Dali Ancient Town Travel Guide
Dali Ancient Town, also called Yeyu City, Forbidden City, Zhonghezhen, lies 3 kilometers north from Xiaguan, the capital of Dali Prefecture. It is located at the foot of the Cangshan Mountain and the west side of the Erhai Lake.
Dali old town was set up in 1382 A.D during the Ming Dynasty as the capital of the Dali kingdom. At present, only the south and north gate towers remain standing. There are well-preserved traditional houses of the Bai Ethnic Group people.
The circumference of Dali Ancient Town was 6 kilometers long. The City Wall is 8 meters high and 7 meters thick. The interior of the wall was filled with rocks and the surface was bricked over smoothly. The four gate towers in the east, south, west and north are named Chen En, Tong Hai, Cangshan and An Yuan respectively. There are also 45 battlements and 1560 crenels on the walls. the city is surrounded by a defensive river. The streets and avenues in the city now are crisscrossing each other, typical of chessboard pattern. The buildings are all covered with dark blue tiles and pebble-staked walls. All look very pristine and delicate. The residents all like to plant trees and flowers. There are garden in every house.
In the city, historical relics such as the headquarters of Du Wenxiu, leader of a peasant uprising, and relevant stone steles still remain today. The headquarters is virtually a city within the city of Dali, called the "Forbidden City".
Walking in the city, you can enjoy other historical relics, ancient buildings and rich minority customs, such as the "Foreigners Street", the ancient Yuxi School, tea houses, antique shops, Chinese and Western restaurants.
Take the bus No.2 from Xiaguan and then Take the bus No.4 to reach Dali old town.
Recommended time for a visit: 2 hours.