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Xizhou Town in Dali – the Famous “Museum of Bai Residence Architecture”

Xizhou Town is a thousand-year-old village in the Dali, Yunnan. Because of its well-preserved traditional architecture of Bai minority, which features a unique blend of Bai and Han Chinese styles, Xizhou is known as the “Museum of Bai Residence Architecture”. The town still retains the ancient Bai dwellings of different characteristics from the Ming, Qing and Republic of China.

Xizhou Town is also famous for its vibrant traditional markets, where visitors can find various kinds of local food materials, sample local delicacies, browse handmade crafts, and talk with the friendly locals dressed in beautiful traditional Bai costumes.

Xizhou Ancient Town is one of the best places to visit for minority culture when you travel to Yunnan.

Fast Facts of Dali Xizhou Town:

  • Chinese name:喜洲镇
  • Location: north of Xiaguan Town and west of Erhai Lake, in Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan Province, China
  • Area: 81 km²
  • Time Needed: approximately 3 hours
  • Travel Essentials: About 18 kilometers awayfrom Dali City or 19km from Dali Old Town, Xizhou Town can be be easily accessibly by public bus, car, taxi or bicycle
  • Highlights: Traditional architecture, local markets, local foods, and cultural heritage
  • Best for: people interested in history, architecture, minority culture, and authentic local experiences
Dali Xizhou Town
Xizhou Town

Top Things to Do and See in Xizhou Town of Dali

Admire Ancient Architecture of Bai Minority

There are 88 Bai residential buildings in Xizhou Town, such as Yang Shiyun’s “Seven Feet Book Building” originated in the Ming Dynasty, Zhao Tingjun’s compound in the Qing Dynasty, and Yan Zizhen’s compound, Dong Chengnong’s compound, Yang Pinsheng’s compound and Yin Longju’s compound in the Republican Period.

The architecture of Xizhou shows the unique architectural aesthetics and wisdom of the Bai people in its layout and orientation. The decoration of the Bai people’s houses is also extremely exquisite, set ink painting, colour painting, wood carving, brick, clay sculpture, inlay and so on as a whole. Carved beams, overlapping arches and flying eaves, as well as the colourful decorative art of illumination walls and mountain walls, fully reflect the architectural talent and artistic creativity of the Bai people.

The complete and well-preserved Bai residential complex in Xizhou Town is the epitome of the historical development of Dali Bai residential architecture. It is the epitome of the historical development of Bai folk residence architecture, and it has a high historical, artistic and scientific value as it reflects the style and art of Bai folk residence.

Experience Local lifestyle at Local Markets

Another excellent way to learn more about the local culture and lifestyle of Xiazhou Town is to visit the local food markets. Zhoucheng Market and Xizhou Morning Market are two of the most popular markets in the town.

Eat your way through the markets for Xizhou Baba, Milk Fan, Bait Dumpling, Yunnan Rice Noodle, Lemongrass Grilled Fish… while enjoying various gastronomic scenes.

Immerse in Bai Ethnic Culture

Traditional Bai Costumes

In Xizhou Town, the Bai people revere the colour white. White men usually wear white lapel coat, black collar coat jacket, or several pieces of leather, satin collar coat, commonly known as “three drops of water”. Bai women wear white blouses and red shoulders, or light-coloured blue blouses, plus black velvet blazers, with short embroidered waistbands, wide blue trousers, and embroidered “hundred-section shoes”.

When taking a trip to Dali, you can learn tie-dye and embroidery from local women.

Local Tea Ceremony

The Three Way Tea Ceremony is a hospitality ritual of the Bai people in Xizhou Town. The first tea is selected from the thicker and more bitter tea leaves, which are put into small sand canisters and roasted over a gentle fire, and then washed with boiling water. This tea, though fragrant called “clear and bitter tea”. The second tea, add brown sugar, milk fan, walnuts, sesame, sweet and delicious, called “sweet tea”. The third tea is mixed with honey and 4 to 6 peppercorns, which is sweet and bitter, with a hint of spicy flavour, is the “aftertaste tea”.

In Xizhou Ancient Town, you can also experience the unique festivals of the Bai people, such as the “Three Spirits Festival”, the “Lord of the World Festival”, etc.

Take in the Sheer Scenic Beauty

Surrounded by Erhai Lake, Cangshan Mountain, and the Yangbi River, Xizhou Town also features stunning natural landscapes. Travelers are encouraged to take a leisurely walk or bike ride around the town and enjoy the scenic beauty.

Dali Erhai Lake
Take a leisurely bike ride around Erhai Lake

Best Time to Visit Xizhou Old Town

When to travel to Xizhou in Dali? Xizhou Town is at its most beautiful from March to May and September to November when the weather is mild and the temperature is about 20 degrees. Enjoy yourself the blooming flowers, clear blue skies, fresh air, and beautiful rice fields.

For those in the known, Xizhou is beautiful all year round, with local festivals in the summer and winter to be explored with unique experiences.

How to get to Xizhou Town

Whether you are in Dali Old Town or Dali railways station, it is easy for you to get to Xizhou Ancient Town.

  • By Plane: If you travel to Xizhou Town from other cities in China, take a flight toDali Airport, which is only 30 kilometers away. From the airport, take a taxi or regular bus to Xizhou Town directly.
  • By Train: China’s HSR network has reached Dali. From Guilin, Chengdu, Chongqing, Nanning, and major cities in Yunnan, you can take a bullet train to arriveDali Railway Station. From the railway station, which is about 18km away from Xizhou Town.
  • By Bus: It is the most economic way. Daliis connected by bus to major cities of Yunnan, including Kunming, Lijiang, and Shangri-La. From Dali City Bus Station to Xizhou Town, it takes about 30 minutes by bus.
  • By Car: To havemore flexibility and convenience for exploring the town and nearby attractions, travelers are suggested to rent a car to get to Xizhou Town.

Attractions Nearby Xizhou Town 

If you are planning a trip to Dali and wondering what else to add for your Dali tour with Xizhou Town, below are some great recommendations.

  • Dali Ancient Town: Located about 19kilometers from Xizhou Town, Dali Old Town is one of most famous ancient towns in China and one of the best things to do in Yunnan. This charming historic town is home to a wealth of ancient architectures, streets, temples, and markets, and is a UNESCO World Heritage.
  • Erhai Lake: 20 kilometers from Xizhou Town, Erhai Lake is one of the largest freshwater lakes in China. There are different ways to explore Erhai Lake, from a boattrip and fishing to biking and walking. Don’t miss the nearby Bai ethnic villages.
  • Cangshan Mountain: 30 kilometers from Xizhou Town, the 4122-meter Cangshan Mountainis one of the highlight attractions in Dali. Take cable car or hike to the top of Cangshang Mountain, to enjoy a full view of the beautiful and pastoral Dali.

Recommend Dali Tours with Xizhou Town

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