Glimpses of Old City Dali, Yunnan Province, China
Barry and I traveled to Dali, Yunnan Province, home of many Chinese ethnic minorities; we found sunny blue skies, friendly colorful people, and interesting history. Because we liked it so much, we got stuck there, staying longer than we had intended.
We awoke to see snow on the mountain tops and warm sunshine.
The food was varied and good.
The Lovely Lotus Delicious Vegetarian Restaurant was a favorite.
We loved walking the narrow streets of the Old City Dali.
Catholics, Christians, and Buddhists have centers in Old City Dali.
Although this site is now strictly a cultural destination, we heard chanting from other buildings in Dali and learned that the Buddhist community provides a free daily meal to those in need.
The Dali residents dress in a variety of ways.
Many shopping choices line the Old City Dali streets.
Cafés, coffee bars, and restaurants line the walking streets.
Cool doorways –
Some entrances are humble.
Old City Dali gates:
Old City Dali offers entertainment of many types.
Would Jonny Hawaii do a dramatic reading? I was hopeful his presentation would be in English.
We were warned that Jonny’s presentation would be loud.
Innovative Education in Old City Dali:
We discovered “The Living School” when we met Joy, a teacher, and his students selling challa bread one afternoon in Dali. Fourteen Dali families have joined together to “homeschool” their children. Instead of the traditional Chinese school of long hours of memorization, these children study academics in the morning and then develop their own passions (music, art, crafts) during the afternoons. The school encourages innovation and hands-on learning. The students learn to cook and garden and make mud bricks and develop new skills.
The school also invites Couch Surfers to stay at the school and share their experiences. One evening I saw a program presented by Eurate & Sam who have been traveling for 2 1/2 years – by bicycle! Coming overland from the Basque region of Spain, they are on their way to New Zealand – and they have had many adventures.
Eunate says all you need to travel is a smile. She says money causes trouble, so she and Sam have traded work for places to stay and food wherever they have gone. I love their spirits and sense of adventure.
Barry and I loved our stay in Old City Dali. Our Dragonfly Hostel with its friendly staff, comfortable rooms, rooftop garden, and reading/music room became our home in Dali.
Zaì jiàn, Renée