Dali is located in a plateau with low latitude. The low latitude and high altitude form a kind of climate that has four non-distinctive seasons. It is neither too hot nor too cold in Dali all the year round. The rainy season of Dali is from May to October, and the temperature drops dramatically after the rain at the end of summer, so there is a parlance among local people: a sudden shower turns the lingering heat into the brisk cool air of autumn. Accordingly, tourists who come to Dali at that time are recommended to bring several autumn clothes in case of catching a cold.
The best time to visit Dali is from March to June when springtime is in full swing and all of nature seems to be in the process of rebirth, as it were. Climbing Cangshan Mountain and visiting Erhai Lake in spring is quite enjoyable.
Shopping in Dali
What to buy
Since the Tang Dynasty (618~907), Dali has got to be renowned for producing high quality marble which is quarried from the Cangshan Mountain. With the development of workmanship, the marble can be processed into decorations of high quality modern furniture and ancient buildings. Furthermore, white marble is a good material for pen containers, flower vases, carving ashtrays, ornaments and tea sets.
Tie dyeing is of the most famous souvenirs among tourists. To produce tie dyeing, the white cloth is tied and sewn into different patterns by hand. Then various designs, such as bees, butterflies, plum blossoms and fish would appear vividly.
Jianchuan wood carving, with a history of over 1,000 years, features exquisite and elegant designs and durable quality. The main patterns of the wood carving are flowers, animals and some folktales. Jianchuan wood carving can be used to decoration in ancient buildings, such as bucket arches, square tables and tea tables, or folk instruments, or other household supplies, for instance, bins and penholders.
Where to buy
Huguo Road lined with numerous bars, restaurants and cafes is called a paradise for tourists for shopping. You could find all kinds of jewelry shops, antique shops and galleries with their own characteristics along the road.
If you want to stay overnight in Dali, then the Old City of Dali is strongly recommended, where you can well experience the leisure and freedom in Dali. There are many hostels you can choose from in Dali Old City, many of them are decorated with a special affective tone. Most of hostels have their own small yards, where you can bask in the sun, read books and have tea after lunch.