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Dali, capital of the Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture, was the ancient capital of the Bai and Dali Kingdom and is home to the minorities of Bai, Yi and Hui.

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Wikipedia - Dali City, Yunnan

Dali
Night view of the downtown area

Dali is the ancient capital of both the Bai kingdom Nanzhao, which flourished in the area during the 8th and 9th centuries, and the Kingdom of Dali, which reigned from 937-1253. Dali was also the center of the Panthay Rebellion from 1856-1863.
Dali is also famous for the many types of marble it produces, which are used primarily in construction and for decorative objects. In fact, Dali is so famous for the stone that the name of marble in Chinese is literally "Dali Stone" (Chinese: 大理石; pinyin: dali shi).
Dali is now a major tourist destination, along with Lijiang, for both domestic and international tourists. ... read more

Wikitravel - Dali

Three Pagodas, Dali
Dali's Three Pagodas with the Cangshan Mountains in the background

Dali is one of the most popular spots for independent China travellers and hugely popular with those working, teaching and studying in China. 50 minutes by plane or six to seven hours by bus from Kunming, Dali is the perfect place to relax.
Dali is the capital city of the prefecture of the same name. It consists of Dali New City (下关; Xiàguān) and Dali Old Town (古城; Gǔchéng). Travellers visit Dali Old Town for its traditional architecture, minority cultures (mostly Bai but also with many Yi and Hui) and simply to relax. The Old Town has a population of 40,000 and the entire Dali Prefecture around three million people and an area of over 10,000 sq km. When discussing Dali, it is important to be clear whether you are talking about the entire city or just the Old Town. There is actually much to do and see in Dali City well outside the Old Town.
With the beautiful Cangshan Mountains a short distance to the west of Dali Old Town (4,200 metres at the peak) and Erhai Lake a few km to the east, it has a perfect natural setting. The climate is temperate with moderate summers and mild winters, though it can get rather windy in autumn and winter. ... read more

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