Last Stop Dali

Trip Start May 01, 2010
Trip End Apr 30, 2011

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Flag of China  , Yunnan,
Thursday, April 28, 2011

We are in Dali, a large town situated at nearly 2000 metres on the edge of Erhai Hu lake and nestled under the 4000 metre high Cangshan or Green Mountains. The old town has, like Lijiang, been taken over by huge crowds of Chinese tourists who wander around in large groups all wearing identical baseball caps or travel in large golf buggies! The old town is nice but lacks some of the beauty and charm of Lijiang. It has some great restaurants though. Our favourite was Black Dragon Cafe where we ate one of the best chocolate brownies we have ever tasted and a mulberry smoothie made with local mulberries which are having their short harvesting season right now.

Yesterday we took a cable car up into the beautiful Cangshan Mountains where we walked 11km through the pine forest along a trail which hugged the edge of the mountains. Above us, remote, deep cut valleys led up to lofty peaks while below us we could see Dali spread out on the shores of Erhai Hu, China’s seventh largest lake. Rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias, all native to Yunnan, provided splashes of colour to the deep green forest backdrop. Also in profusion were large numbers of birds, flitting from tree to tree and filling the lush valleys with their voices. At one point we heard a pheasant calling but were unable to spot the bird amongst the undergrowth. Yunnan is home to a number of exotic looking and rare pheasants. At the end of the trail we enjoyed a slow chairlift ride back down to town.

This afternoon we are taking a bus back to Kunming where we spend one night before heading to the airport tomorrow for our flight home. We can’t quite believe that we have reached the end of our trip! We will post one last blog tomorrow with a few final thoughts.

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