Travel Journal

Dali and Lijiang (China)

(Sunday 13 January 2008) by Lynda
Dali is one of the oldest backpackers hangouts in China and it's very clear why. Even in January this place is great to spend some time because the sun is just
Yep, I could be Bai
Yep, I could be Bai
always there. We visited a local market just north of Dali to see minority people trading their home grown products. A very colorful market with all kind of vegetables, herbs, spices and everything you and imagine a person could need. Yes, and of course the unavoidable small tourist stalls with embroidery, hats and knick-knacks.

We also explored the countryside by bike, we had a good look on the map, put it away and soon got lost in the little streets between the houses along the Erhai lake. We followed dirt tracks that winded through the fields where people were working on their crops. We even had a flat tire but no worries, even the tiniest village has a bike repairman that can fix that problem in a minute. We're very proud of ourselves.... finding our way around and having our bike repaired without speaking a word of chinese! But pointing and signing goes a long way and always works.

Dali itself is also a great place simply to hang around, relax, have a drink, a smoke and a good meal and of course......great company!
Take my breath away: 4680m!
Take my breath away: 4680m!

From Dali we took the bus to Lijiang, further north and also higher up in the mountains, the outskirts of the Tibetan plateau. The village itself is at 2.300m but in the distance you can see high, snow covered mountains that reach over 4.000m. And because we've never been up so high we decided it was time to get high!!!! We took the cable car to 4.500m and from there we walked up the stairs to 4.680m. The view from up there was amazing....takes your breath away (yes in both meanings, because oxygen is very low at that altitude), the sky so blue, the view so far and the wind soo cold. One of the highlights of our trip so far, being on top of the world together and simply enjoying being there.

I promised Joost some subtropical weather so time to head south to Xishuangbanna region (you can call me Banna). We'll keep you posted of our adventures down south!


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