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Lying at the foot of Cangshan Mountains, Dali is the capital of the Bai Autonomous Prefecture. Dali is a pivot of the south Yunna Province with the Yunnan-Burma Highway and the Yunnan-Tibet Highway crossing it. Dali was proclaimed as one of the first batch of 24 cultural and historical cities by the State Council. Dali is one of the 44 places of interest at the national level, the national open city and the excellent tourist city of China.

Dali is an ancient city with a history of more than a thousand years. Both the Kingdom of Nanshao in the Tang Dynasty (618-907) and the Kingdom of Dali in the Song Dynasty (960-1279) designated Dali as their capital. The long history and splendid culture endowed Dali with a rich reserve of relics. Facing the Erhai Lake and backing against on to Cangshan Mountains, Dali maintains its traditional crisscross network of thoroughfares and the two gate towers in both north and south of the city. The four Chinese characters that mean the City of Documents on the top of the tower are the most noticeable. Long time ago, there were gate towers in north, south, east and west. Two of them were destroyed later. Houses in the city are covered with black tiles and surrounded by stonewalls. All the doors and windows are carved with dragons and phoenixes, plain but elegant. Each household has a small garden. Flowers can be seen all the time throughout the year. Streams from Cangshan Mountains flow in front of the residential houses. That explains why some people say Dali is a city with streams and flowers in every household. Relics in this city add wonder to the city. The most famous ones are the Chongsheng Three Pagodas in the northwest of the city, the Hongsheng Pagoda in the northwest of the city, the stone steles at the foot of Xiangshan Hill recording how Emperor Shizu of the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) claimed Yunnan.

As a famous place inhabited by the Bai people, Dali takes on traditional characteristics. The March Street Festival and the Shibao Mountain Singing Gatherings are celebrated here. People enjoy the unique three-course tea etiquette. There is no other places in the entire Yunnan Province as Dali that has such strong and unique Bai flavors. 

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