City overview
Located northwest of the Yunnan Province, 300 kilo-meters (186 miles) northwest of Kunming, Dali City is the economic and cultural center of the Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture. The area is surrounded by mountains on the east, west, and south, and has the Erhai Lake in its center.
 
General Information
Due to its special location, Dali has a comfortable climate. The four seasons in the city are not obvious and the temperature is always gentle. In the whole year, there will be obvious dry and wet periods.
 
History and Culture
As early as 4,000 years ago, the ancestors of the Bai people settled in the Dali area. In the Second Century AD, it was brought into the territory of the central government of Han Dynasty (206 BC-220AD). Two ethnic states, the Nanzhao State (738-937) in Tang Dynasty (618-907), and the Dali State (937-1253) in Song Dynasty (960-1279), were once established here as well. Throughout the ages, Dali remained an intermediary area linking economic and cultural communications between ancient China and other countries via India. The remains of Dali Tai He City and the Dali Ancient City bear witness to thousands of years of historic changes in Dali. Together with the Xizhou Town and the Zhoucheng Village, the ancient towns in Dali show the best of historic customs of daily life within the Bai Minority.
 
Present day Dali is a city that combines history with modern convenience. It is divided into two areas- the Ancient City and the New District (widely known as Xiaguan). The Ancient City is centered on the ancient city of Dali, first built in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Ancient buildings, city walls and the old city moat are the sites most frequented by visitors. The famous Foreigner Street in the Ancient City attracts visitors with its handicrafts, and local culinary delicacies. Xiaguan, located to the south of the Ancient City, home to the government of the Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture. Here hotels, public squares, and shopping centers add modernity to the otherwise historical city.
 
Transportation and Communication
Throughout its years of development, local endeavors for advancement have been rewarded with a great rise in area living standards. Nowadays, Dali is a tourist destination replete with every convenience in transportation and public facilities, making it accessible for visitors from home and abroad.
 
Dali and Yunnan's capital Kunming are only a 40-minute flight apart. Dali's newly finished administrative district that houses the newly opened Dali International Convention Center is in Longshan District. The Dali government's urban planning keeps its old and new districts separate, so those coming here for the first time often feel they have entered a time tunnel.
2012 China University Ranking
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