Sandwiched between Cangshan Mountain and Erhai Lake sits one of China’s most spectacular ancient cities, Dali. Dating back to the late fourteenth century, Dali got its start as a gateway to the Silk Road from Southwest China. Today, Dali Old Town (Dali Ancient City) — navigable on foot — is ringed by a 25-foot (7.5-meter) stone wall with grand gates facing in each direction. Within those walls, traditional Bai ethnic minority architecture now house shops, cafes and guest houses.
Fuxing Road, the busiest street through Dali Old Town, links the South and North Gates and is a popular spot for buying souvenirs. The upper portion of Huguo Road, nicknamed ‘Foreigner Street,’ is lined with Chinese and Western restaurants, art galleries, antique shops and small boutiques.
Most buses bound for Dali actually go to Xiaguan but also stop at the eastern end of Dali to let passengers off first.