Global Mark :
Ratings by criteria :
Ratings by backpackers :
||7 to 19
: A small village perched at 1900 meters next to Lake Er Lai with some old
houses, impressive gates, walking streets, souvenir shops and banana pancakes
: Once a backpackers retreat, Dali is now connected to the rest of China
with an airport and an highway. This means plenty of Chinese tourists, karaoke
and fast development.
to do : Walk the streets / Trek Kansan mountain (4000m) / Go around Lake
Er Lai / Visit minorities' markets / Ride horses / See cormorant fishing / Learn
Kung Fu / Buy souvenirs / Change clothes / Discuss with minorities' people / Eat
or drink all day / Make new friends
you may not like : The fast change of the town / Being one of the
attractions for the Chinese tourists / The commercialism of the place
long ? From one day (some really don't like it) to a few weeks (some are
crazy about the place)
to reach ? From
Xiaguan, local Bus No4, Y1.2, 30mn, from 6:30 to 20
to stay ?
Get precise info, book online and save money ! >> Hostels
Jim's Guesthouse : Dorm 10 or 15 in 3 bed's nice rooms without bath /
Roof top Sgle without bath but big bed 30 / Sgle with bath 50 / Dble with bath 100 // Go
there for the best quality-price ratio, the nice sanitary with bath tube, the
friendliness of Jim, the half Tibetan- half Hui young owner. / What you may not
like : Having no garden to relax
MCA Guesthouse : Dorm 10Y in 9 to 11 bed's rooms or 15Y in
"luxury" 4 to 6 bed's rooms/ Basic Dble without bath 50Y / Nice Dble
with bath 100 / HW 24 hrs / Bicycle (10Y per day) / Internet (30Y per hr) // Go
there for the swimming pool, the restaurant, the services, the relax atmosphere.
/ What you may not like :
The huge dorm with beds on the floor, being outside the village walls, having to
walk the whole garden to go to the (just acceptable) toilets, the basic (but
No 4 Guesthouse (Yu'an
Garden), a place designed for "Aliens
and overseas Chinese" by the authorities : Dorm 10 in 5 or 6 bed's
rooms or 15 in 3 or 4 beds / Nice Dble without bath 50 / Dble with bath 100 / HW
24 hrs // Go
there for the peaceful garden, the relax atmosphere, the restaurant and to check
if the new toilets & showers are up to the standard of the place.
No5 Guesthouse (Old Dali Four Seasons Inn) : Dorm 10 or 15 in 4 bed's
rooms / Sgle & Dble without bath 30 & 50 / Dble with bath 100 / HW 8 to 23 // Go
there for the nice buildings surrounding a green garden, the relaxed atmosphere,
the ping pong table, the restaurant,... / What you may not like : the common toilets with only half-high partitions, the
not so clean showers,...
worth checking :
Hotel (267 0386), nice buildings in a nice "Chinese style" garden /
Acceptable Dble with bath 60 / Trpl with bath 90 / Nicer Dble 110 / HW 19 to
Hua Hotel (267 8057), near MCA, a new little hotel with very clean rooms (Sgle
without bath 30, Nice Dble with bath 120, HW 24 hrs) but sleepy management and no
common toilets ot shower !
Guesthouse (Dali Red Camellia), an hotel style guesthouse with cheap rooms in the
old winds (Dorm 10Y in 3 beds' room, Basic Sgle 25, Dble with bath 80Y) but bad
toilets & showers and HW from 18 to 20 only !
luxury Jinhua Hotel has dorm in a old wind for 25 in 2 or 3 bed's rooms but the
common toilets & shower are bad, even so they boost 24 hours HW.
to eat ?
western food, stay in your guesthouse or go around Huguo Lu where you'll find
half a dozen restaurants competing for the backpackers favors. For Breakfsat, try Tibetan
Cafe. For Lasagna, try Yunnan Cafe.
For pizza, try Cafe de Jack. For
conversation, try Mr....
cheap and tasty noodles/jiaozi soups (2Y) pass the South Gate, on your right
just after the bridge (from 8 to 17)
Chinese food, check around Yuer Lu.
late dinner, check the night markets and its Mongolian barbecue on the east of
Huguo Lu (from midnight to 6am)
China Telecom gets equipped here, the
cheapest rate seems to be offered by Tim's
Internet Shop (46 Bo Ai Rd, 20Y
per hour) or Internet Coffee (Huguo
Lu, 0.4Y per mn)
Tips : Robbin, Singapore
« Regrettably, I joined a packaged tour for
this part of the trip. Thankfully it was only for a day. Under no circumstances
take up any tour package in china. The food I ate was uniformly bad. The bus
stopped at least 3 times at stupid shops selling stupid jade/silver/stone/ceramic/wood/etc
jewellery/vases/carvings/stuff. Plus half the attractions on the iternary were
basically shops in disguise as well. You will also have to pay extra for seats,
road tolls, and occasional entrance fees.
The only attraction I found interesting was a visit to the Butterfly Springs,
where monarch butterflies once gathered several years ago. The butterflies may
have stopped visiting now, but there's still plenty of butterfly exhibits,
including an enclosed garden where visitors wander among countless butterflies.
You also do not have to pay any extra money.
Skip the boat ride on the lake, the free seats are too sunny, the cheapest
shaded seats cost about RMB30 extra per person, and there's basically nothing to
do for 4 hours. The song and dance performance is okay, but nothing to excited
about. They'll also treat you to 3 cups of tea during the performance, 1st one's
very bitter (watch the expressions of the people around you and laugh :D ). The
2nd tea is sweet with almond bits, strange but nice. The 3rd tea is gingerish.
There's also an evening song and dance performance. This is more interesting
with interesting costumes and dances. However tickets are RMB120, RMB140, RMB180
based on the proximity to the stage.»
Backpacker's Tips : Wang Xiaocong,
« A bookstore featuring an extensive selection of books in foreign languages, especially English, including some Lonely Planet titles (for China and Southeast Asian countries) is now found in both Dali and
Lijiang. It is called Mandarin Books (Wu Hua Shu Yuan). In Dali it is located on Fuxing Road immediately south of Renmin Road.»
Backpacker's Tips : Angus Wong
« China Telecom is down near the market center. You can buy SIM cards there.
The Government Internet center may be cheaper than Tim's but quite busy
because of that. I was in Dali just in May 02. »
Tips : Xander (July 02)
« I'm currently using the internet at Tim's Internet Place. He speaks fluent English (to my relief) and prices dropped to 3Yuan for 30min and 6Yuan for 60min. He also burns digital camera 'memory sticks' onto CDs.
Haven't seen China Telecom yet... »
10 to 15Y per day at various places.
to see / visit ?
: 20Y, 1 hour / Not
worth paying the entrance. Better look at them from the Pagoda Mirror Garden
(2Y), 200m on the left from the main road (big stone sign with red Chinese letters)
: free, 3-4 hours, hard / From
the Three Pagoda or the Cable Car (28Y up, 20Y down or 38Y up & down), take
a nice but strenuous path up and check out the amazing view. The Temple itself
is nothing special, you go for the walk.
Wase market :
free, half a day
day of the month finishing by 0 or 5 e.g. 5th, 10th,... Take a tour from Dali for
20/25Y with a stop in Putuo Island.
Shaping Market :
free, half a day
/ Every Monday from 10 to 14:30. Take a tour or, better, catch a local bus from the main
Dali Museum :
5Y, 1 hour
free, half a day
old town finally not so interesting. Take a local bus.
Tips : Quang-Tuan Luong (Dec 02)
I stayed at the Yuan Garden. The single room was a bit
shabby, but still adequate. To get to the toilets, you have to cross to courtyard, though.
From Xiguan train station, local bus wait left of exit.
Take #12 for Dali. The cormorant fishing trips is staged for tourists (you won't see real working cormorants), but still worth a try. The Shaping market is interesting. If you go with a local bus, you'll be charged Y10 each way, actually more than the Y15 RT charged by the guesthouses, but you'll be able to stay longer when all other tourists are gone. The lake close to the Three Pagodas is enclosed between walls South of the Three Pagodas (an entrance fee is charged).
|| << Discover the charm of
Dali ? Plenty
of travel agencies around town with similar services and prices. They can also
get you bus tickets for buses departing Xiaguan. The first bus to Xiaguan leave
at 6am and you need at least half an hour to reach the bus station. If you have
a bus to catch before 6:45, take a taxi (50Y) or sleep in Xiaguan.
Schedules : From Xiaguan
||7:30 to 15:30
||1 or 2 hrs
Schedules : From Dali
||70 to 110
||6 to 11
||7:30 to 20
||25 to 50
||2.5 to 4
||7:30 to 14
: To Kunming : bus hourly in the morning only
is now a train to Kunming. At the time of writing, it was running only once
every two days (dep 19:50, 8.5 hrs, 85Y hard sleeper). Check !
: Jon, Israel (June 05)
« There is a bus from Dali to Jinghong - a decent sleeper
bus. It goes at noon, at 14:30, and at
19:30. We were told it takes 30 hours, but
it only took 16 hours. However, we stopped
for 8 hours for some reason and therefore it
actually took 24. It cost 140 yuan and we
bought our tickets in old Dali from Michael
Yang's travel service. »
trip from Dali to Lijiang : Minibus / SSSS / R / Y25 / 3.5 hours
nice trip, with plenty of transportations options to choose from. Ours was a
"regular" minibus, a bit bumpy and dirty but there was no movie to
distract us from the view and it arrived on time. We were quite annoyed however
as it stopped at the Southern Bus Station. But most of the buses do so (they are
apparently not allowed to continue) so there is little scope for complain. From
the South Bus Station, the No1 local bus is going north Xin Dajie for 0.6Y.
also Trip from Xishuangbanna to Dali...