Laura's World Tour
19th Jul 2012 - 21st Jul 2012
Dali - Touristic pleasure
After a very long journey, I found myself in Dali and back together with Elni. It was wonderful to arrive at 7:30am and head straight to El's hotel and jump into the bed next to hers.
Once we re-emerged into the world, we headed over to the old town where we had booked accomodation. Dali used to be the centre of operations while Yunnan (its province) governed its own affairs. It is all encompassed within old city walls a couple hundred years old - you know how it is and spotted with curio shops, restaurants and banks.
I personally thought that it was a tad too touristy as the Chinese tourist pour in at 8am (not sure where from) and there is chaos from then onwards. One morning I treated myself to an early start to see the town when only the street sweepers are up and the shop owners are just arriving: it was enchanting. The cobbled streets are bordered with mini water ways, quaint bridges. The buildings are all connected on the street and line the streets with their delicately carved doors and pointy toed roofs. All special.
Dali itself is set a couple hundred metres away from a ginormous lake which would take days to circumvent. And on the other side, hills that quickly become mountains spotted with temples.
We didn't make it to the mountains but did spend a relaxed afternoon cycling to the lake and then weaving our way through the alleyways of the small villages that cling to the lake. We stopped to taste new things, got reprimanded by an old dude who said we should go one way, we went the other (this communication was done purely with hands and his angry face - we hit a dead end so should have listened but we wouldn't have bumped into the rice paddies that bridge the lake to the door steps of some lucky souls with its crescendo of frog opera. I'm not sure we were ever lost but we definitely didn't know where we were going.
The weather was slightly tempramental which was a stroke of luck for us as we were able to, guilty free (probably just talking for myself as I don't think Elni would feel guilty anyways) enjoy a full body massage. We were led to the spot by a very friendly staff member from our hotel and after a short while worked out that we would be receiving these massages by deaf people. They were rigorous - my word! But we walked out of there refreshed and full of laughter as I asked the one to turn the tv down - not cool since they deaf but it was really loud!
As everybody suggested, we also ate delicious food! A lot of vegetarian delight: eggplant, egg and tomato playing a key role. And an evening of kebabs cooked on the fire on the side of the street while sitting on temporary chairs drinking beer. All street food and all incredible.
Dali treated us spectacularly and would recommend spending more time than we did in this ancient village.
For next time: I heard from a guy in Indonesia who had just arrived from China that you are able to stay in the monastery on the mountain and practice kungfu with them daily... For next time!
|21st Jul 2012 Dali|
|The streets leading down to the lake.|
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