Traditional Orchestra

Regent Hotel, Dali, Yunnan province

This Qing-Dynasty-themed orchestra is, as traditional in China, very loud; the reeded and trumpet-like wind instruments are especially piercing, and the gongs crash together as if to wake the gods. Other instruments here include various percussion, erhu, lutes, dulcimer, and zithers. As so often in China's tourist venues, the musicians and singers are very skillful.

Dali was the ancient capital of the Nanzhao (649-902) and Dali (937-1254) kingdoms, due to its favorable position guarding the southern silk and tea trade routes. The ancestral home of the Bai and Yi peoples, it is located in western Yunnan, not far from Tibet and Burma. The old town is situated near the western shore of Ear Lake (Er Hai), between the lake to the east and the Cang Shan mountains to the west.