Dali: Xihu Lake boat trip and Bai villages

Xihu Lake near Dali

We like Xihu (West lake) as it’s a beautiful lake and it sees a lot less tourists than Dali’s Erhai lake. These days the only boats on Erhai lake are big noisy tourist boats. On Xihu however local people will take you in their silent wooden rowing boats while you can help them peddling. The lake is surrounded by traditional houses and is a protected area for birds like egrets and ducks. In the lake grow lotus flowers, waterlilies and water hyacinths. Xihu is not too far from Dali and therefore an excellent alternative to Erhai lake.

Besides going to Xihu Lake you will visit the Bai village Xizhou, famous for its old houses and the busy morning market. Xizhou is known as ‘small old Dali’ because it looks like Dali many years ago. Mainly inhabited by Bai people, Xizhou has an old part with houses more than a hundred years old. They are built in traditional style with Dali marble and black and white paintings on the walls. We will visit one of the old houses with beautiful woodcarvings.

Another visit is to Zhoucheng, a Bai village where the local women make the blue white tie-dye fabrics. You can visit a workshop to get an idea of how they make the bluewhite fabric from the indigo plants. Besides that Zhoucheng has some streets with traditional Bai houses. Then it’s time to go back to Dali.

Price: 1800 yuan for 1-4 people, 5-6 people 2200 yuan

Including: private car and English speaking guide, lunch, boat fee for Xihu
Excluding: detours from above route

Time schedule:
Dali to Xizhou- 30 minute drive, Xizhou to Xihu lake about 20 min drive, Xihu to Zhoucheng 20 min, Zhoucheng to Dali 35 min.