Located just 18 kilometers north of Dali Old Town (大理古城), Xizhou Old Town (喜洲古镇) is still a bit of a hidden gem in Yunnan. Framed by verdant fields and the tranquil Erhai Lake (洱海), Xizhou is a beautifully preserved slice of Bai culture and history.
Xizhou holds an esteemed position in architectural heritage, boasting over 100 traditional Bai houses registered as cultural relics. These charming structures are masterpieces of intricate carvings, colorful facades, and courtyards filled with blooming flowers, offering a glimpse into the artistic prowess of the Bai people.
The real charm of Xizhou lies in its slow-paced life. Whether it's the locals tending to their fields, fishing in Erhai Lake, or engaging in daily prayers, Xizhou is an immersive cultural experience. A visit to Xizhou Old Town is like stepping back in time, providing an unfiltered view of Bai culture and a peaceful respite from the bustle of modern urban life.
Xizhou is one of Dali's gems, only about 18 kilometers north along the lake from Dali Old Town. The old town still feels authentic and is like a living gallery, showcasing the impressive artistry and culture of the Bai people.
It makes for a great stop on the way up to Shaxi Old Town too, which is perhaps my favourite place in Dali prefecture.