Saturday, December 8, 2007

Dali

I had traveled the same road from Lijian to Dali when I came to Lijian from Kunming but had fallen asleep for part of the trip and was glad to see the scenery along the road on the way back to Dali. It is a beautiful part of the country with loads of hills and really pretty terraces for growing different types of crops.

I had talked to some people while in Lijiang about Dali and they did not really have anything good to say about the town but I found it a pretty nice place even though I ended up staying a lot longer than I had planned.

Dali old town is a walled city and even though the wall is no longer complete it has a number of impressive gates. This is a picture of the south gate that was right next to the hostel that I stayed at while in Dali.



I got a bit sick while I was in Dali and did not want to take the 5 hour bus trip to Kunming until I felt like it would not be painful to be away from a toilet for many hours. Even though I spent a week in Dali I did not do a lot. I spent a lot of each day setting at a restaurant or on one of the four city gates enjoying the sun and reading a book. I did walk up a ways on the mountain on the west side of town a couple of times. The first time I walked up until I reached some sort of military base and turned around. The other day I walked up to the chair lift and decided I did not want to take it up the mountain so turned around and came down. I also walked to the entrance to the Three Pagodas but found the entrance fee a bit much so did not go in. I don't always understand the entrance fees to some of the sites in China. Food, travel and lodging are all really cheap here but the entrance fees to some of the sites are about the same as sites in Europe. The 3 pagodas was 121 Yuan which I think is about double what the fee was for the forbidden city is. I have never really heard about Dali's 3 pagodas, the guidebook did not rave about them and I have been to a number of pagodas now and they all sort of blend together. I just figured I would just take a few pictures from the outside and give the entrance a pass.



I recovered but stayed a couple of days longer because I overslept and missed the morning bus one day. I also figured no need to spend the weekend in Kunming since I could not apply for my visa on a weekend but made it there on a Saturday so was ready to apply for the visa first thing Monday morning.

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