It takes 8 hours to reach Dali town from Shangri-la by bus. So, my travel buddy and I arrived fairy late. Good things that friends booked a hostel for us. Emu Hostel – really good one. The certain bad thing about it is that they cook very-very slowly. Extremely slowly I would say. So, you better find a better place to order your breakfast.
We hardly could see anything in the darkness but still Dali town surprised – first time in Chine, first time my life I saw Chinese guys playing Bob Marley in the middle of the street. That was the certain time I saw Chinese with dreadlocks. They played hard to look like hippie. Hopefully they really are. Anyway that was cool to see that something like this exists in China.
Good thing there is a bar-club for “lao vay”. It calls mad Monkey and it’s like all such bars in China. Not better not worse. It’s just a pity that it’s the certain place in the city so you don’t have that much choice.
Anyway, in the morning our cultural program was started. Dali is wonderful. It’s calm and quite in the day time. Nice.
The good thing about the old city is that it’s not just one street like in most part of “old” Chinese cities. Old town is pretty big here and consists not only of souvenir streets. First touristic city in China where you can find small nice streets with no one. What’s a pleasure!
As everywhere else there are highly recommended by Lonely Planet places of interest. The main one is Three Pagodas. They look really cool especially in the evening with pleasant lights. But then as all rest places recommended by LP it’s very expensive. The Entrance fee is 110 yuan. Could be cheaper if you are a student – then it’s 80 yuan, but still too much.
So, we decided that we saw enough highly recommended by LP places and that it’s time to stop following it. We didn’t go there and saved 110 yuan each=)
So, what to do if not “highly recommended”?? LAKE! There is wonderful Erhai lake. It’s really beautiful and the road is beautiful as well (if you turn off from the main one). Bike rent is as everywhere in China 20 yuan per day, so it was the best thing for us to do – get bikes in the morning and ride to the lake.
While driving you pass fields where rice grow, we were at harvesting time. Wow! Plus, there are no tourists at all! All of them go to one certain place by bus, so it’s easy to escape from crowds and pics with “highly recommended” stuff on the background.
We got our favorite place there
But unfortunately we didn’t figure out the name… It’s around one hour ride by bike.
So, we stayed for 4 days in Dali and it was “proper summer vocation”. It’s not that alive as Yangshuo but then it’s still cool.
Plus, yeh, there is a trick about getting out of Dali. Normally, you would have to take a train in the new part of the city which is fairy far away – like 30 minutes by bus from the old town. Just keep it in mind cause many tourists miss their trains as they don’t expect that new city could be so far from the old one.
If you haven’t got any accommodation for your next trip booked yet, try it here: Airbnb.
You will get $25 discount for your first booking
and would be able to stay in a nice room or apartment rented from locals and not just in a dorm!