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Dali Ancient City
Dali Ancient City is one of the top listed historical cities in China, located in Yunnan Province and 13 kilometers away from Dali City. With Cangshan Mountain to its west and Erhai Lake to the east, Dali Ancient City is always viewed as one of the most popular attractions both for its historic sites and ambient natural landscapes. It has been attracting large amount of visitors from all over the world every year.
With a long history of 1200 years, Dali Ancient City was once the capital of two ancient kingdoms, namely Nanzhao Kingdom in 738 AD and the later Duan Clan, who named their kingdom the Dali Kingdom and ruled until conquered by the Mongols in the 12th century. And then the city of Dali became an important military outpost for the Mongolians. However, the present Dali Ancient City was rebuilt during Ming Dynasty, surrounded by a protective city wall which is 8 meters high and 6 meters thick with four gates in each direction. Now we can only see the base of these walls, due to years of erosion. The northern and southern city wall towers were rebuilt in 1982, in order to offer visitors a glimpse into the ancient wall’s grandeur. The city layout maintains the Ming and Qing Dynasties and looks like a chessboard, traditionally with five main streets from south to north and eight main streets from east to west.
Since Dali Ancient City was traditionally settled by the Bai and Yi ethnic minority groups, it was built in the traditional Bai ethnic minority style showing a rather distinctive feel for the tourists both from home and abroad. The typical Bai house is featured by a main room, two wing rooms and a wall screening, through which sunlight in the afternoon shines on the wall and reflects into the yard to make the whole yard bright. The decoration is another feature of their houses. In addition, a group of houses with gray-green roof tiles, peculiar workshops, temples, schools and churches with antique flavors are scattered along streets. Dali Ancient City is also noted for its traditional artworks on both sides of the street, particularly the marble and hand woven handicrafts. Tourists may have their favorite ones as souvenirs.
Foreigners’ Street, also called Huguo Road, is famous and popular among both foreigners and Chinese. It is actually a 1000-meter street full with Western-style restaurants and bars. Visitors from all over the world will enjoy lunch under the alfresco sunshine served on a traditional Dali blue and white tie-dyed tablecloth.
Dali Ancient City will offer tourists not only temples and architectures of 1000 years old, beautiful souvenirs of marble or woven handicrafts, but also stunning scenery nearby Cangshan Mountain and Erhai Lake.