Dali Transportation

Dali lies at the junction of the Yunnan-Burma Highway (320 National Highway) and the Yunnan-Tibet Highway (214 National Highway), which connects to other regions of western Yunnan Province. In addition, the Dali-Kunming Freeway has been open. Increasingly modern transportation system makes it easier than ever for people living ere to communicate with the outside world.

Getting There

By Air

Airport Code: DLU
Location: Dali Airport is located in the junction of Fengyi Town and Haidong Town, Dali City, Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan Province, southeast of China. As a vital tourist airport, it is about 13 kilometers (about 8 miles) from Dali City, 5 kilometers (about 3 miles) from Erhai and 30 kilometers (about 18.5 miles) from Dali Ancient City.

Brief Intro: Established in 1995, the airport covers an area of 416 acres including a 4200 square meters (1 acre) terminal building and a 19,550 square meters (4.8 acres) apron, which can handle planes such as the Boeing 737. The apron has 4 parking positions and the runway is 2600 meters (1.6 miles) long. This is the first high altitude airport in China with a complex geographic situation.

At present, flights using this airport connect the city with many destinations such as Beijing, Shanghai, Kunming, Xishuangbanna, Tianjin, Chengdu, Chongqing, Guiyang and Guangzhou. Many flights, such as to Guangzhou and Kunming, are operated daily.

Airport Transportation
Airport shuttle bus connect airport and Dali City.  We recommend leaving for the airport from downtown two hours ahead of departure time. Airport check-in services will close 30 minutes before a flight departs.

By Train

Green ordinary trains

Located at No.261 on Weishan Road, Dali Railway Station is about 12 miles (19 km) from Dali Ancient City. Passengers can take city bus no.8 from the ancient town to the station. Other buses leading here include  1, 2 (branch line)5, 7, 10, 13, 16, 21, and Sightseeing Line.

Trains run to Kunming, Lijiang and some other nearby places. Those to Kunming takes about 5.5-8 hours; ticket fare for a soft sleeper is CNY 149.5 and for a hard sleeper is CNY 97.5. Those to Lijiang, most of which originally depart from Kunming, takes 1.5-2.5 hours; ticket fare for a soft sleeper is CNY 105.5 and for a hard sleeper is CNY 69.5.
 See detailed Kunming - Dali TrainDali - Kunming TrainDali - Lijiang Train 

By Long-distance Bus

Located at No.21, Jianshe Road, Xiaguan, the Dali Bus Station is the largest bus station in the city. It operates bus lines to Kunming and Lijiang, as well as cities in other provinces, such as Panzhihua in Sichuan and Putian in Fujian. Most comfortable express buses depart from this station. Bus No.2 stops in this station.

A long-distance bus in Dali Bus Station
Comfortable tourism coach
Dali Bus Station
Dali Coach Station

In addition, there are several other bus stations. The Passenger Transport Service Station is located at No.78, Jianshe Road. Visitors can choose either company depending on their schedule. Xiaguan North Bus Station is located on North Taian Road and operates a line to Tengchong, Lijiang, Zhongdian and Shangri-La. The last bus to Lijiang leaves at 18:00 and it takes about three hours on the way. The price is about CNY38 and it runs every 30 minutes. The Dayun Passenger Bus Station on Jianshe Road next to the Dayun Hotel operates bus lines to suburban counties and also lines to Kunming and Lijiang.

Getting Around

By City-bus

There are dozens of public buses running to every corner of the city. Most of them are self-serviced that require exact change. Visitors can take them to some of the scenic spots. For example, visitors can take the No. 6 to Erhai Park or the No. 8 to the Ancient City. The ticket price from Xiaguan to the Ancient City is CNY 1.5. In addition, autobuses can shuttle visitors between various spots. For instance, it costs about CNY4 from Butterfly Spring to the Ancient City by autobus. Visitors can also apppreciate the beautiful scenery of Cangshan Mountain by cable car or on horseback.

Generally speaking, getting to the scenic spots by city-buses is very convenient and enjoyable.

By Water

ferry cruise
Cruise to the lake
Erhai Lake has a long shipping history. In 1999, the Xiaguan Dock of Dali Port was expanded and renovated into a grand and well appointed dock with 13 berths. Nowadays, busy shipping around Erhai Lake is injecting new energy into the shipping industry of this area.

Cruise ships are indispensable to an agreeable journey on the Erhai Lake. Definitely, the navigable waterways of the city mostly are concentrated around Erhai Lake. One can visit Erhai Lake by boat beginning at around 09:00 every morning. Visitors can take Bus No.6 from Xiaguan and Bus No.2 from the Ancient City. The ticket price should be about CNY 60-100. It's a good idea to make your reservation one day ahead of time.


For people who want to get to their destination as fast as possible, taxi is a wise choice. Taxis here are of different brands and the charging standard varies a little: most cars charge CNY5 for the first 3km (2km) and CNY1.4 for every succeeding kilometer (0.6mi); the starting rate of Santana cars is CNY6 for the first 3km (2mi) and it costs CNY1.6 per additional kilometer (0.6mi). Anyway, local taxi drivers usually don’t charge by meter, especially when you take a cab at the airport, railway station, long-distance bus station or scenic spots. Therefore, you’d better ask the rate before boarding or negotiate a reasonable price. Hereunder is the fare for your reference:
Railway Station – Ancient City: about CNY50
Airport – Ancient City: CNY80-90
Airport – Xiaguan Area: CNY50
Ancient City – Shuanglang: CNY150-200

By Bicycle

Renting a bicycle is the perfect solution for those who want to visit  the Ancient City to get a full view of its beauty and unique charm. Cycling along the paths paved with stone slabs is a very fashionable way to appreciate the Ancient City. Bicycles can be rented quite easily. For example, the Hongshancha Hotel on Huguo Road offers bicycles for hire. Usually, the rental is about CNY 10-20 per day, and a deposit is paid in advance.

- Last modified on Nov. 04, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on Dali Transportation
Asked by Catherine from SINGAPORE | May. 07, 2019 23:59Reply
How to get taxi from Shaxi to Dali? How much the cost?
Answers (2)
Answered by Leo from CANADA | May. 08, 2019 23:36

The taxi fare is around CNY350 and it is hard to find an available taxi. However, you can take a shuttle bus from Shaxi Landscape Hotel to Dali. The bus departs at 9:00 and 15:00 everday. It takes about CNY60 and the duration is 2.5 hours.
Answered by Catherine Tay from SINGAPORE | May. 09, 2019 18:28

Noted with thanks:)
Asked by JANE from INDONESIA | Apr. 01, 2019 07:47Reply
Are you able to provide a driver and car that can take us from Dali-Lijiang?
And we would probably want to stop at Shaxi before continuing to Lijiang. Then from Lijiang-Shangrila? How much would it cost?
Thank you.
Answers (1)
Answered by Tony from NEW ZEALAND | Apr. 09, 2019 22:35

Maybe you can hire a private car in Dali. It costs around CNY500-800 per day.
Asked by Susan Stewart from UNITED STATES | Mar. 05, 2019 10:02Reply
Are there flights from Dali to Hong Kong? Price?
Answers (1)
Answered by Emilie from FRANCE | Mar. 05, 2019 19:48

There are no direct flights and you need to transfer, the prices are different according to different time and air companies. Generally, it takes more than CNY2,000.
Asked by Koh Yoon Len from MALAYSIA | Dec. 17, 2018 02:54Reply
Please advise the shuttle bus no. from Dali Railway Station to Tourist Courtyard Hotel ? Tq
Answers (1)
Answered by Lincoln from FINLAND | Dec. 18, 2018 00:21

From the railway station, you need to take a taxi to North Coach Station first. Take a coach to Jianchuan Bus Station. After arriving, there are many direct buses to Shaxi Ancient Town. Then walk north around 250 meters to find your hotel.
Asked by Leong from MALDIVES | Nov. 29, 2018 23:39Reply
Bus from Dali to jinghong. Is the bus station near Dali railway station?
Answers (1)
Answered by Miu from FRANCE | Dec. 03, 2018 11:45

Yes, about 450-500 meters away.
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