Relaxing in Dali

Situated between Erhai lake on one side and the Cangshan mountain range on the other Dali lies in a unique location. Moreover it is blessed by year-round (more or less) warm and pleasant weather. No wonder many Chinese celebrities make this their home base, so there are whole mansion quarters to be found in the foothills.

Lake with Mountain in the back

The otherwise quiet village is also rapidly gaining popularity among Chinese tourists, but when I was there I was able to avoid the crowds by simply getting to Renmin Bi, the main street, early in the morning, and by not showing up at the three pagodas. Also cycling along the lake and hiking in the mountains seemed to be a lot less attractive than frequenting the numerous souvenir shops and fancy restaurants in the city center, so I usually did not encounter many people.

Lake Erhai

Taoist temple in Cangshan

View of Dali

Every Chinese person I had met had urged me to go to Yunnan province, and especially to Dali, and I started to understand why: It was a lot more relaxed, laid back, than all the other places I had been to, the weather was a lot nicer, and the people were maybe a little more friendly and helpful.

After a few days in Dali I backtracked to Kunming, the provincial capital, my last destination in China. A big, but nice city that has also caught some of the “Dali-vibe”, it seemed.

Kunming Tai Chi Practice

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