Villages Near Dali: Xizhou, Zhoucheng, Shaping
There are numerous small villages and towns around Dali to visit. The most popular options are Xizhou, Zhoucheng and Shaping, which could be visited as a day trip from Dali. Xizhou (喜州), about 20km north of Dali, is renowned for its well preserved traditional Bai houses and is basically a smaller, less touristy version of Dali. Xizhou is east off the main road that heads runs north-south along Dali’s east side. About 5km further north from Xizhou is Zhoucheng (周城), a town renowned for its batik cloth – you can buy it cheaper here than in Dali. Zhoucheng is back on the main highway (the one that runs north-south along Dali’s west side). A further 5km to the north (30km north of Dali) is Shaping (沙坪), which is best known for its Monday markets – a sea of activity and color – but is still worth a visit on other days.
Directions: The best way to reach these towns is by bicycle. You could visit all three in a day trip by bike. Alternatively, mini-buses for Shaping leave from the highway on the west side of Dali.