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Walled City & Cycling in the rain

Love the small town/village of Dali being partly walled & still has intact the 4 big entry gates to the city.

Back to the arrival....think I got some sleep on the hard sleeper - lots of tossing & turning! Asked for help in reading our ticket to find out the carriage & berth last night before boarding. Eventually found it after setting up in the wrong one! We are in a 4 berth just like the soft sleeper we had in CVietnam but a little smaller. Pillow & blanket provided. Met a few other people in the carriage that could speak English & were keen to talk to us. One was a student from Lijiang wanting to practice his English & another a chinese family traveling from the US.

Arrived at 6.30am & just getting light. Got a 3 wheeled motobike ( like a tuk tuk ) for 30 Yuan $2. Ended up being 40 minutres drive from the train station at New or Xia Guan Dali to a totaly separate city of Old Dali. It was cold & we put our jumpers on.

Dropped us off at the guesthouse ( The Jade Emu - really good - stay here!!) & they were full! Said they could get us a room at guesthouse behind but that all the dorm rooms were full. Said I would take it but then 2 dorm rooms became available so got a bed each for 35 Yuan each. Put our luggage in storage as we couldn't get into the room till after 12 & went off to explore.

Dali has population just over 100,000 & is at 2000 metres & nestled under these big mountains of 4000 feet It is between the mountains & this huge lake.

Crossed the Tibet Highway & walked into the Old Town ( 5 mins walk). It is lovely & like the old Chinese villages I was expecting. Old traditional homes with turned up tiled rooves, white buildings with chinese painting on them , narrow cobbled streets, cobbled stone deep water ways & streams rushing down from the mountains, red lanterns, city gates, wells in the streets( saw an old lady drop her bucket down the hole & pull up water).

Booked 2 bicycles for 40 yuan $8 & headed off to Lake Er Hai . Rode down a few streets pst farms & then to the pier at Cai Cun where you can catch boats over the lake. It was raining lightly & then got heavier so we stopped a few times under shelter.

Back into town & out to the Three Pagaodas. The tallest one was built in the 9th century & is 70 metres high. We didn't go inside but rode past & they can be seen from all around the countryside.

Back into town we rode down a street where everyone was a marble craftsman. Outside their shops were big rocks of marble & inside were the finished products - beautiful big urns, vases & tables. Came across the beautiful north gate of the city. It had oroginally been a walled city but there is only wall remaining now on the south side.

We trasversed the city to the south gate, battling the crowds of chinese tourists wandering around the shops in the old streets & are there shops!!! Decided to drop our bikes back, grab some lunch & wander the shops & streets. LOTS of nice shops to look in, walked on the wall at the south gate for a great view over the lake & mountains. Sun was out now & everything looked beautiful though some low cloud still covered part of the mountains. Found a gurgling stream & walked beside it till the track run out & lots of lovely water features in the old town with watercourses in the streets & lots of flowering plants & of course willow trees & clumps of bamboo.

Had an early dinner of Lamb Chops & mashed potato , onion & baked beans. So good!!!

Came back to the hostel & met our roomates - Treena & Dan from the States. Have been teaching English in Korea for a year & now backpacking for 8 months. Booked our bus to Lijiang for tomorrow afternoon for 65 Yaan each ( about $12 AUS) Nicest dorm, big comfy 3/4 bed with nice doona ( need it at night as cold), towel & even toiletries are provided.

The pink hunchback riding

The pink hunchback riding


Stumbled on the North Gate while riding

Stumbled on the North Gate while riding


Lots of people in Dali Old Town

Lots of people in Dali Old Town


The Three Pagodas in the mist

The Three Pagodas in the mist


Sheltering out of the rain

Sheltering out of the rain


Street stall

Street stall


A Lion-Dog we saw!!!

A Lion-Dog we saw!!!


South Gate

South Gate


Stream & track we followed

Stream & track we followed


Watercourses on Old Town

Watercourses on Old Town


More Town streams

More Town streams


An old man leaving his house

An old man leaving his house


Clearing but cloud in the mountains

Clearing but cloud in the mountains


View from the City Walls

View from the City Walls


City Walls

City Walls


Low cloud

Low cloud


Bridge over stream

Bridge over stream


On the bridge

On the bridge


More lovely old town streams

More lovely old town streams


Old Town willows & gurgling water

Old Town willows & gurgling water


Old town scenes

Old town scenes


Old Town Street towards mountain

Old Town Street towards mountain


Grass growing on the roof

Grass growing on the roof


Walking back to hostel

Walking back to hostel


All food is displayed outside restaurants

All food is displayed outside restaurants


Foreigner Street restaurants

Foreigner Street restaurants


Lady getting water from the well to was her v

Lady getting water from the well to was her v


The Jade Emu Hostel

The Jade Emu Hostel


Hostel from the entry courtyard

Hostel from the entry courtyard


Our 4 bed dorm

Our 4 bed dorm

Posted by hillbillyramsey 17:00 Archived in China

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