The Past Prosperity of Dali
4-Day Dali and Tea Horse Road Experience Tour
When you heard about Dali for the first time, you might have been attracted by the beautiful scenery of the Cangshan mountains and Erhai Lake. However, the amazing landscape is just one part of the charming Dali. The hardworking and talented Bai people have created an abundant historical and cultural treasure trove in Dali.
In this 4-day Dali tour, you will start from Dali and explore Jiangchuan, Shaxi, and Nuodeng, which are ancient towns on the lost Tea Horse Road. Go beyond the usual tour attractions to find the great things bequeathed by the Bai people’s traditions and history.
Tour 'Wow' Points
Recall the Fading Memories of Caravans in Shaxi Ancient Town
Visit the last remaining market town on the ancient Tea Horse Road — Shaxi. The shining wall, the ancient stage, bridge, and grand courtyard still tell stories about the horse caravans.
Take Part in Traditional Salt and Ham Production
Discover a place of product origin on the ancient Tea Horse Road. Experience making salt, one of the important trade goods, and salt and taste the delicious ham preserved by the local salt.
Relax Yourself in an Old and Peaceful Village
Enjoy a big meal of local ham, then try the wonderful foot bath with a herbal infusion made by the local Bai people, which will relax you ready for sweet dreams in the starry night.
Why Choose Us
Your Wellbeing is Our Priority.
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- Vaccinated guides
- Private Rides
Your Trip is Perfectly Planned.
- Less crowded
- Exclusive Exciting Experiences
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- No cancellation fee (up to 22 days before departure)
- Free changes
Finish Your Booking in as Quick as 1 Day
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98.8% positive customer reviews among 10,000+
Nancy Lee - China Highlights , Professional Guide
I am impressed by Nancy Lee’s professionalism. She has high energy , thoughtful , eloquent and resourceful and execute well in all our requests . She is detailed and highly recommend her excellent service to all who visit Yunnan . To add on, Nancy has excellent skills in photo taking! Driver Tang is very helpful , thoughtful and has a great sense of humour . I enjoyed my Dali , Shaxi trip from 17-20April 23 and will definitely engaged Nancymore
Apr 2023, Beautifoo
Enjoyable and memorable trip
Personally, we are very happy and fortunate to have Nancy been appointed as our dedicated local guide to both, Shaxi and Dali. Nancy is very professional, helpful, resourceful and thoughtful guide which made our ladies’ trip a very enjoyable and memorable. We love ? her.more
Apr 2023, Jane Foo
Unforgettable Yunan trip
We have a wonderful tour guide Ms Nancy Lee who make our trip so memorable. She is so knowledgeable with China History, a great facilitator.and very professional. Nancy is very accommodative and goes all way out to make our trip a fun and interesting. We will also want to express our gratitude to Mr Tang, our driver who is so attentive, makes us laugh and entertain us with great songs and jokes. They looked after us on a five days trip to Shaxi and Dali. We will definitely engage their services again when we are back. Fantastic experience! Highly recommend to use China Highlights.more
Apr 2023, Patricia T
Thanks for the memorable experience! I love Dali!
With Nancy as our tour guide, we really get to see a lot of authentic local attractions and taste local cuisine in Shaxi and Dali. She is knowledgeable and provided good advice. We really appreciate her as our tour guide. The driver Mr Tang is a very safe and patient driver. He has also given us a lot of laughter along the way. Very humorous.more
Apr 2023, Hazel Tan
A great tour of Dali, a beautiful city!
Our China Highlights tour guide, Grace, was very knowledgeable about the local sites, culture, history, and mythology. She was also very helpful in providing information about transportation between the airport and the hotel, and communicating with the hotel staff in Mandarin when we needed help with that. The activities China Highlights arranged were really fun and worthwhile and the car that took us around made it possible to see the key sites but not waste time trying to figure out how to get to the sites by ourselves. A great tour of a beautiful city! We were highly satisfied.more
Jan 2023, Nadav Katz
Stunning nature and beautiful culture
We had a fantastic time traveling with China Highlights to Lijiang, Shaxi and Dali. The dry winter season was perfect without the crowds and with beautiful blue skies most of the time. The first part of the tour we enjoyed with our great guide Lee and for the second part the amazing Daisy took over.more
Dec 2022, Elizabeth H
Dali is Delightful with Nancy
A most delightful 3-day trip to Dali was had this past Golden Week thanks to #ChinaHighlights and our most amazing tour guide Nancy! Nancy was able to navigate and keep our travel group of 16 persons on task with a full itinerary including: Shaxi SiDeng Street, Xinjiao Temple, Erhai Lake cruise, a tour of Xizhou (Bai tie-dying and silk art), a cable car ride to Cangshan Mountain, Three Pagodas, and the Ancient City of Dali. Despite several pre-trip COVID-related challenges that included itinerary changes, we were AGAIN in the best of hands with CH, our driver, Mr. He, and Nancy. Dali was absolutely breathtaking and we were so fortunate to have Nancy leading us on a most memorable journey where we met the people of Dali, enjoyed the local fresh foods, along with the most perfect weather - we couldn’t imagine anyone taking a trip to Dali without Nancy!more
Oct 2022, Erin
Bai-curious in Dali
We had a fantastic time in Dali, our host Alice was very knowledgeable and flexible. She enhanced the good times with her positive and laid back attitude. We learned much about the Bai culture and took part in the torch festival celebration. We had an amazing bike ride round the lake and a memorable trip up the mountain in a cable car. China Highlights and Alice made every part of the tour straightforward and gave us great peace of mind when navigating the COVID rules. We can't wait to visit again in future with family and friends.more
Jul 2022, Michael H
Outstanding days in Dali
We have asked China Highlights to organize our Yunnan vacations. Our experience in Dali was outstanding: the program was good, and our guide Carrie Li was wonderful! She made us feel part of the culture, of the history.more
Jul 2021, Bruno Duarte Alves
A Day in Dali
We only had one day in Dali. Alice with China Highlights made Dali come alive for us. She explained the clothes, houses and history by taking us to the local market and walking us through the streets of Dali. We visited Dali houses, saw an Embroidery School, an Old Antique Market and the fishing village near the lake. She did a great job showing us Dali and yet keeping us away from crowds and tourist attractions.more
Jul 2021, 244pattm
Thank you China Highlights
to the wonderful guides including Peter (Lijiang), Baima (Shangrila) and the all-knowledgeable and effervescent Nancy in Dali. It has been a holiday we will remember forever. Thank you China Highlights- we already look forward to booking our next holiday with you. Best wishes, Jo, Brett, Mia (16 years) and Tom (14 years)more
Jul 2021, joannasQ1065GL
Lovely Time in Dali
Nancy really went above and beyond to let us try delicious foods, experience local culture, teach us about history and art, and adapt the trip to what we wanted! Everywhere we went was worth going to (local market, silk artisans, horse carriage ride, local lunch with a family, etc). I would highly recommend the experience!more
Jul 2021, Amy Vernon
Tour Guide Nancy - amazing!!!
We are finishing our 1.5 day tour with Nancy today, and we are sad to leave her as we head to a new city! She has shown us around her hometown of Dali and it has been such a beautiful experience. Nancy is so friendly, her English is great, and she has been very helpful and flexible. Super sweet woman and we feel so grateful to have had her as our guide, even for just a short time. Nancy did a great job giving us authentic (non-touristy) experiences.more
Jul 2021, acd1520
In my recent visit to China, I had the chance to explore Dali and its surroundings. The city of Dali in the South West of China in Yunnan province is a beautiful place. There is nature in abundance and the interesting culture of the Bai and Yi minority people to discover. The highlights for me were the “Three Pagodas”, and walking on the Cangshan mountain after taking the chair lift. After a long day of sightseeing, the delectable flower pastries of the old town added the sweet finish to my day. While the sights were lovely, what made my visit truly special was my guide Daisy in Dali. She was not only knowledgeable, funny and an absolute pleasure to be with but what really set her apart was her very caring nature. For instance as the weather was pretty cold, she advised to visit the mountain in the afternoon which turned out to be a wise decision; to make for a comfortable drive to Shaaxi which is a longish drive, she bought snacks and by many such acts of caring made the trip a wonderful experience for me. I cannot praise her enough and hope that other travelers to Dali are lucky enough to have Daisy as their guide! I am looking forward to going back to Dali one day and hopefully discover more of it with Daisy again! ---36debimmore
Itinerary Quick Look
Here is a suggested itinerary. We are happy to customize a tour according to your interests.
Starting from Dali, you will drive to Shanxi and visit the ancient town of Jianchuan on the way. It enjoys the reputation of the real cultural center of the Bai ethnic minority. The residential houses, the city gates, the temples, and the bridge are still in the ancient Bai style.
Visit a workshop where a typical handicraft of Bai people, Buzha, is carried out. It comprises colorful cloth with embroidery and wormwood to keep insects and evil spirits away. A Buzha master will show you this beautiful folk art. It is a great chance to meet people who love and protect the culture of their nationality.
In the afternoon, explore the historical temples and the Buddhist caves hidden in the Mt. Shibaoshan which tell the stories of the ancient kingdom in Dali area.
Tour Shaxi Ancient Town in the morning. Visit Xingjiao Temple, Square Street, the ancient stage, and the Yujing bridge. Listen to the stories of horse caravans in a private museum devoted to Tea Horse Road trade caravan paraphernalia.
Before arriving Nuodeng, drive up a mountain for an incredible yin-yang symbol view made by the Nuodeng River, a tributary of the Lancang (Mekong) River.
Uncover its stories recorded on the old Taoist temple, the old pavilion, the traditional residential houses, the ancient salt well, and the family ham-making workshop. Witness how local people produce salt and preserve ham, which used to be popular goods traded on the Tea Horse Road.
Relax yourself in this old and peaceful village. Enjoy a big meal with ham, try the wonderful foot bath with the herbal soup of the local Bai people, and have a good dream in a starry night.
Drive from Nuodeng to Dali. Your private guide and driver can escort you to your hotel in Dali or to the airport or train station for your next destination.
—the Icing on the Cake
Boutique hotels are recommended to enrich your travel experience.
- Private air-conditioned business car with big windows and ample space
- English speaking local guide
- Activities, hotels, and meals listed in the itinerary
- 24/7 helpline for while you are traveling
Tour code: dal-2
Start planning your tailor-made tour now. Your 1:1 travel consultant will reply within 1 working day.