Have you ever heard of Dali?
While spending two months exploring China my boyfriend and I had the pleasure of making a stop in Dali, a hippy town near the Tibetan boarder. I’m not sure why we decided to make the stop, probably to break apart long train rides, but I’m glad we did.
Dali is located in the Yunnan province and the place instantly grasps you. Why should you travel to Dali you might wonder.. Well for one the scenery is beautiful. Beyond Old Town you’ll find a gorgeous mountain view. I mean I live by the mountains in Canada so I see them all the time, but mountains combined with traditional Chinese architecture? It was unbelievable. And real.
You’ll find a lot of China’s cities are manufactured and are pretty fake and tacky, so to find a real gem, a real city, was amazing.
When we got to Dali I truly knew nothing about it. But once we arrived we were completely absorbed by everything. There were cafes everywhere in Old Town Dali, live bands playing, hip and trendy youth wandering around the streets arm in arm with their beau.. Dali was vibrant.
the view from out hostel was unreal
If you’re looking for great food try Fu Xing Street for some restaurants. I’m a vegetarian so naturally I scope out all the good veggie places and there’s a vegetarian restaurant there called Lovely Lotus and they have a buffet 🙂 Go bananas! There are also a few reallyyyy bad restaurants in Old Town Dali that look really cute and fun, but they are really terribly bad. So keep an eye out on what other people are eating. At one place Aaron got a French onion soup and I got “roasted root vegetables” and it was actually repulsive. His soup was warmed up milk with cut up red onion and my vegetables were.. well I don’t know what they were haha. Just be careful because you’re not going to get your money back!
How cute are the streets here!? Actually makes my heart melt
So why else will you fall in love with Old Town Dali? Well for one there is a gorgeous lake near by that gives you a mesmerizing view of the city! Aaron and I saw it on the train in and it was breathtaking. So breathtaking with the sun setting behind the mountains beyond the lake that I forgot to take photos!
Another little surprise Dali has in store is they have bumping Karaoke! I would die if I went on stage but it was so fun watching people perform! At night you’ll hear an explosion of music mixed between Karaoke and Top 40 tunes. You should have seen my face when I heard Showtek blaring from this traditional style building. I actually snapped it (fernwehwolf)
At one bar we got a cocktail and 6 beers came with it!
Obviously I found a Starbucks on Dali. I had gone WEEKS on instant coffee and was in desperate need of some soy milk and caffeine. I might have sprinted into the Starbucks to be honest lol.
There is also so much shopping in Dali it was hard not to go a little nuts. Boutique book stores, traditional Chinese clothes and trinkets.. truly heaven for those wanting to bring a few small things home.
We found a really cute cafe! One of many 🙂 I also got makeup all over my hand.. Breakfast from out hostel. That green onion cake was soooooo good. I wish I could have it every day still. It was pretty funny actually there’s this stuff called congee and it’s basically just rice and water but it’s also a traditional Chinese breakfast. So for breakfast we would get congee as well and the receptionist was like “You’re the only two I’ve seen eat this!” Any excuse to eat more carbs.
If I had to tell you to choose between Lijiang and Dali I would choose Dali. Unless you’re going to the Tiger Leaping Gorge then hang out in Lijiang for a few days. I feel bad for not exploring Old Town Dali more but we were so pressed for time! I would have loved 4-5 days here to really see the area and take in the gorgeous mountains.
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