Two friends and I visited southwest China's Yunnan region last November. Although it is not the best season to travel there, we also had a great time.
We arrived at Dali early in the morning after a 7 hours' journey on an overnight train from Kunming. Bus trip from Kunming is around 3 hours' shorter, only taking 4 hours and we think we will try the bus next time.
My first impression of Dali was the clean surroundings: the pure blue sky, crystal-clear water. It was a beautiful day and on the way, we enjoyed the sunrise over the snow-topped Cangshan Mountain.
After a short rest at the hotel, we made our way to the Erhai Lake.. The lake was so quite at this time of the day like a gentle beauty still yet to wake up from her beautiful dream. , Water in the lake is as bright as gemstone. Either bank of the lake lies many Bai ethnic villages. After taking a few photos at the dock, we disembarked a tourist boats for a short cruise. . 40 minutes later, our boat stopped at an islet named, Jinsuo Island. On the island sits a tiny fishing village with around 150 people, most of whom lived on fishing. We were very lucky to encounter a wedding celebration. It seemed that the whole community assembled in a square outside the village to enjoy that beautiful moment.. . The cheer was loud and gifts were ( baskets of rice) were presented to the bride and bridegroom to wish them a life of marital bliss. . Strolling across the village, we were shrouded in a scent of some unknown flower.
Our next goal was the Bai village at Xizhou. The village is filled with ornately decorated traditional Bai courtyards. The Bai people have been famed for their traditional dying art-the batik. The clothes were dyed by a special dye extracted from plants.
We then headed to Three Pagodas, which are regarded as the talisman. These three pagodas were built over 1,000 years ago.
The final stop that day was Cangshan, we took a 10 minutes cable to the mountain top, having a birds-eye view of Dali old town and Erhai. We spent aobut 20 minutes walking around to see the grand gorge, and then we headed back to our hotel.
We enjoyed a pleasant walking along the old town the next morning. All the shops on the street are engaging in tourists-relative business. Travelers are haggling hard with shop owners for their favorite souvenirs. Walking further, the air was filled with strong flavor of food. A old lady was cooking cheese in front of her tiny shop, beckoning passersby.
Dali is impressive and we will definitely return in the future.