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 three to four hours by bus from Kunming, Dali is the perfect place to relax.
Dali has a long and rather glorious history. In 738 the Nanzhao Kingdom was established with Dali as its capital and covered a large area of Yunnan and northern Burma and parts of Sichuan and Guizhou. The original capital of the Nanzhao Kingdom was located in Weishan (within Dali Prefecture) and later moved to sites around Erhai Lake. The territory conquered was quite substantial and held over a long period. The kingdom survived almost 200 years and had 13 kings before collapsing. After several decades of chaos the Kingdom of Dali emerged in 937.