Dali Discovery Guide

Butterflies, relics and backpacking. These and much more await the visitor at Dali City which is located in the Yunnan Province of China.

The ancient city is filled with historic, architectural and cultural treasures. It is unassuming and simple, but it has attractions all its own. Its charms entice thousands of Chinese and foreign tourists every year. Also called the Yucheng City, it sits at the foot of gorgeous Cangshan Mountain. It has the Erhai Lake, Dali Ancient City plus the Butterfly Spring and the three Dali pagodas.

Covering over 28,000 square meters, it is located west of Yunnan Province and has one city and 11 counties. The city was once the capital of the Nanzhao regime.

Erhai Lake is one of China’s seven freshwater lakes and is popular because of its scenic beauty. It is also the Yunnan Province’s second largest lake, next only to Dianchi. Its crystal waters are well framed by the Cangshan Mountain. The lake got its named because it is shaped like a human ear. It has 3 islands, 8 bendings and 4 islets. The waters are clear and you can see all the way to the bottom. It is also dubbed the “scenic gallery” because of its many picturesque vistas. Make sure to go drop by the fishing villages along the lake. The area is home to the Bai people.

The Three Pagodas can be found on the Chongseng Monastery ruins, just a kilometer northwest of Dali, between Erhai Lake and Cangshan Mountain. A popular site, it features the Qianxun Tower, which soars to a height of close to 70 meters. The other two pagodas are to be found 70 meters west of the Qianxun Tower and are both 42 meters high.

The Butterfly Spring is nestled at the foot of Yunnong Peak (Cangshan Mountain). Come early summer or late spring, thousands of butterflies flutter by the pond. The pond’s clear waters reflect the colorful dance of these beautiful creatures, creating a fairylike vision which is just unforgettable. The butterflies come in a host of colors – white, blue, red, yellow and so much more. You can also find butterflies hanging from the big Silktree Albizzia, which gives off a certain fragrance that goes all too well with the magnificent sight of big and small butterflies doing their unique dance. You can also look at rare butterfly species at the Butterfly Museum.

Cangshan Mountain is noted for its beauty and rich diversity in terms of flora. It also is an enthralling combination of Snow, Moon, Wind and Flower – called the four wonders of Dali. It also boasts of 19 snow-covered peaks. Alternate these peaks are small brooks you can take a dip in. The Cangshan Mountain also features the Buddhist Picture Tower, the Nine Dragon Virgin Pool, the Taoxi Zhonghe Temple, the Three Towers of Chongsheng Temple, the Inaction Temple, the Enlightenment Temple and the three pools of Clear Green Temple.



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