How to Plan a Trip to Dali
Dali is always on the top destinations list for a Yunnan tour. People are attracted by its quiet and romantic vibe. In this article, you will learn about how to plan a trip to Dali through considering these aspects:
- What Are the Must-Sees?
- How Many Days for a Dali Trip?
- Best Times to Visit Dali
- How to Get to Dali
- Where to Stay in Dali
- Find Your Ideal Dali Trip Here
What Are the Must-Sees?
“Wind, flowers, snow, and the moon” are Dali’s romantic theme. This is also the best summary of Dali’s scenery.
Here we have handpicked Dali’s most popular five attractions suitable for all kinds of visitors.
|Attractions||Typically Visit Time||Recommended ways to visit|
|Erhai Lake||1 day||Biking|
|The Cangshan Mountains||1 day||Cable car + hiking|
|Dali Old Town||Half a day||Strolling|
|Xizhou Town||2 hours||Strolling|
|Shaxi Ancient Town||Half a day||Strolling|
Some local cultural experiences are highly recommended to add into your trip plan, such as learning to make flower cakes and trying Bai tie-dyeing in a traditional Bai village at the foot of Cangshan.
Our recommendations are for your reference. You should make adjustments based on your own interests and preferences. We are happy to create a trip for you according to your requirements.
How Many Days for a Dali Trip
It takes 4 days for a Dali trip that visits the essential attractions and has some cultural experiences. Here is our suggested itinerary:
- Day 1: Dali arrival + Dali Old Town
- Day 2: Cangshan Mountains exploration with tie-dyeing experience
- Day 3: Bike around Erhai Lake with flower cake making
- Day 4: Departure
If that looks good to you, check out more details on 4-Day Dali Dynamic Tour.
Our tours are flexible. The itinerary can be adjusted according to group size, time, budget, interests, and other requirements. Just contact us.
Extending Your Dali Tour
To fully enjoy the landscape of Yunnan, you could extend your trip to Kunming and Lijiang. A week’s journey is recommended — see 7-Day Kunming, Dali, Shaxi, and Lijiang Tour, outlined below:
- Day 1: Kunming arrival + free time
- Day 2: Stone Forest + Dian Lake; transfer to Dali by a bullet train
- Day 3: Dali Old Town + the Three Pagodas + flower cake making
- Day 4: Jianchuan Ancient Town + Shaxi Ancient Town
- Day 5: Transfer to Lijiang; Lijiang Old Town
- Day 6: Dragon Snow Mountain + Baisha Village
- Day 7: Lijiang departure
Contact us if you have any questions or requests. You could also tell us your interests and requirements, and we will create a trip for you.
Best Times to Visit Dali
The best times to visit Dali are from March to May and mid-October to November.
As the saying goes “March in Dali witnesses a superb view”: you will see a beautiful Dali in March and April, when the flowers are in full bloom and there is lots of sunshine and fresh air.
Top Weather Tips:
- Sun protection is important because UV rays in Dali is strong.
- The daily temperature variation is great, especially after the rain. Layered clothing that can be easily carried is advisable.
- Rain mainly falls in July and August. It is likely to spoil views for periods of a few hours.
Check out Dali Weather to discover the best places to go in each season in Lijiang and more top tips.
How to Get to Dali
Dali has an airport and a railway station that connect with other cities in China and Yunnan.
Several domestic cities have direct flights to Dali, such as Beijing (4 hours), Shanghai (4 hours), Guangzhou (3 hours), Chongqing (2 hours), Guiyang (2 hours), and Kunming (1 hour).
Driving and taking a bullet train are the two main ways to get to Dali from other cities in Yunnan.
From Kunming to Dali, it’s a 2 or 2½ hours’ journey by a bullet train.
From Lijiang to Dali, driving is recommended (2½ hours) or a 2 or 2½ hours’ journey by normal train.
From Shangri-La to Dali, driving is the only way (4½ hours).
Where to Stay in Dali
Hotels in the four best places to stay in Dali with convenient locations, regional features, and good reviews are recommended here for your reference:
Dali Old Town — Most Popular Choice
- Luxury and special: The One Resort
- Boutique: Xianju Suhuaying Inn, Gurong Hotel, Dali E-outfitting Boutique Hotel
- Economical: Dali Landscape Hotel
Erhai Lake — Scenic Accommodation
- Luxury and special: Fansu Guanyun Lake View Light Luxury Inn
- Boutique & Economical: Manshan Yise Resort Hotel, Munwood Panorama Resort Hotel
Xizhou Town — Quiet Relaxation
- Luxury and boutique: The Linden Centre, Sky Valley Heritage Boutique Hotel
Shaxi Ancient Town — Stopover between Dali and Lijiang
- Boutique: Shaxi Landscape Hotel, Sunyata Shaxi Hotel, Qing Jing Courtyard
Check out Where to Stay in Dali — 7 Best Boutique Hotels for more details.
Find Your Ideal Dali Tour Here
All our itineraries are customizable. If you have any ideas or requirements, contact us. We will create a trip for you based on your group size, time, budget, interests, preferences, and other requirements.
See our popular Dali tours for inspiration: