It has a population of 3.1854 million. The population of Han covers 50.84 percent with 1.6196 million. Bai covers 33.22 percent with 1.0584 million.
The average temperature is 15.1 degrees Celsius. The coldest temperature is 8.7 degrees Celsius in February, and the hottest is 20.1 degrees Celsius in July. It is called the "Sweden of the East," and has 126 days during which the temperature is 18.7-20.6 degrees Celsius, the best climate for convalescence in the world. Moreover, 229 days are frost-free, providing a suitable environment for the growth of various kinds of plants. Flowers blossom all the year round.
Dali urban area is 46.3 kilometers from east to west and 59.3 kilometers from south to north. It covers an area of 1,457.27 square kilometers, of which 229 square kilometers, or 15.71 percent of the total area consists of irrigated territory; 978.927 square kilometers, or 67.27 percent of the total area is mountainous; and 249.343 square kilometers, or 17.02 percent of the total area is occupied by Erhai Lake.
The city has Binchuan and Xiangyun to the east, Midu and Weishan to the south, Yangbi to the west and Eryuan to the north. Dali is also the juncture of the Yunnan-Myanmar and Yunnan-Tibet Highways. With these unique geographical conditions, Dali is a communication hub and distribution center of materials in western Yunnan Province.
3,000 years ago, primitive humans inhabited the area of Erhai Lake. As early as the 2nd century B.C., Dali was on the map of the Kingdom of the Central Plains as Yeyu County. In 738, Pilouge, a chieftain of the Bai Tribe, united the six tribes of the Erhai region with the support of the Tang Dynasty, and established the State of Nanzhao, which was destroyed in 902.
Duan Siping, also of the Bai Tribe, established the State of Dali in 938. During the 500-year period of Nanzhao and Dali, Dali City was the political, economic and cultural center of Yunnan Province. Emperor Khublai Khan of the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) eliminated the State of Dali. The Dali area was renamed Taihe County, and this name persisted during the Ming and Qing dynasties (1368-1911), before it was renamed Dali in 1913. In 1983, Dali County and Xiaguan City merged into Dali City. The city is one of the 24 leading historical and cultural cities and one of the 44 State-designated Scenic Centers in the country.
Dali is one of Yunnan's most popular tourist destinations, both for its historic sites and the "Foreigners' Street" that features western-style food, music, and English-speaking business owners. Below are some tourist attractions:
Guanyin Palace of Copper Rain (rebuilt in 1999)
Jianji Great Bell of Nanzhao (recast in 1997)
The Three Pagodas of Chong Sheng Temple
South gate of the Ancient City of Dali