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Dali Bai Nationality Autonomous Prefecture has one city and 11 counties within its jurisdiction. Its prefectural capital is Dali City which includes the newer Xiaguan city and Dali ancient city.
There are four scenic areas in the Dali region, including the Cangshan Mountains, Erhai Lake, Butterfly Spring ,and other historic relics (in Dali City), Jizu Mountain (in Bingchuan County), Shibao Mountain (in Jianchuan County) and Weibao Mountain (in Weishan County).
Among those areas, Dali City attracts the largest numbers of Chinese and foreign visitors. 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.
"Yangren Street (foreigner's street) " in the heart of ancient city, is always full of foreign visitors. There are several dozen cafes, western style restaurants, and clothes shops offering services to foreign guests. And it seems that every one of the local Dali Bai people in Yangren Street is a multi linguist.
Dali is noted for its fine marble art pieces and craft objects, with high quality items reasonably priced. Foreigners' Street is a good place to find bargains on marble objects. The marble craft and art objects are noted in China and around the world. The marble often has unusual and intricate patterns such as flowers or stripes like the planet Jupiter. There are many colors including red, yellow, and jade-green, and some of the marble is striped and spotted in a variety of colors. Cangshan mountain marble is beautiful and famous in China. For this reason, the Chinese word for marble is "Dalishi" which literally means “Dali stone.
Foreigners' Street is a good place to find bargains on marble objects. Crafts such as dyed cloth, hats, and the local ethnic clothing are for sale also. To get lower prices, you have to bargain. The initial quoted price to foreigners may often be 4 or 8 times more than the product is worth.
The countryside around Dali Ancient Town is aN ideal place for a biking or hiking tour. Many travelers to Dali choose to have a day or two day cylcing tour around Erhai Lake or to hike up to the Cangshan Mountain or to the nearby Bai Ehtnic Village in Xizhou. Biking and Hiking are two of the best ways to experience the fabulous scenery.
Three Cups of Tea is a traditional tea ceremony conducted by the Bai people to express their best wishes to the tea drinkers. The three cups of tea contain one bitter tea, one sweet tea and one aftertaste tea, lserved one after another. This unique tea-drinking custom communicates that success and happiness often coming after hardship. Travelers to Dali are often greeted by this ceremony.
This is a very old way of dying cloth, which is still used by ethnic people in China's remote regions of Guizhou and Yunnan. In Dali, tourists can witness the ancient and complicated production of batik, and the significant role it plays in the local Bai people's lifestyle.