Dali Activities

What to Do in Dali

Dali offers a lot in terms of recreational activities. A popular destination with backpackers, the city is a great place to hire a bicycle and explore the surroundings at your own pace.

For something a bit more relaxing the many saunas and spas provides ample opportunity to kick back and indulge yourself in some much-needed pampering.

For those of you seeking something more strenuous, there are martial arts classes available. Bowling is also a popular activity across China and is a good way to have a bit of a friendly banter with locals. 

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All Activities in Dali

Bike Rental

There are several bicycle tours in and around Yunnan Province and the hilly terrain and greenery make it a popular destination with cyclists. One of the best tours consists of riding to Baoshan City from Dali by the No. 320 National Highway which is also called the Old Burma Road, followed by Tengchong the next day. It is noted for being a volcanic area.

On the following day, you can visit to the volcano area about 22 kilometers (14 miles) north of the town. For something less strenuous, the Old City has a few shops where bicycles can be rented, as do some hotels.

Seeing Dali on bike offers a different experience and is highly recommended. 


Many of Dali’s hotels house bowling halls and other than these the Dali Recreational Centre has a state-of-the-art bowling alley which is popular with the locals.

Bowling is much like karaoke in China, a communal recreational pursuit in which families and groups of friends can participate.

The Manwan Resort Hotel is considered to have some of the best facilities in Dali and is also a good choice for after-game drinks and a bite to eat.

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Shaolin Kung Fu and Tai chi School

Dali is home to Shaolin Kung Fu and Tai chi School/Temple/Monastery – Wu Wei Si, ran by monks who started it in order to be physically fit for many long hours of meditation.

Tucked into a mountainside location overlooking a lake, here you can stay, eat a strict vegetarian diet, and study Kungfu or Tai chi alongside fellow students from a range of cultures and creeds.

You can stay for as little as a day, or opt for a more intensive training regime of many months, perhaps even years. The choice is yours.  

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Spa and Sauna

Most of Dali’s top hotels feature exquisite spa facilities where a variety of treatments and alternative health remedies can be sought. China is of course a long-term endorser of alternative medicinal methods, so expect to come across shop-houses selling various medicines.

The city has many low-cost massage parlours and saunas, which means that popping in and getting those knots in your back seen to is easily done. Head on down to the Ancient City for a cheap massage.

For something more upmarket, the city has plenty of five-star hotels.  

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