The City of Dali
Dali City, situated in the west of Yunnan Province, has an area of 28,500 square kilometers and a population of 3 million. Dali Bai Nationality Autonomous Prefecture has one city and 11 counties within its jurisdiction. Its capital is Dali City, which includes Xiaguan city and Dali ancient city.
Dali City is a famous historic cultural city of China, a city of picturesque scenery and once the capital city of both the Nanzhao and Dali regimes in ancient China. With the verdant green spaces of Erhai Lake as its center, Dali constitutes one of the major places of scenic beauty and historic interest of China.
Dali Ancient City is widely acknowledged as a "Backpackers' Paradise" in China. Foreign visitors like to stay in Dali ancient city. Some of them live there for months or even years to observe and study the fascinating culture of the Bai nationality.
Dali used to be a very important stop on one of the routes of the Ancient Tea Horse Road that starts from Xishuangbanna. There were many tea processing plants in Xiaguan producing Tuo Tea, a local specialty. It was from Dali, where the southwestern Silk Road and the Ancient Tea Horse Road join, that Shu brocade from Sichuan and Puer Tea from Yunnan were exported to India and Afghanistan. Since then it has maintained its reputation as the "ancient capital at the crossroads of Asian culture".
Dali Ancient City
The ancient town of Dali was set up in 1383 during the Ming Dynasty. It has a history of more than 600 years. When the city was first established it was entirely enclosed by walls on four sides with a gate on each side. Over the years, the walls on the east and west sides were destroyed. Only the walls on the south and the north remained. In 1983, the local government renovated the wall and the gate tower. On the tower, four Chinese characters strikingly mark the facade: "Literary State". Inside the gate, an old street running from south to north connects the south gate with the north gate.
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