Dali’s position at the junction of the Yunnan-Burma Highway and the Yunnan-Tibet Highway boasts convenient transportation. Besides, the Dali-Kunming Freeway also facilitates communication with the outside world. With the constant improvement of traffic conditions, Dali becomes much more accessible to visitors.
Airport Code: DLU
Location: Dali Airport, also called Huangcaoba Airport, is located on the southeast bank of Erhai Lake, about 13 kilometers (8 miles) away from the city center and 45 minutes drive to Dali old town.
Brief Intro: Dali (Huangcaoba) Airport has been put into operation in 1995. With a total area of 416 acres, the airport has a 4200 square meters (1 acre) terminal building and a 19,550 square meters (4.8 acres) apron which is divided into 4 parking positions. The runway is 2600 meters (1.6 miles) long. Situated a complex geographic position, it is regarded as the first high altitude airport in China.
At this airport, you can take flights to many tourist destinations of China, including Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Tianjin, Chongqing, Guangzhou, Guiyang, Kunming and Xishuangbanna.
Bus No.7 between Xiaguan and the airport is available and costs CNY1. Alternatively, take the airport shuttles to the downtown area. Besides, taxis are always easy to make and cost about CNY 80. We recommend leaving for the airport from downtown two hours ahead of departure time. Airport check-in services will close 30 minutes before a flight departs.
Dali has a Railway Station located in Yunling Street, which services the trains from/ to Kunming and Lijang. It is convenient to get the station by city buses No.6, 7, 8, 10, and 11. There are five trains daily from Kunming to Dali, including one daytime train leaving at about 08:00 and the other four are all night trains from 21:00 to 23:00. The train journey always lasts for even nine hours. There are currently also 2 trains daily from Lijiang to Dali and back. The ride takes nearly 2 hours. The tickets are only sold in the reception center of the No.35108 Army building on Jianshe Road from 09:30 to 17:30.
By Long-distance Bus
From Kunming’s west bus station there are numerously bused to Dali. The running time is about four to five hours and costs about CNY100. It operates buses from 7:30 am to 7:30 pm and runs every 20 minutes. Heading north, it is easiest to pick up a bus on the roads outside the west or east gate; buy your ticket in advance from your guesthouse or a travel agent and they will make sure you get on the right one.
The largest bus station in the city is the Dali Bus Station located at No.21, Jianshe Road, Xiaguan. It services the buses to Kunming, Lijiang, Panzhihua in Sichuan, and Putian in Fujian. The station can be reached by city bus No.2.
Besides, several other bus stations are available. Located on North Taian Road, Xiaguan North Bus Station offers the bus line to Tengchong, Lijiang, Zhongdian, and Shangri-La. The last bus to Lijiang leaves at 18:00 and it takes about three hours on the way. The price is about CNY38 and it runs every 30 minutes. The Dayun Passenger Bus Station on Jianshe Road next to the Dayun Hotel operates bus lines to suburban counties and also lines to Kunming and Lijiang. The Passenger Transport Service Station is located at No.78, Jianshe Road. Visitors can choose either company depending on their schedule.
Dali has a well-served urban public transport system. It is very convenient for visitors to go to scenic spots by bus. The Bus No.6 takes visitors to Erhai Park. The Ancient City can be reached by Bus No.8. In addition, autobuses can shuttle visitors between various spots. Take an autobus from Butterfly Spring to the Ancient City at a cost of about CNY4. And go to enjoy the natural beauty of Cangshan Mountain by cable car.
Buses run between the old town and Xiaguan from as early as 6:30 am and running time is about 30 minutes; get on along Yu’er Road or where it meets the road one block west of Boai Road. Bus No.8 runs between Dali and central Xiaguan on the way to the train station every 15 minutes from 6:30 am.
Cruising on the Erhai Lake is an important part of your Dali journey. The boats on the Erhai Lake start to sail at around 09:00 every morning. Visitors can take Bus No.6 from Xiaguan and Bus No.2 from the Ancient City. The ticket price should be about CNY 60-100. It's a good idea to make your reservation one day ahead of time.
For people who want to get to their destination as quickly as possible, taking a taxi is a good choice. From Dali, a taxi to Xiaguan airport takes 45 minutes and costs around CNY100; to Xiaguan’s train station it costs CNY50.
Bike is the best way to get around Dali, enjoying the beautiful landscapes at a slow pace. Especially, cycling around the Ancient City indulges you in the natural beauty and unique charm. Bicycles can be rented quite easily at many guesthouses and rental huts around town. Usually, the rental is about CNY 10-20 per day, and a deposit is paid in advance.