Dali: The Heart Of Yunnan Province| 2 min read

Dali, a bit off the beaten path down in Yunnan.  I visited Dali during Golden week…

Although it was busy we found it really easy to get there and to find somewhere to stay. We traveled from Kunming to Dali by bus which was much quicker than the train and costs about 80yuan one way. Don’t be fooled into getting the train although it is only 35yuan for a seat it takes 10hours by train and only 5 hours by bus and that was with some traffic. We had to get the train back and it was way too crowded but I guess you get used to that!

When you arrive in Dali you arrive in the new city this is not where you want to be, great for shopping but if you want to see old city Dali then get a taxi to the old city which costs around 20yuan at the most. We stayed at the Friends Guesthouse just outside the wall and it cost 80yuan a room for 2 with en-suite it was clean and friendly.

Old Dali city is very beautiful and there is a lot to see there we ran out of time but we went to see the 3 Pagodas which was fantastic, pricey about 140yuan but we managed to get cheap tickets as we had some Chinese friends with us. You need about 4-5 hours in there as there is a lot to see. We also went to the Dragon Caves via cable car which has amazing views from the top and after leaving you are given a demo in the art of tea making and tea tasting.

It’s a good idea to get a driver for the day to visit multiple sites as this costs 60yuan and he takes you there waits for then takes you to your next sight and takes you back to your hostel when you’re finished and this is when you pay him you do need to barter with them because ours started at 200yuan. There are loads of bars and places to eat in the old city from Chinese to western food. And you also have great transport links to Lianjing and the Tiger Leaping Gorge.

There are also other attractions, a tea dance performance, a cruise on Erhai Lake and a mountain Temple. You need about 5 or 6 days in Dali to do all the sights. And some of them are expensive by Chinese standards but definitely worth it. Don’t miss out on this amazing place!

Rachel Yoon

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