Honglongjing (Red Dragon Well) in Dali Old Town

The top 4 Instagram-worthy spots are located in the old town, where the buildings, gates, and cobbled streets are renovated for tourism today. You won’t miss Hong Long Jing as it’s built in the center of the town.

In recent years the once-quiet street of Honglongjing (红龙井) – literally ‘Red dragon well’ – has received a makeover that turned it into a pedestrian street with a stream running down its middle. It is frequented by the growing number of domestic tour groups during the day but is generally quiet at night.

The upper end of Honglongjing has several guesthouse options, from the backpacker-friendly Dali Hump to Yu Yuan Hotel, which is owned and managed by a friendly Bai family. Chinese painter Fang Lijun designed his hotel Yunnan Inn, where his Dali studio is located.

The stretch of Honglongjing on the east side of Bo’ai Lu is a massive real estate development that is slowly starting to attract tenants that give it some character. Yiran Tang Vegetarian Buffet offers a five-yuan Buddhist vegetarian buffet that is great for vegans and vegetarians but also travelers on shoestring budgets.

Handmade crafts are springing up in this part of Honglongjing – in addition to a few stalls selling handmade silver jewelry, there is a wide selection of ceramic products at Pottery Studio, where visitors can also make their own pottery.

There are several ways to get to the spot while admiring the different street views. You can walk down the Fuxin Road (the main shopping street) or get down from the parallel street called Boai Road. You can also reach there by coming from Buxing Street.
You will not need to pay to visit this place, and it’s free and open to the public. I recommend visiting in the early morning, about an hour after the sunrise for fewer tourists and the best view.