Dali City

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This article is about the administrative area in Yunnan (Dali Shi) & its old town (Dali Gucheng).
For its modern district, a city separately known as Dali, see Xiaguan.
For the area formerly known as "Dali City" on Taiwan, see Dali District.
Dali City
大理市
County-level city
Dali City
Wuhua Tower
Wuhua Tower
Locations of Dali City (pink) and Dali Prefecture (yellow) within Yunnan and China
Locations of Dali City (pink) and Dali Prefecture (yellow) within Yunnan and China
Dali City is located in Yunnan
Dali City
Dali City
Location in Yunnan
Coordinates: 25°36′N 100°16′E / 25.600°N 100.267°E / 25.600; 100.267
Country People's Republic of China
Province Yunnan
Autonomous prefecture Dali
Area
 • Total 1,468 km2 (567 sq mi)
Elevation 2,007 m (6,585 ft)
Population
 • Total 652,000
 • Density 440/km2 (1,200/sq mi)
Time zone China Standard (UTC+8)
Postal code 671003
Area code(s) 0872
Website www.dali.gov.cn
Yunnan e-Portal
Dali City
Chinese 大理
Dali Old Town
Dali
Chinese name
Chinese 大理古城
Postal Map Tali
Bai name
Bai Darl·lit
Hani name
Hani Dafli

Dali City, formerly known as Tali, is the county-level seat of the Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture in northwestern Yunnan,

Similar to Carlisle in England, Dali City is not a single city but a county-sized area called a city for administrative purposes. Transportation to "Dali" usually arrives at the modern industrial city called Dali but locally distinguished by its former name Xiaguan. Travelers to and discussion of "Dali", however, usually refers to the old town located about an hour away. The old town is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Yunnan, known for its natural scenery, historical and cultural heritage, and vibrant nightlife.[1]

History[edit]

An early 18th-century French map of Dali
Dali's "Xiaguan Town", the rural county's large industrial settlement and economic, administrative, and transportation center.
Dali Old Town, with Chongshen Pagoda and the Cangshan range

The Dali area was formerly known as Jumie (苴咩, Jūmiē). The old town was the medieval capital of both the Bai kingdom Nanzhao (fl. 8th and 9th centuries) and the Kingdom of Dali (937–1253). That city was razed and its records burnt during its conquest by China's Mongolian Yuan Dynasty. The present old town was organized in the late 14th century under the Hongwu Emperor of the Ming Dynasty. The area became significantly Muslim (Hui) under the Yuan and Ming and was the center of the Panthay Rebellion against the Qing from 1856–1863. It was severely damaged during a massive earthquake in 1925.[2]

Rail and then air transport have permitted the area (particularly Dali Old Town) to become accessible to tourists in the 20th century. It is now one of China's official tourist cities[3] and, along with nearby Lijiang, one of the most popular. To preserve the appeal of the old town, industrial development is restricted to areas such as Xiaguan while building codes mandate new construction the old town and surrounding countryside must conform to the traditional Chinese style, with tiled roofs and brick, plaster, or white-washed walls.

Geography[edit]

Dali City is northwest of the provincial capital, Kunming: about 40 minutes by air or 7 hours by train.

Dali is located on a fertile plateau between the Cangshan Range to the west and Erhai lake to the east. It has traditionally been settled by the Bai and Yi minorities. It is also the capital of the Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture.

Climate[edit]

Tempered by the low latitude and high elevation, Dali has a mild subtropical highland climate (Köppen Cwb), with short, mild, dry winters, and warm, rainy summers. Frost may occur in winter but the days still generally warm up to 15 °C (59 °F) or more. During summer, a majority of the days features some rainfall, and daytime temperatures rise to 24 °C (75 °F). A great majority of the year's rainfall occurs from June to October. The December 2013 also witnessed heavy snowfall. the snowfall turned both the towns (old and new )into snowy city.


Climate data for Dali (1971−2000)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 23.3
(73.9)
23.5
(74.3)
26.2
(79.2)
29.5
(85.1)
31.4
(88.5)
31.6
(88.9)
29.3
(84.7)
28.7
(83.7)
28.8
(83.8)
27.1
(80.8)
24.4
(75.9)
24.5
(76.1)
31.6
(88.9)
Average high °C (°F) 15.3
(59.5)
16.7
(62.1)
19.7
(67.5)
22.5
(72.5)
24.8
(76.6)
25.0
(77)
24.4
(75.9)
24.3
(75.7)
23.3
(73.9)
21.2
(70.2)
18.1
(64.6)
15.8
(60.4)
20.9
(69.7)
Daily mean °C (°F) 8.2
(46.8)
10.2
(50.4)
13.1
(55.6)
15.8
(60.4)
18.7
(65.7)
20.2
(68.4)
19.9
(67.8)
19.2
(66.6)
17.8
(64)
15.4
(59.7)
11.4
(52.5)
8.1
(46.6)
14.8
(58.6)
Average low °C (°F) 2.2
(36)
3.9
(39)
6.7
(44.1)
9.5
(49.1)
13.1
(55.6)
16.4
(61.5)
16.7
(62.1)
15.8
(60.4)
14.4
(57.9)
11.6
(52.9)
6.8
(44.2)
2.8
(37)
10.0
(50.0)
Record low °C (°F) −3.7
(25.3)
−2.6
(27.3)
−2.4
(27.7)
1.0
(33.8)
5.6
(42.1)
8.5
(47.3)
11.8
(53.2)
10.5
(50.9)
6.1
(43)
4.2
(39.6)
0.1
(32.2)
−4.2
(24.4)
−4.2
(24.4)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 20.4
(0.803)
28.1
(1.106)
41.6
(1.638)
24.8
(0.976)
61.9
(2.437)
164.5
(6.476)
185.6
(7.307)
209.1
(8.232)
167.6
(6.598)
96.2
(3.787)
40.7
(1.602)
10.8
(0.425)
1,051.3
(41.387)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 4.0 6.7 8.5 9.9 10.8 17.4 20.0 19.5 17.7 12.8 6.2 2.6 136.1
Source: Weather China

Sites of interest[edit]

South gate of the ancient city of Dali
Night view of the old town
The Three Pagodas of Chong Sheng Temple
Night view of the downtown area
Dali University

Dali is one of Yunnan's most popular tourist destinations. Sights include:

Culture[edit]

Economy[edit]

Much of the local economy now centers around tourism and services catering to travelers.

Historically, Dali was able to control some of the trade between India and China and independently famed for the woodworkers of Xizhou (喜州, Xǐzhōu) and for its high-quality marble, used both for construction and decorative objects. It was so prominent in the latter that the modern Chinese word for marble is literally "Dali stone" (大理石, dàlǐshí).

There is also local tea.[4]

Transportation[edit]

Local transport[edit]

Local transport includes busses, taxis, bicycles, and boats on Erhai Lake. Local busses 4 & 8 provide service from Xiaguan to the old town (1 hr).[5]

Air[edit]

Dali Airport (DLU) is a domestic airport about 13 km (8.1 mi) east of Xiaguan on Weishan or Airport Rd. Taxis run about 60 RMB to Xiaguan or 90 RMB to the old town.[citation needed] It services (as of 2014) Kunming (20 min), Xishuangbanna (25 min), Chongqing (70 min), Chengdu (80 min), Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, and Guiyuan.

Road[edit]

Dali (i.e., Xiaguan) is connected to Kunming and points east by the Hangrui Expressway (G56), which also runs west to Ruili on the Burmese border. The Dali Expressway (G56₁₁) is a spur connecting it with Lijiang. The road to the old town is China National Highway 214, which connects to the expresseway to Lijiang north of the lake. It also runs south from Xiaguan to Menghai near the Burmese border.

Long-distance busses run from the old town's west gate to Kunming (about 4½ hrs), Lijiang, and Shangri-La. Every Monday, service is also available to Shaping for its market.

Long-distance busses run from Xiaguan's stations on Jianshe Road.

Rail[edit]

Dali (i.e., Xiaguan) has rail connections with daily service to Kunming via the Guangtong-Dali Railway and Lijiang via the Dali-Lijiang Railway. Service to Kunming usually consists of one train during the day and two trains running overnight, with sleeper cars. As the railway network expands in Yunnan, train service will become available to Shangri-La County and Ruili.

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Dali Attractions". Travel China Guide. Retrieved 17 December 2014. .
  2. ^ National Geophysical Data Center. "Comments for the Significant Earthquake". Retrieved 31 July 2012. 
  3. ^ Tourism City, CNTA Information Center, 2007 .
  4. ^ Forbes, Andrew ; Henley, David (2011). China's Ancient Tea Horse Road. Chiang Mai: Cognoscenti Books. ASIN: B005DQV7Q2
  5. ^ "Dali Ancient Town" ChinaTour.net Accessed 2014-3-31

External links[edit]