Chinese Name: 大理白族自治州博物馆 Pronunciation: Dàlǐ Báizú Zìzhìzhōu Bówùguǎn
Building Time: 1986
Recommended Time for Visit: 1-2 Hours
Occupied Area: 30,200 square meters
Building Function: Collect and exhibit cultural relics to the public.
Address: No. 8 Erhe South Road, Xiaguan Town, Dali City, Yunnan Province, China
Opening Time: 9:00-17:00 (The museum is closed every Monday except statutory holidays).
Admission Ticket Fare: Free
You can make a reservation by calling the phone number 0872-2124851 from 9:00 to 17:00 on Thursday to Sunday. Or you can get a ticket after registering at the right side of the front door of the museum (no registering after 16:20). Do not forget to take your valid identity certificate.
Introduction of Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture Museum
The Main Entrance
As the first prefecture-level comprehensive museum in Yunnan Province, Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture Museum occupies 30,200 square meters. The museum is divided into three parts: exhibiting area, antique storeroom, and office space.
The museum has four main houses in different directions. The architecture is featured by a combination of the building styles of the Tang Dynasty (618-907) and Bai minority architecture. Houses are joined by gallery verandas and surrounded by pine trees and verdant bamboos. Besides, beautiful flowers like camellia and azaleas can be found in the museum with rockeries and pools.
Based on the theme of Dali history and culture, the museum mainly focuses on basic displays of the history and culture of the Nanzhao Kingdom (738-902) and the Dali Kingdom (937-1094, 1096-1253), and the Bai culture. Owning more than 15,000 artifacts, the museum also has permanent exhibits including bronze culture, ceramic art, Buddhist art, marble art, Dali historical figures, and calligraphy and painting art display.
History of Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture Museum
In 1986, Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture Museum was set up.
In 2009, the museum was approved as a national secondary level museum.
On January 11, 2010, the museum officially opened to the public for free.
In 2016, the museum was promoted and renovated by adding two buildings aside from the preface hall. The west one is Dali General History Exhibition Hall, and the east one is a temporary exhibition hall.
What to See in Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture Museum
Owning more than 4,000 years of civilization history, Dali has experienced the development of the Nanzhao Kingdom and the Dali Kingdom. It is also the hub zone of the south silk road since the Han and Tang Dynasties. So, Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture Museum boasts many artifacts.
There are seven exhibition halls in the museum: Dali General History Exhibition Hall, Bronze Culture Exhibition Hall, Bai Culture Exhibition Hall, Ceramic Art Exhibition Hall, Buddhist Art Exhibition Hall, Benzhu(the belief in local lords or gods) Religious Culture Exhibition Hall, and Marble Culture Exhibition Hall. The seven halls focus on different aspects of Dali culture.
Potteries, Porcelain, and Bronze Vessels
The museum displays many potteries, porcelain, and bronze vessels. For example, the Grey Pottery Horse in the Han Dynasty (202BC-220 AD), strong and life-like, is a ceramic art treasure. A lot of blue and white porcelain in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) have been preserved intact, showing their beauty. There are also many bronze vessels in the Warring States Period (475BC-221BC) such as bronze drum, bronze ax, bronze spear, and bronze sword.
Paintings and Calligraphy
Here, you can find many vertical-hanging paintings and calligraphy works, couplets in a regular script and semi-cursive script, fans of paintings and calligraphy, and four-piece paintings and calligraphy. And the painters of these works are almost Yunnan natives.
Buddhist Relics, Stone Relics, and Modern Relics
Besides Buddhist statues, the museum also collects many other Buddhist artifacts such as towel molds, vajras, and Buddhist scripture rolls or reels. For example, the Diamond Sutra, one of the most influential Mahayana sutras in East Asia, is a key object of devotion and study in Zen Buddhism.
Many stone screens, in the forms of hanging screens and seat screens, are displayed here. And most modern screens are made of marble. What is more, other stone relics in the Warring States Period and the Tang Dynasty (618-907) are exhibited here.
Dali has many modern relics of the Chinese revolution. The museum collects machine guns, rifles, and revolvers that were used in the Chinese Communist Revolution, personal articles like blankets and pens of comrades, and other relics like pentagram badges.
1. The museum provides tour services for free. As an individual visitor, you can rent voice guide equipment (in Chinese and English) with your valid identity certificate and a 200-yuan deposit. For tour groups, a 60 to 90-minute tour service provided by staff is available after you make a reservation by calling 0872-2124851 one or three days in advance. You can also find the tour service in the WeChat official account.
2. There is a reception center in the lobby on the first floor.
3. Personal belongings (except valuables) can be put in lockers after security check.
4. Wheelchairs and strollers are available with your valid identity certificate and a 200-yuan deposit.
5. You can take a 4D roaming at the official website or in the WeChat official account.
Take bus 23 and get off at Xingsheng Bridge South Station.
Take bus 11 and get off at Lihou Mountain Village Station. After getting off, you need a 7-minute walking(about 400 meters) to the museum(in the northwest).
Chinese: 请带我去大理白族自治州博物馆。English: Please take me to Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture Museum.
If you go to Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture Museum from Dali City center (Grand Bay View International Hotel Dali), it takes about 3 minutes (about 8 yuan).
If you go to Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture Museum from Dali Huangcaoba Airport, it takes about 25 minutes (about 50 yuan).
If you go to Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture Museum from Dali Railway Station, it takes about 15 minutes (about 15 yuan).