On Renmin Lu, there are many local Bai and Muslim restaurants serve authentic good fresh food, you just need point out what you want over the shelf, easy! Bai food has a very good reputation through over Yunnan. It's spicy, sour and fresh. You must tell them if you don't eat chili (Lajiao), otherwise even a little bit spice will make your tongue burn. Fish casserole, Tofu casserole, Cheese (Rushan, Rubing), many kinds of wild fungus, Ham, Various flowers and local green vegetables, Rice noodle, Sticky rice cake with pickled veggies and meat sauce, Mashed potato (Lao nai yangyu-Gramma's potato). Muslim cooks very good beef dishes, soup and more, which doesn't exist in Bai restaurant. It's very easy to be a vegetarian, many choices in Dali.
Bai festival (All dates are of lunar calendar)
Sanyue Jie (25th, Mar): The biggest festival for trading, people sale all kinds of products like food, clothe, medicine, animals shy;from all over China. It also has traditional dancing and singing competition and horse racing show. It happens on the big street outside of western gate.
Hudiehui: (15th, Apr): Festival for lovers, holds at Butterfly Spring, 40mintes by bus to north of DALI, just 5minetes after Zhoucheng. It based on a love story, when a couple love each other by can't stay together, so they both changed to a couple of butterflies around a nice pond shy;Bai, mostly young people from the village all around the Lake will come in a small group with their beautiful dress singing, dancing for three days.
Raoshan Ling (23-25th, Apr): A day to remember a good king and to "Benazhu"-Duan zongbang(who holds the highest rank between all the Benzhu around Dali). It holds at the bottom of hillside, farmers just finished planting rice, whether is hot. A good break from fields work. Bai people (most are old people) all dress new and make up happily, old lady and man wear colored sunglasses. Many shows of singing and dancing, together with praying and cooking all will happen in the fields and woods.
Huoba Jie (25th, Jun): Torch festival, the Bai, Yi, Mosuo, Naxi all celebrate it in different area of Yunnan. The biggest torch in the village center can be over 10meters; all the children will have small ones to play in their hands. Fire always is a good sign in minority stories; symbolize good future, good luck.
Yutang Hui (15th, Aug): It's animal fair, lasts a week. People are coming from a long way: Sichuan, Tibet, Guizhou to trade horse, donkey, cow, and goat.
Hand died paper, pottery, woodcarving, stone carving, Bai embroidery, Tie-died cloth, and Silver work. You can find almost all of them on the market day, many wood workers are stay outside of south gate, many of stone (marble) workers are stay outside of north gate.