AnneMarie and Andrew

Annemarie and Andrew – Trekking Asia

Dali: Old Town

Dali is actually two towns. There is the new town where the bus and train station are, then 12km away there is the Old town of Dali. An Ancient Kingdom in China famed for its marble, mountains and water. This is one of the top destinations for Chinese backpackers and people who we have met on the way recommended it or were also coming here. Maybe it is because we were spoilt by the clean streets of Lijiang with canals running alongside and under the path. Whatever the reason, Dali has fallen way below expectations.

The centre having been rebuilt since 1999 where the streets were made of mud and the houses run down. See the gallery section – Dali. Now the Old Town of Dali is full of Western style cafes and shops. There are four gates which are highly decorated and you can walk a few hundred metres along the wall but that’s about it. Other things to do include walking or taking the cable car up the mountain – Cangshan Mountain We are hoping to go for a horse ride up the mountain tomorrow, all being well. We had to cancel today as we ate at an iffy restaurant, which did not agree with me.

Aside from the above and the Three Pagodas it is rather difficult to explore the other ‘must do’ of the Lake unless you own a motorbike or have lots of money like the Chinese Tourists. We had wanted to do a tour that is run by the hostel for a reasonable price but it requires 4 people and the others staying in the hostel appear not to venture out. Another ‘must do’ is the cable car up the mountain but at 230yuan or £23 each, not bad if you are in Switzerland but extremely expensive when a meal out for the locals is 4yuan. Plus it will blow our daily budget.

Dali has given us time to purchase a rucksack cover, post a postcard and eat more Western food but with hindsight we’d have spent one day here before heading off to Vietnam earlier to allow more time in Sa Pa and walking through the rice terraces.

Posted from Dali, Yunnan, China.

1 Comment

  1. The walkway along the Cangshan mountain sounds interesting.

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