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Dali Adventure (Summer Break)

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Friday, 5th August 2005

After leaving Kunming around 1am we made it to Xiaguan or New Dali City around five in the morning. Xiaguan is capital of the Dali area or prefecture. It's not actually the Dali we or western travellers are after. The comfort offered by the bars and cafes lies a further 30 or so minutes away. We slept for another hour or more on the bus and then grabbed the road side bus number 4 to Dali's 'Old Town'.

When we arrived at the wall we noticed a sign saying Jims Tibetan Guesthouse.

Of course we knew the name from the good book and decided to use it as a central point. We followed the arrow. What we didn't know at the time was we were walking in the complete opposite direction than we should have been walking. We found Jims Guesthouse and didn't like the prices so after studying the map endlessly we totally believed that the entire Dali Old town had been relocated elsewhere.

Luckily during our confusion we met other travellers whom had made the same mistake and they showed us the way.

What we were actually looking for or using as a guide was Jims Tibetan PEACE Guesthouse and Café. Not Jims Tibetan Guesthouse. It lay on the other side of the wall which was actually inside the wall and in the city. We did the pricing rounds and chose a beautiful guesthouse beside a tiny gurgling creek that trickled down hill. The guesthouse was called the Yu'an Guesthouse. I'd recommend it to anyone whom visits Dali.

It's a short walk away from the bars and cafes and is very quiet.

One the first day we found what ended up being my favourite place for breakfast. A café named Stella's which is opposite a Korean Guesthouse. Awesome breakfast! Spent the day on a huge walk around the city. We took a horse and cart ride to and from the 3 Pagodas. Didn't bother paying the entry fee, so we walked around the wall and returned. We headed out for dinner and found Marley's Café. Kylie would become good friends with Marley over the following week or so.

Kylie decided on an early night and Remi and I stayed out till all hours of the morning sharing stories with passing peoples.

Saturday, 6th August 2005

Remi said his good bye's to us at some horrid hour of the morning. For all I know it was probably nine or ten. Kylie and I parted rooms this morning. It was time to for us to become separate travel buddies. I to travel in my style and she to travel in hers. I checked into a new room and headed down to Stella's for a huge breakfast. Here I met a French/Chinese guy. It was strange when he came to me and asked if I knew how to read Chinese and gave me a pamphlet and told me he couldn't understand it. I should have known as his Lonely Planet was in French as was his accent.

I laughed and we sat for cigarettes over coffee.

After breakfast we headed out for a walk that took us out of the city and down to Erhai Hu or the huge lake about an hours walk away. Here we decided on a boat ride and after much scoffing, laughing and walking from prices we all came to a comfortable arrangement. We soon had the wind in our hair. First stop was Putuo Dao and Xiaoputuo. Second stop was to a small island with an awesome market for food.

Here we had a beer and filled our stomaches and boarded the boat again to return to the small docks from which we boarded.

On the walk back French/Chinese chose to accept a ride in a horse and cart and I chose to continue walking in the sunshine. On the way I met a Chinese student whom I met later for dinner. There we sat talking to his friends over beer until they moved on. I ended up sitting with an English couple until the early hours of the morning. Well, really I had no choice, I had to stay. It began to rain around 1am and didn't stop till well after 2:30am.

This was more than just a shower; it literally poured billions of buckets onto Dali.

The water gushed down the little cobble stone roads. It became like a river and we even had to move the tables to higher ground. Over the rain we could just hear shouts from across the road. I dared to venture into the rain, across the river and was offered 5 consecutive shots for my efforts before I returned. Luckily for me my trusty sandals held up well during the dangerous river crossing.

Sunday, 7th August 2005

I decided on trying another Café for breakfast but it didn't compare to Stella's. I sat chatting to a Chinese family for over an hour and decided on the Cable Car/Mountain Walk. I grabbed my cheap tickets from the same guy walking up and down the street I had chatted to the day before. I bussed it to where the Cable Car leaves. It was an awesome but cold journey in the cable car. I also had to spend a huge 7 Yuan on a plastic rain coat as the days weather had gone down hill as I was going uphill.

At the top I began a beautiful walk along the 'cloud walkway' or whatever it is called.

It was so quiet. I ran into the Chinese student and his girlfriend along the way. It finally stopped raining and the views were to die for. Easy to do from so high up, but not literally. They were beautiful! The end of the road was at Zhonghe Si...another temple! I continued past and finally came to where the track ended and another smallish track continued on past the concrete slab that marked the walk ways end. I headed back and after a small snack I mounted the chair lift and slowly made my way down the mountain side.

What a fantastic ride but sadly below me the hill side was full of litter.

I tried my hardest not to look down and keep focused on the beauty of the lake Erhai Hu and Dali. I found myself drawn towards the litter below. I couldn't comprehend how people could just throw their waste away in such a huge degree in such a beautiful place.

Later in the day I met a sweet Aussie couple.

His name was Nick, he was from the Gold Coast and hers was Shannon, she was from Melbourne. They had met in Beijing where they were both studying Chinese. We had so much to talk about as we all had spent time in both places in Australia. We sat at a little Café whose owners began to take care of me like one of their own. Over the next week they would bring me water and snacks each night. I tried to pay but they never accepted. I did try their breakfast one morning to only return in the evenings.

After Nick and Shannon left I dropped into the Vietnamese Café on the way home for a beer and a chat to its owners.

Monday, 8th August 2005

I contemplated leaving Dali but decided to stay another day or two. After leaving Stella's I hired a bike and made my way around the little back streets for an hour before leaving the walls and heading back towards the lake. I was just getting warmed up and decided on a days ride as far as I could go around the lake. Off I went for many hours and finally made it to Jiangwei at the lakes end. Here I sat for some noodles in a little noodle shop in a dusty little street before heading back the way I had came.

The night found me back at my little Café across from the Pub.

The Pub was going off this evening. It hires Western women to stand out front to entice travellers of all nationalities to come in. I met two Italian guys and we sat talking about life in general until the early hours. Sometime in the early hours two Chinese dropped into say hello. They were heading to Lijiang and Zhongdian over the next couple of days and she smiled cutely and asked if I wanted to join them. Though she was extremely beautiful I had a bad feeling about her for some reason. I found out they weren't a couple and he had met her a few nights prior. I didn't ask where they and met and didn't want to know either.

To be nice I accepted a breakfast invitation for the following morning and finally they left.

Tuesday, 9th August 2005

Though I had accepted the breakfast offer from the Chinese 'couple' last evening, I decided instead to go back to Stella's. On my walk afterwards I met Kylie and I sat for a second helping of breakfast whilst we caught up. We had both decided on heading to Lijiang the following day and decided to grab the same bus. I spent the day in a little Café reading and drinking water and fruit juice to pass the hours.

That night I met a few people I had shared time with and we walked the streets laughing freely and having a great time before relaxing with a beer and snacks.

Beers N Noodles Toya...shane

Dali Nights 1

Dali Nights 1


Dali Nights 2

Dali Nights 2


Dali Nights 3

Dali Nights 3


Jinsuo Dao

Jinsuo Dao


Jinsuo Dao - It's not my net.  I didn't tangle it!

Jinsuo Dao - It's not my net. I didn't tangle it!


Jinsuo Dao - MMMmmm Yummy!

Jinsuo Dao - MMMmmm Yummy!


Maaate, Go Remi

Maaate, Go Remi


Oh, they are cute, but I could give them back!

Oh, they are cute, but I could give them back!


The 3 Pagodas

The 3 Pagodas


The Rice Noodle Factory

The Rice Noodle Factory


Tianjing Pavilion

Tianjing Pavilion


Tianjing Pavilion 2

Tianjing Pavilion 2


You Buy You Buy

You Buy You Buy


Zhonghe Shan - A walk in the clouds

Zhonghe Shan - A walk in the clouds


Zhonghe Shan - Is this what god sees

Zhonghe Shan - Is this what god sees


Zhonghe Shan 3***

Zhonghe Shan 3***


Zhonghe Shan*

Zhonghe Shan*


Zhonghe Shan**

Zhonghe Shan**

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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