Presented as a calm city, where the Chinese come to rest, Dali is much more than a transit city during a trip to China. We take you to discover Dali, a city in Yunnan province in China. Between its mountains, its lake, and its historic center (pedestrian) Dali represents what China does best: Combine nature with know-how. In an Asian medieval film setting, between the ramparts, the swallow-wing roofs, the narrow streets and the sumptuous monuments, come and discover the magnificent Dali. Apart from the large crowds in the alleys in the middle of the day, you will believe yourself in the 15th century.
Discover Dali: What to do in Dali?
Visit the old church
It’s a mix of cultures. The old catholic church of Dali will surprise you by its form, its style, its mixture of code which one thought impossible. Built at the beginning of the 20th century by French and Swiss evangelists. Enter the sanctuary to see the paintings representing Jesus Christ. The writings under the paintings in Chinese pictograms is the symbol of this mixture of cultures, in the heart of the city.
Go to the Three Pagodas
The Temple of the Three Pagodas is certainly one of the most impressive in the whole region. Cultural symbol of the city, the Three Pagodas are located outside the city, but still accessible on foot. It is during the visit that you will be able to see Buddhas in crystal and gold but also manuscripts or even bronze mirrors. Don’t forget to take a look around, the lake and mountain views are magnificent.
Take a trip to the big market
Are you looking for “typical”? The big market offers you everything you need. If you are fond of fabric, silk, canvas of all kinds, but also spices or utensils that are unknown to us, go and have a look at the market, you will inevitably bring back an object from Dali when you return to France.
How to get around to discover Dali?
As the car is prohibited for expatriates who do not have a Chinese driving license, you will have to go to Dali by road but by bus. Whether by sleeper bus or travel bus, you will arrive in Dali by the road connecting Kunming and Lijiang. Once in Dali you can move on foot. If you want to exercise while enjoying the great outdoors, you can rent a bike from one of the few dedicated stores. Go around the lake, pleasant and beautiful.
Discover Dali: What to eat in Dali?
Dali is an authentic Chinese city. You will find in the four corners of the city small restaurants as delicious as each other. Be careful, however, on the main pedestrian avenues of the city, meals sometimes cost double their price. Look at the map before you sit down.
The essentials to discover Dali
- Old church
- Three Pagoda Temple
- The big market
- Cangshan Mountain
How to get to Dali:
Currently, Dali Airport connects with many tourist destinations in the country and, in particular, Beijing, Shanghai, Kunming, Xishuangbanna, Tianjin, Chengdu, Chongqing, Guiyang and Guangzhou. Every day, regular flights serve Kunming and Guangzhou. About 13 kilometers from downtown Xiaguan, Dali Airport (Huangcaoba), is located on the southwestern shore of Erhai Lake. The city bus No.7 makes the round trip between Xiaguan and the airport. In addition, airport shuttles serve the centers of Xiaguan and Dali Old Town.
Getting to Dali by train is also very convenient. Many city buses Nos. 6, 7, 8, 10 and 11 serve the railway station located on Yunling Street. Currently, trains only run between Dali and Kunming. Five trains make the connection each day and the journey takes between seven and nine hours. .The first leaves Kunming at around 8 a.m. and the four others, which run at night, start successively from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. From 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., only the reception center in the Armed Forces Building Number 35108 issues tickets.
What to see in Cadaqués, the land of Dali
Located on the Cabo de Creus peninsula, Cadaques is an emblematic city that offers its visitors a rocky coastline, beautiful beaches and coves, as well as the wonderful landscapes of the Cap de Creus Natural Park, water sports and discovering its excellent cultural offer. .
A source of inspiration for famous painters and artists, in Calaqués you can discover its historic quarter, visit its museums and art galleries, and if you like cultural and rural tourism, the city is a good starting point for touring the rest of the Alt Empordà, enjoy beautiful natural spaces and even discover archaeological sites.
In Portlligat, a fishermen’s cove, you will get to know the place where Dalí lived for more than thirty years and painted a large part of his works, while arriving at the Cap de Creus lighthouse, in the Cap de Creus Natural Park, you will be delighted with beautiful coves and a strange lunar landscape.
A narrow network of cobbled streets and white houses located at the end of the beautiful bay of Cadaqués, will take you to the historic center of this city that at the beginning of the last century was an important cultural center of Europe. Artists like Picasso, Klein or Chagall found here a source of inspiration for their works.
However, the person who gave Cadaqués international fame was Salvador Dali, since the artist spent long periods of time here since he was a child and established his residence here, which today is the house-museum located right in front of the Port Lligat bay , where you can visit detail the work of this famous master of Surrealism.
From its origins , Cadaques was one of the most important ports on the Iberian Peninsula and that was the reason that led to the construction of a walled enclosure to protect itself from attacks by corsairs and invasions. The entrance to the walled area is called “Es Portal” located in front of the sea in Dr. Trèmols square, while the most charming street is Es Call and where you can buy handicrafts.
Another must-see is the Church of Santa María, which you will find in the highest part of the town, a temple built in 1670 with a Gothic plan and which houses a Baroque altar. And if you want to take a walk by the sea, you can do it through Las Ribas, a tour that will allow you to closely contemplate modernist architecture such as Casa Serinyana.
Several museums and galleries complete the cultural offer of Cadaques , you can visit the Municipal Museum of Art that houses magnificent exhibitions of works of art, especially painters who had a close link with the city or if you prefer you can learn something about graphic art European visiting the Perrot-Moore Museum.
Among the most interesting art galleries in Cadaqués are the Patrick Domken Gallery with different exhibitions throughout the year, while the Tabakov Workshop is an art space located in the splendid Riba Pitxot in front of the seafront, it was inaugurated in 2010 and houses all kinds of artwork from surreal acrylics to sculptures and comics.
Shopping in Cadaques
Before saying goodbye to Cadaques, if you want to go shopping, you can do so by visiting one of its commercial areas such as the promenade where you will find stores and shops dedicated to fashion, while in the old town you cannot miss visiting the picturesque street “Doctor Callís” on everything if you want to find typical products of the town.
A small fishing village, Cadaques has positioned itself as a destination and a privileged enclave on the European tourist map thanks to its concentration of cultural and natural riches with the scent of the sea and Dalí that attract thousands of travelers every year.