The Ancient Town of Dali

Sacred Place of Canyons

Photography by Richard D. Fisher and Maria Gates

Traveling up Cangshan Mountain with the south gondola immediately brings you to the breathtaking Qingbi Stream.

Qingbi (Clear Green) Stream with it’s Green Dragon Pool derives from a mountain spring gushing out from the bottom of a rock, and the water forms a pool in the shape of a big basin
in three tiers.  This stream received it’s Poetic Name of “Overlapping Green Basins” from poems written during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).

Overlapping Green Basins Waterfalls  (Qingbi Stream and Green Dragon Pool)

The Magnificent Cangshan Mountain 13,495 ft (4,122 M) also known as Diancang Mountain, lies like a protector west of Dali City, and meanders north to south.  It’s 19 Peaks create
18 breathtaking and world class canyons each with 18 streams that water fall between the peaks, and flow into Erhai Lake via the Dali Dike.

Erhai Lake sits at an altitude of 6,410 ft, (1,972 m) and resembles a crescent silently lying between  the water sources of Cangshan Mountain (Mt. Diancang) and Dali Dike.  It is dubbed  “Pure jade amidst mountains” since ancient times for it’s purity.

Float through the air and clouds up into the majestic Cangshan Mountain, and enjoy the captivating evergreen trees for as far as the eye can see.  The ride lasts long enough to get lost
in the towering peaks.

“Dark Mountains embrace green waters:  Mountain scenery sets off the lakes: Flowers are in full blossom all year round, and fragrance widely spreads” is an ancient poem written for this wonderful, eye melting sight.

The Great Gorge of Cangshan hosts beautiful streams, waterfalls, pagodas, walking paths and the gondola to enhance the experience of being in one of the finest canyon gorges without having technical skills.

The Great Gorge of Cangshan goes into the vastness of eternity it appears with the eye.  A feast for all of the senses.

Waterfalls cascade down from pool to pool in another one of the 18 canyons of the most impressive Cangshan Mountain.

WIND AND FLOWERS  Reflecting two of the famous four sights of Dali-wind, flowers, snow and moon.

A sensual waterfall that appears out of nowhere from the delightful canyons that seem to not end as they meander north to south.

Two Beautiful sights, a waterfall and a canyon beauty.

On the West side of the Cangshan Mountain sits the largest and most spectacular and grand gorge of all of the 18;  SHIMENGUAN (Stone Gate Pass: Shimen Pass) which is formed by two 1,050 ft (320 M) steep high peaks in the shape of an huge gate, hence its name. The highest peak of Cangshan Mountain, Malong Peak, creates this amazing gorge with the Snow Stream that flows through the gorge creating 119 waterfalls and pools along its path. This historical gorge witnessed the southern expedition of Kublai Khan, the founding emperor of the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368)

The Shimenguan gorge is home to Bai ethnic Families still living like the times of Kublai Khan.

A local beauty enjoys the magnificent sight of Shimenguan.

The Geothermic Kingdom of Hot Springs is the largest hot springs in Asia, and may be the most beautiful. Set in a valley surrounded by mountains, and so big you could get lost inside; there are pools of all temperatures and sizes, pools shaped like giant hands, pools with caves, pools filled with skin purifying milk, and one that claims to cleanse your heart and soul. An hours drive out of Dali.

Dali, Yunnan, China

Erhai Lake crescents the valley and can be seen from Cangshan Mountain through and between the numerous canyons.  The lake is dotted with thousand year old Bai villages that continue to function as they have for all of the past centuries.

Viewing Erhai Lake and the famous Dali Three Pagodas through Canyons on Cangshan Mountain.  The thousand year old Bai villages around the lake are so friendly, yet most visitors only experience the touristy villages.

Old Dali with Peach Tree Blossoms in December, 2010.  The colors of the Peach Blossoms consume the eye palette and bring one into a state of pleasant nirvana.

The Butterfly Spring Park in Old Dali is rarely seen by tourists.  This hidden secret amoungst the locals makes the park an escape to peace and tranquility.

Old Dali and it’s unforgettable Cangshan Mountain with 18 Canyons and waterfalls is so easily accessable.

Dali Guide to contact for tours:
Yang Qing
Ph#  +86 13577268401

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