Some 60 km north of Dali Old Town, right between Dali and Lijiang, lies peaceful Er’yuan (洱源). The name Er’yuan liturally means the source of Er, so the Er’hai Lake. With a nice climate and relatively small population as well as its abundant hot springs, Er’yuan still is an insider's tip. There are various destinations worth visiting. A small overview with map below:
Cibi Lake (茈碧湖)
Cibi Lake is a crystal clear fresh-water lake embedded in a hilly and mountainous area. Its name originates from a flower growing in it: Cibi is a kind of flower looking like a Water Lily.
Direguo Hot Spring (地热国温泉)
Er’yuan is famous for its numerous mineral hot springs. The biggest and most popular one is definitely the Direguo Hot Spring Resort, it is actually the largest outdoor mineral hot spring in China with a large variety of pools and different temperatures. But a visit around the area is also recommended as plenty of small natural hot springs, usually only known to the locals, are waiting to be explored!
Pear Flower Village (梨花村)
Li Yuan (梨园) or Pear Flower Village is a small hamlet with a couple of hundred residents of which all are of the Bai ethnic minority. The people here initially wanted to hide their village so their ancestors planted thousands of pear trees during the Jiaqing period (1796 to 1820) of Qing Dynasty. The trees are in bloom from March to mid-April.
How to get there:
Direct buses from Xiaguan / 下关 (or Dali New Town) to Er'yuan Town leave frequently. These depart from the Xiaguan North Terminal Bus Station, about every 15 minutes. Latest departure is at 18:30h.
Note that Er'yuan is a very small county with very few people speaking other languages than Chinese or a local dialect. Thus, a tour guide might be useful when traveling the area. If you don't want to take the public bus, also a driver can be arranged for that trip from Dali or elsewhere. Please contact us for any travel arrangements, information as well as further support.