Dali Tourist Attractions
Dali lies about 400km/250mi northwest of the provincial capital of Kunming with which it is linked by rail and overland buses.Dali forms part of the autonomous region inhabited by the Bai minority, who form the bulk of the population. Dali is known both for its places of interest and for its lucrative marble deposits. The marble quarried here is known as ''Dali Stone''.Dali's origins lie in the dim and distant past. All that is known is that it was the capital of the Nanzhao kingdom (738-902), when it was called Taihe. For centuries it was an important trading hub. During the Song period (960-1279) an independent kingdom existed here with the name of Dali. At times during the 13th C it came under the rule of the Mongols.
One of the main sights in Dali is Lake Erhai. An island in the lake dotted with old buildings is a key tourist attraction.
Festival of the Third Month
Festival of the Third Month (Sanyue Jie): This Festival - an open-air market which has been organized by the Bai in the west of Dali for more than 1000 years - is held annually on the 15th day of the third month (hence its name) and usually lasts for between five and seven days. Other national minorities, many of whom travel here from far afield, also take part wearing their festive costumes.This festival was first held in the Tang era (618-907) in honor of Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy, which is why it is sometimes called the Guanyin Jie. Everything imaginable is offered for sale on the richly stocked stalls, ranging from conventional medicines to everyday objects and even horses, while the people enjoy singing, dancing and various contests such as horse-racing and longship races.