Leaving it all behind to explore the world together
Heading West in the Far East – Dali & Lijiang, China
Leaving Kunming by train, we headed west. Our goal is to travel north and west through Yunnan province towards areas of Tibetan culture.
Our first stop was the city of Dali, on the shores of Lake Erhai. The Dali Old Town (or Ancient Town) it is undeniably beautiful, though most of the buildings have been restored to achieve the ancient look. But this doesn’t deter the Chinese domestic tourists, who flock to the streets, shopping for local specialties as silver jewelry, sweet buns stuffed with rose petals (yes, it’s a food), and for whatever reason, bongo drums.
North of the Old Town is the Three Pagodas complex. Its an old Buddhist site, with the centre pagoda dating back over 1200 years. There are a bunch of temples surrounding the pagodas, and it costs a hefty entrance fee of 100 CNY (Chinese Yuan, which is around $20 CAD) – a little rich for our blood, so we opted for some free photos outside the gates.
The Cangshan mountains run to the west of Dali, and offer great hiking opportunities. The most popular hike, rather dramatically known as the Cloud Traveler’s Path, is really more of a walk, as the path is paved and in decent condition throughout. But the views of the surrounding mountains and the lake are fantastic.
From Dali we headed north by train, arriving in Lijiang. Much like Dali, Lijiang is famous for its Old Town area. While Dali manages to feel somewhat authentic, Lijiang was like being on the It’s a Small World ride at Disneyland. But it was worth it just to see a view of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, towering over the city from the north.
We had been warned Lijiang was overdone, so we only planned it as a stopover on our way to trekking at Tiger Leaping Gorge. But that’s another post, for another time. Well, more specifically it’s the next post, probably in a day or two’s time (pending good internet). Stay tuned!
Doug and Emily / June 6, 2017 @ 9:15pm / Walnut Grove, Leaping Tiger Gorge, Yunnan, China @ Tibetan Guesthouse