Dali in Brief

Dali Scenic Region lies in Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture in the northwest of Yunnan Province that has one municipality and eleven counties under its jurisdiction. The name Dali comes from the Chinese word for marble Dali stone, because for centuries, Dali has produced the best marble in China. In the field of industries, it has placed the development of food industry as its priority industry with the development of mining, building materials, machinery, textile and other industries. In the field of agriculture, paddy rice, wheat, rapeseed, sugar cane and flue-cured tobacco and others are grown in abundance. Tourism is the overwhelmingly dominant industry in the area. With the long history and colorful culture, numerous cultural and historical sites and beautiful natural setting, it has been listed as one of the 24 state-level cultural and historical cities and one of the 44 top tourist attractions in the country.


Geographic Features

Dali is located in the center of Yunnan, the southern end of the Hengduan Range of the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau. It is 46.3 kilometers from east to west and 59.3 kilometers from south to north. It covers an area of 1,457.27 square kilometers. Dali lies at 25o 25-25o 58 N latitude and 99o 58-100o 27 E longitude. It has a unique plateau climate, which is spring like all the year round, being warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The average temperature is 15.1Co. The coldest temperature is 8.7Co in February, and the hottest is 20.1Co in July. The yearly precipitation is 1,100 mm. It is called the"Sweden of the East". It has 230 frost-free days and 136 days of rain. The yearly sunshine time averages 2,276.7 hours. In this favorable climate and environment, animals and plants thrive, especially on the Cangshan Mountains and in Erhai Lake.



Dali has a population of 480,000. It is home of more than 20 ethnic groups, including the Bai, Han, Hui, Yi, Tibetan and Naxi, of whom the Bai accounts for 65 percent. Official Language is Mandarin. Language of Business and Administration is English and Mandarin. But some ethnic nationalities speak their own language. The Bai nationality having lived there for generations is the chief inhabitant. Bright and cheerful in disposition, amiable and easy of approach, the Bai people are very hospitable and conversational. The main religion in Dali is Buddhism.



Primitive humans started to inhabit the area of Erhai Lake since 3,000 years ago. As early as the 2nd century B.C., Dali was on the map of the Kingdom of the Central Plains as Yeyu County. In 738, Pilouge, a chieftain of the Bai Tribe, united the six tribes of the Erhai region with the support of the government of Tang Dynasty, and established the State of Nanzhao, which was destroyed in 902. Duan Siping, also of the Bai Tribe, established the State of Dali in 938. During the 500-year period of Nanzhao and Dali, Dali City was the political, economic and cultural center of Yunnan Province. The Dali area was renamed Taihe County, and this name persisted during the Ming and Qing dynasties (1368-1911), before it was renamed Dali in 1913. In 1983, Dali County and Xiaguan City merged into Dali City.

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