / regions

Written 80 briefs
Visited Dali in 2018-03-01 for 5 days



Asia > China > Dali > Trip Briefs
Submitted on Aug 12, 2018 Trip Brief

A quick overview of the places to see in & around Dali, Yunan, China

Dali is the go-to utopia-like getaway for many Chinese who love to dream - no matter old or young. Many years ago, in the old town you will find a lot of hippies from abroad living in the old town, but with the start of commercialization, they started moving out of the old town and into the villages and mountains near by.

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The Old Town

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  • Classic, must see, also most commercialized (but much less than Lijiang)
  • Best to stay in a bit outside the south gate, if you stay inside the old town it's a more expensive and loud, but the old town is filled with cute inns and hotels
  • Most restaurants, cool cafes are found here. Bar culture is very rich here
  • Walk around the alleys is the best way to get around

Er Hai (Lake)

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  • When I went it was under major cleansing maintenance, it should be over by now
  • Best way to see Er Hai is to rent a scooter and ride around the lake, stop in villages on the way, chat up with the locals fishing. You can do this in 1 day
  • Many people also stay around the lake in Shuanglang, but also Caicun and Xizhou have many beautiful houses, hotels, airbnbs, inns, many with lake view

CangShan (Mountain)

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  • It's the mountain which you can see from old town. You can hike up but do stay on the beaten path here in case you get lost - it's not very developed
  • There are 3 places you can take the cable car, I will write a separate brief on that
  • You can ride the scooter up, but technically you are not allowed to as most scooters in Dali (actually China) are electronic ones, it's not powerful enough to climb so it damages the engine a bit. But we did anyway...Some rental place may give you a fine if they, they can trace where the bike's been with GPS
  • Many people go up Cangshan to visit the Jizhao Nunnery. They offer vegetarian lunch & dinner for very cheap price, I think only 20rmb (~3USD)User submitted photo of Dali
  • The temperature difference is quite large, bring an extra jacket for when you are up in the mountain