Grand Tour of the Lake
A visit to the villages around ErHai lake is an important part of the Dali experience. Here is a recommended tour itinerary taking in some of the most important spots around the lake. This tour can be done by taxi, local buses, motorbike or it can be cycled. A decent level of fitness will be necessary to complete the loop in one day. Alternatively you can stop for the night in somewhere like ShuangLang or WaSe.
From the north-eastern cotner of Dali, take the road down towards Cai Cun for about 1km until you reach the Scenic Path road, then turn left.
Head north to the historic town of XiZhou and see some great examples of traditional Bai architecture.
From here continue north to ZhouCheng which is renowned for its batik fabric.
A little further north you will find the pretty little area of Butterfly Spring.
If it’s a Monday stop at Shaping for the weekly market.
Head around to the eastern side of ErHai and stop at ShuangLang, a fascinating blend of old and modern China. Visit one of its many cafes, take a stroll around Half Moon island, or get a boat to NanZhao Customs Island. You can stay the night here if it is getting late. This is roughly the half-way point of your journey.
Continue south to WaSe which has a market every 5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th and 30th of the month, which is well worth a visit.
A little further south you reach HaiYin and Little Putuo Island.
Continue south to the last major sight of Sky Mirror Pavillion complex, before heading back to Dali Old Town via the new city of Xiaguan.