Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Your intrepid correspondent in Dali

Okay, I get it. Yes, it's commercialized. Yes, older Bai women in their "ethnic minority" costumes come up to you and whisper, in the lowest, sweetest of voices, "Ganja? Hashish?" - it's like your Granny the Pot Dealer - and you'll want to stay off Fuxing Lu, which is a tourist trap. But seriously, what's not to like about Dali, Yunnan? Beautiful old town, carefully restored, minimal traffic, great restaurants and bars with a cosmopolitan vibe, clean blue skies, huge blue lake, mountains...and did I mention Granny the Pot Dealer?

Not that I took advantage of that or anything. Really! I didn't. And I don't know that I would recommend you do either.

But I would definitely recommend Dali as a wonderful, relaxing and inexpensive getaway. It doesn't surprise me that some travelers come here and forget to leave.

And while you're here, check out "The Caffeine Club" (no website yet, they're working on it), run by Georgia USA natives Chris and John.

Super-nice guys who run a friendly, relaxed place down on the quiet eastern stretch of Renmin Lu. The entire street is worth a walk, and it's a nice change of pace from the more developed western end, full of local shops and only an occasional tourist.

We had a great time today, cruising on the lake and getting lost in the outskirts of town, where the marble cutters work. I often think that getting lost is the best thing you can do while traveling.

And yeah, I'm eating a fish on a stick. Why do you ask?

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