Nanzhao Folk Island – Ticket, Opening Hours, Location, and Highlights

nanzhao folk island dali

Nanzhao Folk Island (南诏风情岛), situated amidst the serene waters of Erhai Lake, is one of the three islands adorning its landscape. Renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty, the island boasts a myriad of charming and diverse guesthouses, each exuding its unique allure. Among its attractions is an artificial sandy beach, offering a picturesque vantage point to behold the splendor of Erhai Lake, drawing many couples for romantic wedding photoshoots.

The island’s main highlights include the Shayi Mother Sculpture, Seaside Villas, Yunnan Fuxing Square, Nanzhao Summer Palace (also known as Nanzhao Palace), Bai Ethnic Cultural Arts Square, Beach Amusement Park, Proud Fishing Village, A’coye Guanyin Statue, Taihu Stone Group, Yue Xue Pavilion, and Giant Banyan Tree. These landmarks are steeped in rich historical and cultural significance, allowing visitors to delve into the annals of Nanzhao’s history and experience the warmth and simplicity of the Bai ethnic people.

Furthermore, Nanzhao Folk Island features two docks, with the primary hub being the Dayun Pier in the east, complemented by an auxiliary pier in the north. Dayun Pier accommodates up to four large cruise ships simultaneously, offering visitors convenient access and enhancing their travel experience across the lake.

Table of Contents

Basic Information

Estimated Length of Tour1 – 2 hours
Ticket Price50 RMB
Opening Hours8.00 – 17.30
Telephone Number0086-0872-2461040

Location and Transportation

Nanzhao Folk Island is nestled in the southeastern corner of Eryuan County, Dali City, Yunnan Province, within the picturesque surroundings of Shuanglang Township. It is flanked by the renowned Buddhist site of Jizu Mountain to the east, bordered by Shibao Mountain to the north, connected to Dali in the south, and facing the majestic Cangshan Mountain and Erhai Lake to the west. To get there, you can choose one of the following ways:

  • Take a ferry from the ferry terminal on the south side of Shuanglang Town, with a journey lasting approximately 5 minutes.
  • Tourist boats on Erhai Lake typically include a stop at Nanzhao Folk Island. For private boat tours, bargaining is common, with half-day tours typically costing around 100 yuan.
  • Larger tourist boats on Erhai Lake also make stops at Nanzhao Island, with ticket prices around 140 yuan per person. These boats often feature ethnic performances onboard.

Highlights of Nanzhao Folk Island

Shayi Mother Sculpture

Shayi Mother Sculpture in nanzhao folk island

On Nanzhao Folk Island, one of the standout attractions is the “Shayi Mother” bronze sculpture. Situated in the island square, it is accompanied by ten stone pillars, each representing one of her ten sons, symbolizing ten primitive methods of human labor. This sculpture draws inspiration from the myth of “Jiulong” found in the “Records of the Later Han Dynasty: Chronicles of the Southwestern Barbarians.” Legend has it that in the Ailao Mountains of western Yunnan, a woman named Shayi became pregnant after touching a piece of wood while fishing. She gave birth to ten sons, with the youngest, named Jiulong, being particularly close to the dragon formed from the same piece of wood. Jiulong, meaning “person sitting on the back” in the local dialect, was eventually proclaimed king by his nine brothers, and they collectively became the ancestors of various ethnic groups. The Jiulong myth holds significant cultural significance in the western Yunnan region, almost akin to a creation myth.

Han White Marble Guanyin Statue

Han White Marble Guanyin Statue in Nanzhao folk island

Standing tall in the heart of the “Yunnan Fuxing” Square is the majestic Han White Marble Guanyin statue, soaring to a height of 17.56 meters. This awe-inspiring sculpture is a testament to the craftsmanship of the Nanzhao Dali Kingdom era, depicting the slender-waisted Guanyin, or Avalokitesvara, revered for her compassion and mercy. It holds the distinction of being the tallest Han White Marble Guanyin statue globally. Flanking the statue on its western side are two magnificent relief walls, each measuring 21 meters in length and 4.6 meters in height. These reliefs narrate the legendary tale of Guanyin’s eighteen transformations from Dali mythology. On the reverse side, intricately carved and gilded, are depictions of “Guanyin conferring the decree to the king of Xinuolu” (part of the “Revival of Nanzhao” scroll) and “The Barbarian King Paying Homage to Buddha” (part of the “Dali Kingdom Zhang Shengwen scroll”).

Nanzhao Summer Palace

nanzhao summer palace in nanzhao folk island

Dominating the island’s skyline is the Nanzhao Summer Palace, boasting a total area of over 8,000 square meters. Its architectural style, predominantly influenced by Tang dynasty architecture, seamlessly integrates Nanzhao and Tibetan architectural elements. It serves as a poignant reminder of the era’s cultural amalgamation, reflecting the multiethnic character of the Nanzhao period. Historically, Nanzhao rose from humble beginnings as a small tribe to become a formidable military power. Initially confined to the shores of Erhai Lake, it gradually expanded its territory through military prowess, annexing neighboring tribes and extending its dominion to encompass regions as far-reaching as Sichuan, Guizhou, Guangxi, and even parts of Vietnam. At its zenith, Nanzhao’s territory spanned an impressive 1.0736 million square kilometers, dwarfing the size of Yunnan province by a factor of 27. It stood as a formidable force, rivalling the Tang and Tibetan dynasties for nearly two centuries.

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