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 villages Xizhou, famous for its old houses and Zhoucheng, famous for its bluewhite tiedye fabrics. 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. Some houses have beautifully decorated woodcarving above the doors.

After lunch you will go to Zhoucheng, where the local Bai women make the blue white tie-dye fabrics. You can visit a home and see how they make the bluewhite fabric from the indigo plants. Besides that Zhoucheng has some streets with traditional Bai houses and every afternoon a market. Then it’s time to go back to Dali.

Price: 850 yuan for 1-2 people, 3-4 people 950 yuan

Including: car with (Chinese speaking) driver, lunch, boat fee for Xihu
Excluding: guide, detours from above route

An English speaking guide can be arranged upon request (extra costs).

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.