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Dali Town

China is a huge country and with so many differences between the people and the geographics. You have sharp mountains and round mountains, Banantrees and desert and Han-Chinese and Minorities. And there are so many of them. And the perfect spot to feel this diversity is the province Yunnan.

China is a huge country and with so many differences between the people and the geographics. You have sharp mountains and round mountains, Banantrees and desert and Han-Chinese and Minorities. And there are so many of them. And the perfect spot to feel this diversity is the province Yunnan.

The oldest Chinese fossil was found there, in the southwest of China, close to Tibet. Which is only a consequence, because it is one of the most fruitful regions in whole Asia. Two thirds of Chinas species of plants and animals are all found in Yunnan. And it has the highest number of ethnic groups among China. 38% of the population belongs to a minority.
And the best city in this wonderland is Dali City. It is at the same time the most original and western town you could imagine on your travel.

The minority of the Bai is very pleasing to the eye hence they are wearing great costumes made out of dyed but very durable cloth. They are very skilled in handcrafts of any kind and are quite funny, when you start bargaining with them. In the western part, though there are the many cheap backpacker dorms, which offer a very pleasant and calm hospitality. And I had muesli with yoghurt and fruits…I will never forget.

Another story that connects me with that place is quite personal and exciting. I bought myself a bike in China and once in a while on my trip I took a ride. There was a market a few hours off Dali and I decided to drive there and sleep over on a rice-field. The problem was that it started to rain. So quickly all my clothes and shoes were full of water. I jumped on the bike and now lightning even started. And I swear to god, a flash came down right in front of me and my face got hot from this heat. Eventually I managed to find shelter in a petrol-station.

The next morning, I was offered steaming rice and I was asked to give the youngest son of the family a western name. This is obviously a tradition since a few years. I must admit that this event kind of touched me. I gave him the name of Leon, which I liked at the time. Later this day we went to the market and I have great moments with one Vendeuse that bargained the hell out of me. At the market you had literally everything, from Bamboo-Rats over Pigs, dead and alive, and all sorts of handicraft. I departed from my new friends and hoped that my clothes will dry on the way back. They did and I had the sunburn. The bike had to go, so I sold it the very next day to an Englishman, who decided to settle down in Dali City!

I think you can go there all year long. Beware of the monsoon! Smartest would be to take a train from Hong Kong or Kunming.

http://www.chinahighlights.com/dali/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yunnan

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dali%2C_Yunnan_province

written by wil6ka

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